My friend – Rishi Kartik

Rishi Kartik. Quiet. Unassuming. Wild card! Musician and Film Maker. My introduction to Rishi was unassuming and of no seeming significance. He came across as a young man still trying to find himself. Till the introductions happened. And he told us of his history. That first evening with all of us sitting together late into the night really brought out his personality to the fore. And may I say he is one WILD card. But absolutely adorable and charming. That is one lethal combination. Oh! and he termed the phrase “Best Mom Ever” for me. The reason that came about may not be appropriate to share so publicly but suffice it to say. He thinks and my kids just have it made with such a cool mom who is a little unaware shall we say…? 😉

I met Rishi at the Beach House Project in march last month at an idyllic week long residency in Fort Kochi. You can read about that trip here. Late nights over good music and even better conversation can get people to bond pretty fast. And that is exactly what happened. Rishi is next in my series of Effortless Friendships. Read on to find out more about him.


What did you study in college?

I did my graduation in Computer Applications but I finished my Masters of Mass Communications from Symbiosis Pune.

What made you pick music and film making?

Music has been an inherent thing since our childhood. I’ve grown up listening to Vividh Bharti as well as the Cassette and CD’s phase. My brother and I used to perform locally at a Kids Garba (EDM for Gujarati’s) and that’s where my love for Beats and Performance started. As I grew, my voice started to change and I couldn’t sing anymore, but it just opened up another window of possibilities. I use to fidget around with DigiCams around 10 years back and I made some films and even a sent off video dedicated to my brother. I loved how 2 different pieces of audio and video came together and evoked an emotional response. It was power of an unprecedented kind uncovered by him. I listen to a lot of western classical music and imagine epic war sequences, even now. This is where it comes from. To be able to manipulate people’s emotions, that’s the best part of it.

What are Bombay cab sessions (BCS)?

In one line.’ It’s a Music Series inside a cab, shot live with one take’. In the current scenario where technology has overtaken a lot of the aspects of Music Making, I am willing to go a bit old school in terms of making the music. Music doesn’t need a confined space. It can come from anywhere. And the main reason is to support Independent Music. We use to have an era in 90’s where a lot of artists came out of the independent music scene. That got completely diluted and it’s almost dead for a decade now. I want to bring the Era of Pop Culture back.
At BCS, we want to break these barriers and bring out these artists on a much bigger platform. And it’s the one chance, one take which is all it takes. The artist and their creation are the core of every episode. It not only gives them a chance to showcase the song but also to talk about the story behind it.

How did the idea come about??

Like how all good things happen post 12 am, this one happened in a pretty similar fashion. More than the idea what fascinated me was the possibility of being able to achieve a product of a decent kind without big moolah. We experimented with the Bombay Taxi, but couldn’t fit more than 2 people with a guitar and the noise factor of the car. So we tried a couple of iterations before we found the best possible way to shoot and record the audio and video live.

Could you share a typical work day with us?

Generally I try to finish all mundane tasks and the tasks which will keep me outside by sunset. I prefer to work at night. It’s much peaceful, lesser distractions and I have found a sweet spot after many years of permutations and combinations. Whether it’s writing or editing any video, I find the night to be extremely important. I make sure to watch at least one film  everyday. It’s an exercise I’ve put myself through to make it a habit.

What is your process/thinking/philosophy?

Every project is a different challenge and has different approaches. I tend to get involved in all the departments. More than involvement is the curiosity to know more. I used to get carried away by success and the failures would make me go crazy and have sleepless nights. This is something I still have to adapt myself to and find a middle road.

What sets your work apart from another musician/film maker?

I feel as a film maker I’ve the power to manipulate emotions and people around me. I want to be remembered for those 2 lines or 3 words which will leave an impact for a long time to come and that is what makes sets me apart.

What are some of the hurdles you face as a young business?

Being taken seriously was my first hurdle, I founded Noah Productions to start Bombay Cab Sessions as my first independent project as a producer at the age of 24. So to start from there, it has taken a lot of patience and time to be given an equal platform.
I also feel that in this day and age when things happen at such speeds, our system and the people running those systems need to upgrade. Solutions do not get implemented even with the right resources.

What is the next step you see for your business? Expansion plans?

The immediate plan is to bring the Cab Sessions Part 2 which will feature 10 artists from all over India.  I also want to start a platform to create very short format content. I am also in the process of writing an Independent Feature and directing it by the end of the year.
I would love to get into producing features and web-series as well.

Favourite drink/ movie/book/go to place?

Drink: Thums Up.
Movie: The Secret of Kells
Go to Place : Goa

Rishi Kartik
[email protected]

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