First impression is the best impression. The 15 minutes discussion I had with Anand Bhaskar inside a boardroom in Dubai few months ago made me believe in one thing “Iska Time Ayega”.
Anand Bhaskar was wearing a black jeans and a red chequered shirt. He showed all traits of those artists who eagerly wait for opportunities to showcase their talent. The zeal to perform and the passion to turn that evening into a memorable musical night for the audience could be seen in the way Anand was mentioning his plans for the event.
After the initial discussion about the preferences of the audience and the type of music which will get them going, I was curious to know more about him. It was a dream come true for me when I met Anand as I had become an instant fan of his band & himself after listening to his songs, from the time the band was selected for the event, for umpteen number of times on YouTube.
Many of us out there are talented in multiple genres. We get lot of opportunities to keep our talents alive when we are still busy completing our education. It is then we stand in the midst of the cross road of a steady corporate career with monthly salary vs going behind your passion. Most of us have ended up choosing the former option either because of varied circumstances or the lower appetite to take risks. Anand was also no exception to this. The only difference was that he somehow managed to keep his strings together & didn’t lose touch of his first love : music.
The Delhi born Kerala boy started learning music from his early school days. He learnt Carnatic music for 11 years under his guru Sreekumar.
Though he was adept in writing songs and giving voice to the lyrics, it was the night which turned Mumbai upside down that became the catalyst for him. The 26/11 Mumbai incident made him pen down a new song ‘Hey Ram’ . This song was an instant hit among his friends & Anand’s wife persuaded him to record the song. This led to the launch of his first album Samsara.
In the meanwhile, he was working as the Digital Marketing head of one of the advertising agencies in Mumbai. His days went about finalizing the right digital strategy for his clients and nights were busy humming new tunes. This double header went on for a while before he decided to part ways with the regular income route & chose the road less traveled. It is not easy to just walk out of a bread earning job, that too when you are in a senior position, unless you have someone to support you.
Anand didn’t have to look far to get that required assistance. His wife Nidhi stood up to the situation and gave him that much required impetus to pursue his passion. Nidhi told him “Just do music, I will handle the rest”. He took the bold decision to follow his passion in 2014.
It was not an easy start. The initial 4-5 months made him think that this journey will not see any light of the day. But his persistent efforts helped him to get the break and from then onwards it has been a one directional musical notes for Anand Bhaskar.
Anand Bhaskar Collective , the little known music band , started churning out new songs and their popularity started growing at a steady pace. The band has come out with 2 albums till now – Samsara & Excuse Me and are working on a new album now. They came out with a special song for those who love spitting on the road and dirtying public premises.
Some of his band members have changed but each one of them who have been associated with ABC share the same passion towards music. This has helped him to keep ABC going & growing over the years. I was also surprised by the way these musicians support other bands who are competing with them in the market. Maybe when you grow from scratch , you always learn to Stay humble, Stay grounded.
Everyone would have listened to the super infectious voice of Anand while browsing through the advertisements which pop up during the commercial breaks. He has been the go to versatile singer for many advertisement agencies. The advantage of knowing multiple languages & the ease at which Anand sings different genres has helped him get multiple singing assignments.
From two wheeler brands like Yamaha, Hero & Honda to the mega cricketing mania IPL – he has made his presence felt in all these advertisements with his addictive voice. Some of the notable ads include Yamaha – Call of the Blues, Hero World Challenge, Vivo IPL 2018 CSK vs MI, Rajasthan Royals theme song, Yipee mood masala & Flipkart.
The word started spreading and his voice & composition prowess got the much needed recognition.
The digital platforms, Netflix, Amazon and Voot, lapped him and his music. He composed the music for Amazon Prime’s Mirzapur, he sung ‘Fuh se Fantasy’ for Voot original series & showed his Punjabi singing swag with Bakra Swag for Netflix original Chopsticks.
He also lend his voice to the Malayalam song ‘Kedathe’ for the movie Vallikudilile Vellakaran.
Anand got his Tollywood playback singing break with the song ‘Gana Gana Gana’.
The first bollywood song sung by him was for Bhaagi 2 – Get Ready to Fight.
It was just a matter of time before he attained greater heights & it couldn’t have been better than the much talked about ‘Mission Mangal’. Anand Bhaskar sang the famous “Shaabaashiyaan” along with co singers Shilpa Rao & Abhijeet. This song has crossed million views – a commendable feat for someone like Anand Bhaskar.
Though I wouldn’t consider this as his mission accomplishment song but indeed a great step towards attaining a name for himself in the famous and highly competitive playback music industry.
My personal favourites include his Bakra Swag number & Kaanha.
As a fan of ABC, I am eagerly waiting for the release of their new album ‘Ufaq’ – the horizon.
From waiting for days to get a call for one singing assignment to a fully booked calendar , it has been indeed a Five years of awesome rock and roll journey for Anand Bhaskar.
Anand is all smiles when he looks back at his achievements: “In December 2019, I’ll finish 5 years as a full time musician, with several prestigious ad campaigns, 4 film songs (2 Bollywood, 1 Malayalam and 1 Telugu), 2 albums and several ads and web series as a music director, under my belt.”
Another great example of following the passion and succeeding in attaining the goals.
The lyrics of the song ‘Shaabaashiyaan’ is apt for people like Anand & a motivation for others who are sitting on top of the fence not knowing which side to jump:-
“Kehte the log jo, Qaabil nahi hai tu
Denge wahi Salaamiyan
Dil thaam ke jahaan,Dekhega ek din
Tere bhi kaamiyaabiyaan
Kar ke dikha Kamaal vo“
Anand Bhaskar : Mallu with the Delhi attitude : Deadly combo