1/ So First Off - Tell Us your Name, City and Country and what you currently do for a living?
My name is Aarushi and I live in Delhi, India where I am a student. Hopefully not for long though; I graduate in May.
2/ Is This Something You Always Wanted To Do? What Do You Enjoy About It?
Yes, this is something I have wanted to do at least for the last 6 years. I realised I loved discovering new music and what bummed me out was people's low tolerance towards new and good music. Everyone listens to the same kind of generic stuff that everyone else is listening to. As a result, some great artists and great music get ignored. My aim was to bring the less heard music to people: it started with me sharing music with friends and now it extends to the world. I get a kick out of people telling me that they loved what I introduced them to.
3/ Tell Us About Your First Musical Memory - Why Do You Think You Remember It?
Music was always around me even when I was a child, so it's tough to point out the first memory. My parents love ghazals which is a genre of subcontinental music so I grew up listening to some really great artists like Jagjit Singh and Ghulam Ali. And of course, Indian cinema is probably the largest repository of music. We always had a lot of cassettes of film music which would always play in the car and often at home as well. I certainly remember using the cassettes to play with--not for music but because they were fun and unlike other toys. I do distinctly remember the first few English songs I heard which my brother introduced me to. Songs like summer of '69, In the End and Six Feet from the Edge. My taste in music expanded but my grounding has always been in Indian music.
4/ Who Did You Make Your First Mixtape / Playlist For - What Was The Result - Did They Dig It?
The first playlist I made was for myself and I certainly did dig it haha. But last year I made a playlist for a friend's birthday. This was after I already had a playlist with MusicTo but it was the first playlist I ever made for another individual. I like to believe it went well, they liked the tracks and the vibe of the playlist.
5/ What Made You Go Online And Search About Music Curation?
My roommate did actually. On a rather low day--as she tells me--with a peculiar gleam in my eyes, I was telling her my love for discovering new music and introducing other people to it and my dreams of having a jazz club of my own. She literally said so why don't you. She said any reasons to not do it were excuses and that if it made me happy I shouldn’t not do it. I googled music curation and voila Musicto.com showed up. I honestly did not expect to hear back from Andrew. To me, it was a shot in the dark but I am ever so grateful that he did and that Gauri (my roommate) pushed me towards it.
6/ Tell us about the name of your Playlist - where did that come from?
I was so keen to send my tracks that I did not think much about the name. It was something that came instinctively to me, like what I feel when I listen to music. This is why my playlist doesn’t have a particular genre or theme. You can find all genres and all languages on it. The title is a reflection of my association with music.
7/ What does a track have to have to make it onto your list, is there something special that you look for?
The tracks that make it to my playlist make me feel certain a certain way; that’s really the only special thing I look for in them. Over the year I’ve tried to cover as many emotions or situations as I can. The idea - which I guess is rather silly - is that one has to go through the entire wheel of emotions to live fully. It’s kind of a self-destructive thought because I wouldn’t wish bad days on anyone but it helps me connect with a lot of good music that’s out there.
8/ What can an artist do in their track submission to your list to ensure that you'll listen to their track?
I stay away from tracks that are obviously promotional. You send me something telling me why you connect with it, and I’m much more likely to give it a shot.
9/ We know - these change all the time - but as of this week - what are your all time top 5 favorite tracks.
I am listening to some new French music. There's a brilliant new artist who goes by the name Vendredi Sur Mer (she'll feature on my playlist soon enough). Her tracks Larme à Gauche and Écoute Chèrie is something I've been listening to a lot.
Some throwback A.R. Rahman - Tu hi Re (from the film Bombay) and Rehna Tu (Delhi 6). Other tracks are Wicked Game by Chris Isaak and La Luna by Hindi Zahra.
10/ And finally - which Music to Curator should we interview next?
I'd love to see Henry from Music To Stay Up Late at Night.