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Life & Work with āroh

Today we’d like to introduce you to āroh.

Hi āroh, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
Hey, I’m āroh. I’m an artist, producer, singer & multi-instrumentalist. I was born and raised in New Delhi, India, and am currently a student at Belmont University in Nashville, TN. My earliest memory of music would be listening to a lot of Bollywood music growing up.

I wasn’t an early starter but seeing some of my closest friends play rock music in the school band sparked my interest in picking up an instrument in eighth grade. By that time, I had already been introduced to classic bands like AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, Deep Purple, etc., and seeing my friends have the time of their life playing that music was just the push I needed to pick up the guitar.

From that point on, my high school experience mostly revolved around music. As we played together and got better, there was a natural gravitation towards more intricate and complex sounds which led to discovering progressive artists like Dream Theater, a really important part of my musical development.

As I became better and started playing in bands, writing, and performing original music, my interest was growing rapidly but I did not think I had it in me to study or pursue music at a higher level. But, fate had other plans. A chain of eye-opening events led me to take a leap of faith and enroll myself in the music program at Belmont University in 2019, 7,000+ miles away from home.

Even though I had no clue which path in music was right for me, I was just determined to make the best of my opportunity and learn constantly. The curriculum kept becoming more and more intense but my skills were starting to develop as a composer. With this newfound confidence in my abilities as a songwriter/composer, the desire to express my creativity as an artist kept growing.

I’ve always had the talent to write and express my thoughts through words, so becoming an artist seemed like the perfect blend of the two worlds. Fast forward a bit, after months of planning and hard work, I released my debut single “Breathe” last month, a song inspired by the compulsions we experienced in the pandemic.

The track is a reminder to stay present, reflect and realize the fickleness of our worries. I’m currently in the process of working on and finishing new music. The goal is to embody uninhibited expression and bring forth innovation and creativity to life that is free from labels and boxes.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Anything worth pursuing is going to have a lot of obstacles along the way, it’s just part of the process. More than anything, it’s the small things that add up over time that are hard to stay motivated through.

There’s the obvious challenge of staying far away from friends and family back home whilst trying to excel at a really hard program and keeping your mental makeup in check, something most international students have to tackle. I’m no exception to that.

The real challenge, however, is the things that no one sees like powering through health issues, staying in on the weekends and holidays so you can invest the resources in your music that would have been spent otherwise, and abandoning the desire to have a great social life to focus on your path, etc.

It’s the times when no one is watching and you have to motivate yourself to keep going amidst chaos and lack of progress, that let you know where you stand.

I see and accept all of them as a part of the price I have to pay to be where I want to be, and realizing that nothing is permanent always helps me to look at the challenges as opportunities to build character. Smiling in the face of adversity takes away its power.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
The world is smaller today than it has ever been.

At the click of a button, you can switch between a Kendrick Lamar and an A.R. Rahman record, which has blurred the lines between sounds of different traditions. Having experienced two vastly different environments and traditions, I have developed a multi-cultural lens of looking at art and society which reflects in my sound as an artist.

Whether it be the melodies of Qawwali, the energy of rock, or the pocket of RnB, all influence the way I perceive and write music as an artist. It’s not something I am trying to force or manufacture, but a mere expression of my life and musical experiences. I’ll always strive to be as honest and authentic with the themes and music as I can be, and hopefully that reflects in the end product and resonates with people. I’ve been working on new music and fresh sounds, all in the spirit of my expression. I’ll have a lot more time on my hands in the summer so be on the lookout for fresh sounds and experiences!

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Ben Krueger

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