The Assiduous Creator : Astreck
Feb 05, 2018 | Zakiya Ali
Today I will do what others won’t, so that tomorrow I can do what others cannot.
Hailing from Jaipur, Ashish Kumar alias Astreck, is an acclaimed Music Producer, Video Editor, Graphic Designer and a Video Jockey. Bold enough to explore every field that interests him, he certainly leaves a mark wherever he goes.
Ignited by his passion for music and inspired by the desire to learn and traverse new directions, Astreck is an embodiment of verve and vehemence. Without any formal training or contacts in the industry, he has emerged to be the Rising Star of VJing.
He recently visited NITR on the occasion of the second edition of Roots as a guest speaker where he delivered a talk on the Art of VJing. Team Monday Morning got an opportunity to engage in a conversation with him, whilst he shared his experiences that helped him evolve as an artist, unravelling the journey that led to Astreck.
Recollecting some of his childhood experiences, Astreck said that though he was not good at academics, he was very sincere and never created any nuisance at school or even at home for that matter. He chuckled while remembering that probably his good behaviour saved him from his parents’ thrashings. Being an introvert, he did not have many friends. Adding to this, he was not very good at sports or any other extra-curricular activity. He spent most of his time drawing in the last pages of his notebooks in the midst of a class.
When Academics Seemed Everything
Poor academic performance coupled with alienation to extra-curricular activities portrayed him as a failure in school. This perpetuated in him a desire to prove his mettle. Furthermore, it was instrumental in making him discover where his interest truly lied. Once he found his fervour, I worked towards making it his career.
The Untold Story
Asking about the journey leading to a career in audio-visual editing, he said,
I was always passionate about music. After getting a laptop in the ninth standard, the first thing I did was surfing the internet and downloading some software for audio editing.
Though he was a novice to this, he never stopped trying. He tried to learn through websites and explored new tracks on the software. Soon, he got recognition in his school and thus performed in various competitions as well as functions organised by the school. The teachers and classmates who once thought him to be dumb and worthless started seeing him for what he truly was. This inspired him to work harder and invest more time in developing and refining his art.
Cornerstone Of Excellence
Family support is essential to one’s success. His parents like everyone else’s wanted to see him settled. They never prevented him from pursuing his interests. Though his parents never objected to his career choices, he did not want to take financial help from them or be a burden on them. Rather than asking them to purchase the requisites for his work, he used to purchase the software and audio tracks required with whatever pocket money he saved. Since he did not have many friends to hang out with or watch a movie, he invested this time and money in pursuing his interests and improving his skills in the same.
Whilst he was in his eleventh grade, his first album, Shine Nights was released on Sound Cloud. Launched in 2011, it received an exceptionally good response from the audience, thus marking a building stone of his career. Following this, he released his second album, Shine Nights Vol-2 under the label of Air Magic.
Frank Beatz with Ashish Kumar
Air Magic had a contract with an online radio channel known as TimePass thus, after the success of his first album, he was offered to host his own online radio show Frank Beatz with Ashish Kumar. He grins remembering,
I was quite amused by the name of that radio channel. Honestly, who gives a name like TimePass!
Spreading Wings: Video Editing, Graphic Designing
Unfortunately, Ashish’s second album was not much of a success. After the passage of a year after the release of his second album, he faded to the background and decided to concentrate on his college education but soon realized the void in his life due to the absence of music, where his interest truly lied.
He was adamant about exploring new horizons in music and came upon video editing. He devoted his full attention towards learning the elements of video editing, got in touch with few eminent professionals in this arena online and tried learning from them about the effects and presets to be used. Although he learned the basics from them, he never imitated it in his work, ergo-preserving his individual creativity and giving it a form in his creations. Initially, he used to design his own graphics but later dogged on sticking to video editing due to time constraints.
Resolute On Stage
He started off with editing videos for his acquaintances who were DJ’s. Later, he began getting offers for shows for small audiences in clubs or parties.
I become an entirely different person while I am performing. The confidence and satisfaction that I get by showcasing my art are immeasurable.
As VJing had not developed much in India during that time, not many people could appreciate his work. With the passage of time, he gained popularity, but due to his name being so common in India, it was difficult for people to search him online. This was when he dawned on the name Astreck by combining the initials of his name with his passion; audio recordings, and tracks.
Success on feet
Subsequently, he released several successful music albums at intervals of 6 months. He edited the videos of several internationally acclaimed artists and DJ’s. This led to him becoming the representative of an international label named “Harsh Records” in India. In addition to this, he has also worked for Aaroh music , Starx , Neon , Amit Das , Paranox , Dj Dee Arora , Kevin Kongor , Saiklone to name a few. Later, he was offered the position of a resident VJ at Willingdon Sports Club, an age-old and renowned club in Mumbai.
In his final message to the readers, he urges them to invest time in pursuing their interest be it one day a week or one day in an entire month.
Find out what intrigues you the most. Follow your passion. Work hard for it. You might not get success right away but if you keep trying, one day you will definitely achieve great heights.
Team Monday Morning wishes Astreck success in his future endeavours and hopes that he continues inspiring young minds to discover their true selves.