Avanti Nagral is the Indo-American singing sensation who is the face of Southeast Asia’s first virtual reality music video.
His first single, âI Likeâ, is accompanied by a 360-degree music video, directed by internationally renowned filmmaker Blake Farber.
Farber, from New York, USA, has previously worked with Beyonce for her music video ‘Countdown’ and major brands such as Nike.
After hearing ‘I Like’, Joshan said: “This is my first time listening to Avanti Nagral, but she has a really amazing voice.”
Avanti Nagral speaks exclusively to DESIblitz about his debut single and the making of South Asia’s first virtual reality music video.
And that’s what the talented young artist from Boston and Bombay had to say.
How was your career in music?
âMy dad plays the tabla, so I was surrounded by rhythm all the time. I grew up doing a lot of devotional music and started playing the piano when I was 5 years old.
âI spent the first 8 years of my life in Boston, before moving to Bombay [India], where I was introduced to my current guru. Dr Prabha Atre is a living legend of classical Indian music who took me as a unique student. I was lucky to have a guru who allowed me to experiment with my music.
âI have gained experience in different styles – Broadway, Sufi, Gospel, Soul, Bollywood, Pop – and in different languages. But classical Indian music was my passion because it allowed me to have creative flexibility in my music.
âDoing so much theater, shows, events and concerts on Broadway has helped me develop as a performer. My piano training has been such a gift to understand musicality and help me develop as a songwriter.
What is the musical style of Avanti Nagral?
âI would describe my musical style as modern pop-soul, or rather pop soul. A large part of my compositions are centered on young people and women.
âI have experience in various genres and I try to tap into each of them to create a modern sound. It’s also important to me that people can relate to my music!
âAt the end of the day, I believe the music is coming from within you. As a musician you have a voice and are a storyteller.
How did your virtual reality video for âI Likeâ come about?
You can listen to the official audio of Avanti Nagral – âI Likeâ by watching this video:
But if you want a full 360-degree virtual reality experience on the ‘I Like’ clip, Follow this link.
âI wanted the video to be something different, immersive, groundbreaking and something that really represents the message of the song.
“[âI Likeâ] is about following your dreams, your passions and being independent in your thoughts. Born from stories about the empowerment of women, it portrays the individuality that is essential to empower women.
The VR clip was shot by Blake Farber, a talented filmmaker, who has worked with big brands and artists. [After speaking], we thought that creating a virtual reality video would be the best way to go.
âThis is a new technology and it would be the first of its kind in South Asia, and among very few in the world. And also, it would create a truly immersive experience and spearhead a new brand of i-pop – Indian pop.
How is it different from creating a VR video?
âIt’s so different! On the one hand, the camera looks like a small robot, it captures 360 degrees, thus not hiding anything.
âA typical movie or video has multiple takes, can be manipulated, and has close-ups. With this camera, nothing is hidden. In fact, the director couldn’t even be in the room, as he was reportedly seen on camera.
âAfter many unsuccessful attempts to communicate with me via a walkie talkie, Blake left me alone to do my own thing. We didn’t have multiple takes due to the large nature of the footage, so all of the playback scenes in the video are first takes!
âBecause movie editing software is only now starting to be afloat with this technology in independent space, it has been a very long process. I remember sitting for days editing the video – Blake was in New York and I was in Mumbai at the time, and we would sit and share the screen on Skype for hours!
Is there a market for such a video in India?
” I really hope so ! But maybe Blake says it best:
âIndia has a bit of everything, but one thing that’s missing is this modern technology that’s all the rage internationally. It’s time for India to catch up and overtake everyone! In India, people are really technologically advanced, so it’s time for this kind of technology to take off.
âI really think it’s going to spread, and its use will be phenomenal. Can you imagine a 360 degree Bollywood sequence? “
How do you think virtual reality will change the music scene?
âSo I recently met people who were ‘VR and music consultants’. If that doesn’t show you what the future is with the two, I don’t know what does!
âMost importantly, thanks to music, there can be better access to this type of technology for people who did not have access to it before! Not only music videos, but live performances, concert experiences and much more can be enhanced with the VR experience.
âThe good thing about using it in music is that you already have music fans, who may have little or no interest in the technology. But thanks to this combination, [of virtual reality and music] there is the potential to bridge the two worlds.
What’s next for Avanti Nagral?
âKeep playing, writing and making more music and videos! After the release of ‘I Like’ I have a bunch of new tracks on the way that will eventually turn into an EP or album.
âI also seek to do musical and educational projects while continuing to learn every day.
âThe next single will be released in October 2017! As an artist and as a human being, it is important to continue to evolve and grow, and I know this is just the start of what I hope will be a wonderful journey!
Learn more about Avanti Nagral
Avanti Nagral has made a name for herself since wowing crowds at the 2016 Worli Festival in Mumbai, India.
The event celebrates the location, diversity and cultural heritage of India’s largest city. A powerful Avanti Nagral rendition of Adele’s worldwide hit, âHello,â first announced her to a worldwide audience.
You can see Avanti Nagral’s incredible performance at Worli Festival 2016 in by following this link.
Make sure you don’t miss seeing her 360-degree virtual reality video clip on “I Like”.
You can also keep up to date with Avanti Nagral by finding it at Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Or you can visit its own website by clicking here. With a hot new single coming out soon, these are sure to be exciting times for Avanti Nagral and his team.
Alternatively, if you want to learn more about VR technology, here are some of the best VR headsets you can buy. Or you can find out what EGX 2017 told us about new developments in virtual reality.