In Conversation with 6091, A Kerala Based Indie Artist
Hello Readers! As you know, this edition marks the 10th issue of The 8:10. On this wonderful occasion, I had the pleasure of interviewing Gopikrishnan P.N, who goes by his stage name of 6091. He’s a Kerala based Indie Artist whose songs have been gaining a lot of attention in the recent few years. Featuring lofi beats and authentic sounds, his songs personify tranquility. With an impressive thirty two thousand monthly listeners on Spotify, Mr.Gopikrishnan talks about his life, inspirations and the impact of his cultural roots on his music.
- What first got you into music? Who or what influenced your choices and how did you overcome the initial struggles?
Ans. I grew up listening to Carnatic music, as my father, Parthasarathy K. is a Carnatic vocalist and he used to perform. My father guided me right from the beginning. I learned Carnatic lessons, Mridangam and few other percussion instruments during my school days. Shortly after that, I took piano lessons, from where I started learning western classical music and theory. Completed my 7th grade in piano under Trinity. I started exploring and experimenting with DAWs (music making software)from an early age. I was so curious about how sounds are produced. Then I got introduced to electronic music. Later on, my curiosity increased and I learnt new things quickly and after years of learning and practising, here I am. But I am still learning. Initially, it was challenging for me to explore more on electronic music production as I didn’t have good equipment to learn but I did everything I could with what I had at that time.
- How did you decide on the name 6091? Is there any significance and insights behind this name?
Ans. I wanted a unique stage name and I got the idea of changing the letters of my first name into numbers that looked similar to those alphabets. So that’s how Gopi became 6091.
- How would you describe the music that you typically create and what message do you want to deliver to your audience and fans?
Ans. I love nature, different cultures, festivals, certain ethnic instruments and the sounds that are connected to each of them. I always try to include those native sounds in my tracks which give it uniqueness. I use a lot of Indie elements and nature sounds in my music. Here, the audience is not used to such sound patterns, but they could relate it to their emotions and memories to an extent. Being an electronic music producer, I am really happy to see that people are now understanding my music and supporting me for what I am doing.
- We hear many authentic traditional sounds in your music. How has your cultural roots and history impacted your music? While collaborating, do you check if the artists match the feel of your songs? Which collaboration did you enjoy the most and who would you most like to collaborate with?
Ans. I always wanted my tracks to have elements of culture and the sounds I grew up listening to so that it sounds unique and real. I felt confident layering it with the new electronic genres. I don’t have a single favourite artist among my collaborations. Everyone I’ve collaborated with till now, are my favourite artist. I’m really happy to work with different artists every time, and understand their perspectives and learn from them.
- What would you be doing right now, if it wasn’t for your music career?
Ans. I don’t know. I was lucky enough to get a very supportive family, so I never had to think about it.
- How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business and how did the pandemic impact your reach?
Ans. In my opinion, the internet is one of the best places to showcase your music or any kind of art, in the current situation. As an independent artist, I am able to make a song and publish it to different music streaming platforms, all by myself. Now I find myself wishing that if I had known about all these before, I wouldn’t have wasted my time searching for budget companies and record labels to publish my music. This pandemic had both good and bad effects on me. The good thing is that I got time to explore more and learn new things about the music industry and also I could dedicate more time to my singles. I’m glad that people are liking my music and appreciating it.
- Do you think it’s become easier or harder for artists to make their mark on the industry? What is something that is often overlooked as a part of being a musician?
Ans. According to me, being good at something that you do completely depends on oneself and making a mark of your own, in any field is challenging. There’s this constant scrimmage with myself that keeps me going. Being an electronic music producer, I faced many challenges. As I mentioned previously, electronic music was not something a lot of our native audiences knew. So it took them time to understand. And I think most people don’t notice that path we had to come through to make something completely new reach out to the audience and make a mark of our own as musicians.
- What is your favourite part of being a musician? Do you have a process or ritual you follow before you perform?
Ans. My favourite part about being a musician is learning. I’m still learning about sounds and how it is affecting our emotions. I don’t have any specific rituals, I do before I perform.
- What advice would you give to our readers who aspire to become musicians and hope to set foot in this competitive industry?
Ans. What I learnt from the past years as a musician is that, if you really want to be good at something, it takes time, you have to keep working on it without losing the flow. Learn, practice, and be confident in what you do. If you are confused or scared to express your art, then you may not reach where you want to be. It took me years to reach where I am now. I’m still learning and have a long way to go. Don’t lose hope. Just keep going.
–B Aishwarya Lalitha