Twenty-two year old Kabir harmonises his multi-faceted musical talents with new single Party: the ultimate nostalgic summer anthem.
The charming Byron Bay artist attributes his career in music to growing up in an environment where creativity is not only encouraged, but oozing in every street.
HAPPY: Hey, Kabir, how are you? Where do you find yourself today?
KABIR: Hey, I’m pretty good :) Just at home listening to music chilling out
HAPPY: Congratulations on the release of your single Party! Apart from the obvious, what is this song about for you?
KABIR: Honestly it’s just about having good times with friends at parties and the next day going to the beach after having a big night. I haven’t been going out as much so when I listen to it I get to reminisce about how much fun I’ve had partying with friends. And this song is definitely a stepping stone for me to keep releasing music.
HAPPY: Can you tell us a bit about your journey to music?
KABIR: My dad has always been playing music since I was young. He plays percussion in the drum circle in Byron which always had heaps of percussionists and dancers from all over the world. So it all started when I got a guitar for my 10th birthday way way back (like 12years ago). Since then I was playing guitar off and on through high school and ended up sticking with doing music for the electives.
I didn’t get a very good ATAR which is the mark for uni and stuff so I decided to do something I liked better and more music orientated. I thought if I learned the processes of making music that one day I’d have a better opportunity of being a well known musician/artist.
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KABIR: I never really sang until after finishing studying at SAE when one of the lecturers, Dirk Terrill said that I had the voice to sing which gave me a bit more of push to try to learn.
I was already making music and skilled enough on guitar to start writing chords progressions for songs and as I wrote more lyrics the skills picked up more. I was working in hospitality heaps where I was always listening to new music and singing along so that helped me pick up more skills in singing too. So I’m super happy I started singing because now I have such good control over my voice and different tones I can do.
HAPPY: What do you think it is about beautiful Byron Bay that draws in so many creatives….
KABIR: I’d have to say the lifestyle with loads of buskers in the streets and people on holiday walking around town all the time. As you guys said it’s quite beautiful and has lots of beautiful people in it too, Which makes it super easy to draw inspiration from. It’s quite a tourist location so there’s heaps of people looking to buy unique items and dance or listen to tunes buskers play.
It really helps if I start running out of motivation and inspiration to just go to the beach and reset so maybe it helps other creatives too. There are lots of creatives in Byron to begin with, so when someone who is already sort of creative comes in and meets a bunch of creatives they feel more welcome which is nice.
The SAE college would also draw in a whole bunch of creatives and like minded people so that was always cool to be surrounded by when I was studying. Lots of the local creatives including myself have quite open minded parents who enjoy music and arts so it’s also good to have supportive people encouraging you to do what makes you happy like making art.
HAPPY: How does the creative process typically look for you?
KABIR: So I do pretty much all the production besides mastering. And I play all of the instruments. I usually begin with recording two electric guitar sections, then do the bass and program a drum beat and chords all in Ableton and then add in extra little sections near the end of the song. Once I have every section done I record the real drums in the studio
To record the drums I use protools so that means I have to bounce the stems from ableton so that I can put it into pro tools. I usually write the song lyrics first because it’s easy just to have tonnes of lyrics ready for a song and then I just choose what sort of vibe I want the song to be and see how well the lyrics fit to the instruments.
For vocal recording I usually do a bunch of takes in different pitch ranges and tones and then go through and pick which ones sound most in key and suit the song. I also do three part harmonies so I can choose where and when I want to use them.
Once all the recordings have been done I just go through and edit the drums and vocals mainly to make sure everything is on time to the metronome and in the right pitch.
Then I get to mix the song which is where the fun part is for me. I usually choose a few songs to compare mine to, which is where I can pick out effects, instrument levels and tones from the reference songs. After I do that, I prefer to get someone else to master my songs, for Party I got Studios 301 to master which was good. It takes a bit of pressure away from myself to get the final song out.
HAPPY: You’ve completed a Bachelor of Audio Engineering at the SAE Institute – what was your biggest takeaway from that experience?
KABIR: I learned how to use massive mixing consoles which was heaps cool but I think the main part I use now is just the troubleshooting side of that as big mixing consoles are barely used anymore. So being good at troubleshooting when the Audio Programs/D.A.W’s aren’t working the way I want help me find the problem and fix it fast.
If you want to do something, believe in yourself and keep doing it even if anyone puts you down for doing something different to a normal 9-5 job.
It’s always going to be a little bit harder to find work but if you really want the job and have the skills you can get it! Having good time management and organisation to set goals and deadlines is always helpful . Checking and using email has helped find jobs in the Audio industry too. Having a positive attitude towards the things I do helps heaps in general life and work, but also when I’m doing parts like recording or editing that I find less fun.
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HAPPY: Who are your favourite undiscovered local artists at the moment?
KABIR: Joshual is one of my good friends that I studied with who has really smooth R&B type songs. Ash the Kid has some really cool melodies in his vocals that are definitely worth checking out! Pure possé are also a super cool duo, they have fun music (a collaboration between Joshual and Agnus), they have been really helpful in giving me feedback to develop my songs.
HAPPY: Who’s your dream artist to open for?
KABIR: It’s hard to pick one but if I had to choose It would be Parcels because they were my biggest inspiration in the beginning to create my own songs and sing. They are also local to the Byron area to which is cool.
HAPPY: What are your musical goals for 2021?
KABIR: My musical goals for 2021 is just to release 3-4 songs and try to fit in a music video or two along the way. I have a project in the works at the moment which I want to have done by the end of the year so hopefully I will be able to reach that goal.
HAPPY: Cheers Kabir, thanks for your time!!
KABIR: Thanks for having me, and thanks for reading! Hope everyone has a fun day :)
Check out Party here.