His parents named him ALAP and gifted him MUSIC too… The Story of Musician Alap Desai
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What prevails in the family, goes on in the family for generations together. Meet Alap Desai, whose journey in music is all about how music is a tradition in his family. The Yuva Sangeetkaar, he is also been awarded the best music director, not once, not twice, but, thrice! As he speaks to the Team imd1 about the various folds of his musical career, here is how it all started.
We are really keen to know, how did your journey begin?
I was born in a family of musicians and have grown in the atmosphere ever since birth. So, it"s simple. All I had to do was join my parents in their journey and follow their same path.
What’s your success mantra?
I strongly believe success comes from a combination of God-gifted talent which is natural and connections with good people which is purely luck. However, The most important driver here is the faith that you have in your skills and talents. That"s what keeps you moving ahead.
Quote for Life
All good things in life are either Sweet, Fried or Married to someone else!!!
Mahatma Gandhi, Sachin Tendulkar, Ghulam Ali
Ghulam Ali, parents – Ashit & Hemangini Desai
Food I love
Anything Sweet & Fried
Food I hate
Typical Gujarati cuisine like Khichu, Dal Dhokli….!!!
Had I not been Musician then…
Never thought of this, I still prefer to say Music!
Like Vacations at
Favorite Past time
Playing Cricket with my son
Tum kabhi koi vaada nahin karna
Children of Heaven, Friends
Amitabh Bachchan, Wife Sneha Desai
What were the hardships / hurdles you encountered and the way you overcame in your journey?
A lot was expected from me since the very beginning because music in my family is a legacy. My father is an ace music composer and singer. I was always expected to be like my father. It took me a lot of time to create my own identity in the world of music. I could not have handled all the pressure without the support and encouragement from my parents.
Success is incomplete without its share of failures. How should one overcome them to move on?
Well, I believe one has to accept failures. It’s important to learn from them and move on instead of getting moved by them. Concentrating on performance is more important than contemplating on ways to overcome failures.
Do you think Music and its learning’s can be helpful in life even if one does not want to consider it as a career goal?
Ofcourse! Learning any form of art changes the perspective towards life. It not only adds knowledge and substance in their life, but also brings them to a competitive edge. In my case, I would put it the other way round! Since childhood, I am musician but, when I had to pursue a master"s degree, I choose my specialization in Marketing. It helped me become a better professional. Knowledge is all-powerful.
Who has been your influencer in this journey & how?
Undoubtedly, my parents have been my influencers throughout. As I recollect my memories, my father held me on his shoulders and I playfully used his head as a Tabla! That"s when he identified my interest and supported me all through my journey. My mother used to take me to her singing performances. Automatically, music became a part of value system since an early age!
Which was “that” moment when you considered yourself as “I am the 1”?
During my solo performance in USA, I felt I am the one who belongs to music. Earlier, I used to perform either in groups or with my parents. But, that specific moment was precious. Apart from this, I even got a chance to conduct two workshops and a few shows in UK which again made me feel I had achieved something!
Did you get any formal training and how was that journey?
I learnt to play the Tabla from Late Ustad Allarakha Khan Sahab (Father of Ustad Zakir Hussain). I have even attended the Sangit Mahabharti academy for a proper training.
Could you reflect on the importance of systematic training in Music?
Formal training gives one the required finesse and expertise. One has to follow a stepwise procedure to be in the profession. It can be avoided only if there is some kind of extra special talent but otherwise it is important to go through a systematic training and learning procedure.
What are the pre-coaching essentials e.g. Right age, mindset or any other?
In my case, family atmosphere played a huge role. However, many children who wish to pursue a particular field may not have anyone in their family from that field. For such children, I believe the age of 6-7 years is ideal to start formal training.
Technology and scientific training has been changing the way people get trained in Music. What’s your take?
Technology has been making people lose their jobs yet we need to accept that it adds lot of quality. I was a traditional-form musician but, I learnt various programming tools to add a new elements to my music to get adapted with the latest trends in the industry. Since then, they have brought about a lot of changes and aspects. They are worth appreciating anyway.
How can one select an ideal ‘Guru’ for getting formal training for Music?
I believe word-of-mouth is really important. Parents can take testimonials from existing students of a different gurus and select the guru who best suits their child’s interest.
What according to you, can be a scope for improvement in training for Music in India?
The music fraternity needs to be more methodical in their approach towards this field as a career opportunity.
What do you suggest for better accessibility of Music in remote parts of India?
Internet and mobile platforms can really help talented people in remote parts of India to gain more knowledge about music.
In your opinion, what are the basic key traits apart from formal training that make “imd1”?
The first thing is the inborn natural talent. The other is strong family support to gain a series of experiences in the field you aspire to achieve in.
Your piece of advice to parents and new generation especially when some people are skeptical about career in extra curriculum...
I am a father to a child and I strongly believe that as a parent I need to provide the necessary freedom to my child. We need to observe and identify their interests rather than forcing our desires upon our children. But, at the same time standard education is a something that needs to be completed. There is no chance one can avoid school and college studies.
One thing which you feel you want to change from the past while you walk down memory lane...
I don"t think there"s anything I wish to change. I am blessed to have been raised the way my parents raised me. I wish my son could get the same playful childhood time that I had received! Also, I strongly wish the kind of music that used to prevail during my childhood should return.
How can one identify and encourage talent in the family?
Art forms are usually natural talents. Once we become open minded, our children will themselves experiment and all we need to do is help them identify their hidden talents. This needs to be further streamlined by formal training and consistency.
Any other thoughts you"d like to share.
Music is a performing art and again Indian music is quite at a moment and impulsive at the other. It cannot be learnt in writing. It is all about practice and experience as it will always help one to make his or her own path better. Just like a pilot needs to complete 500 flying hours before he actually is ready to fly a commercial Aircraft, a musician needs to put in a lot of practice before actually performing in front of his audience.