Gaurav Tophakhane

Chasing the Dream with Gaurav Tophakhane’s

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Gaurav is a singer-songwriter based out from Pune. He started his musical journey in 2010 as a freelance photographer for many well known Indian bands until he found his own pop-rock band in 2014 named Skylight Vision. He ranges his influences from Shawn Mendes, Cody Fry, Travis, Mutemath, John Mayer and many more. Without having any professional training, he writes about incidences and people that shape his life with a focus on good melody which people can relate in their lives. Gaurav has released his debut song and its music video which was shot on OnePlus phone. He is the first independent artist to make POV video which has been shot on a phone. He has released 3 singles as of September 2020 with a few more in pipeline with aiming a full length album release by next year end.

Anatomy of the Genre

I have released three singles as of now and the fourth one is getting mixed and mastered as we speak right now with a bunch of releases in pipeline over the course of the coming few months. I would define my music as easy on the ears with a story and melody which everyone can relate to their own lives in some way or the other. By having Guitar or keys as my primary instrument, I can say that my songs are acoustically driven and shapes around the same. So I would like to call my genre of music POP -Acoustic / Pop – Indie. There are infinite subgenres in POP as we dive in through it so let's just say I make pop music which people can relate to. While composing a song, I make sure that there is at least one hook line in the song which people can hum or come back to the song after listening to it once.

gaurav tophakhane

The Tremor of the Last Release

Kahaani is an indie-pop soundtrack which talks about a guy's emotions post breakup where he is describing his current condition while holding onto something which is long gone. I did write and compose this one along with one of my friends Vicky from a very talented duo act ( Vicky & Tejas ) from Pune itself. Back in April when we all were at our respective homes we were jamming through video calls and whatsapp voice notes when one fine day Vicky sent me first four lines of the song ‘Phooti kismat ka maara, sab haara dil Bechara, ke tere jaane se gaya khushiyon ka samaa ‘ the lyrics got me going and we started brainstorming on it and ended up composing this one. This was my first collaborative song and the response till now has been so good. I am going to do these kinds of collaborations more often henceforth as it widens the perspective towards the song writing with one more person involved in it.

Target Acquisition

With no live gigs around for a while since the lockdown was started, the streaming consumption has been increased. Like I would say there was a higher consumption in May, June compared to the current time. For me, most of my streams have been coming through Spotify, Apple music, Gaana & JioSaavn. Reaching the target audience digitally all depends on the number of followers on Spotify an artist as along with the song getting playlisted through editorial playlists on the streaming platforms. My follower count has been gradually increasing on the streaming platforms. The struggle I would face is if the song doesn’t get playlisted through editorial playlists with having a huge number of followers for that playlist. It just cuts down the stream count. The pace at which the streams are happening is slow as the reach is lesser compared to the playlists. Apart from that, the audience keeps increasing through performing gigs when they go back to their homes and search for the artist and check out the music. With that not happening, reaching out to the audience has become difficult. Of-course the paid promotion through Instagram post and swipe up with streaming links is useful for reaching out to the people with specific criteria as all the streaming platforms provide us the data with how much music is consumed from which city and stuff.

Gaurav Tophakhane

Your Highlight Performance

My highlight performance would be my ex band Skylight Vision’s performance at NH7 weekender 2015. We were the only band from Pune that year which performed at NH7 Weekender. The reason for it being special is we were hardly 8 months old as a band together and we got an opportunity to start the proceedings at one of the stages. Our slot was at 4 pm. The first one to start on that day. I was a bit nervous as it was the first slot and had no clue how many people would turn up. But being the Pune band, our friends and listeners made sure that they turn up on time at the gate. I still remember the moment when we went on the stage and we were setting up for the performance. The gates opened at the same time and there was a sea of people running towards our stage. That sight was unbelievable for me. People singing back our own songs to us was like the dream come true situation.

An Ode to the Roots

I come from a small city 100 kms away from Pune named ‘Satara.’ I have grown up listening to a lot of classical music and Bollywood music till the Linkin park phase happened right when I finished schooling. I used to sing at School gatherings and stuff but as a hobby. As I have never learnt any instrument or singing professionally, I always treated my singing as a hobby till I was in college for my 11th and 12th. I saw my first live show in 2008 in Pune. That day I realised okay so there are more than a single person who is on the stage and are performing together. Watching the band live was such a delightful experience. I had zero clue that one day I would end up forming up a band and write my own songs. Support from the parents and friends is what keeps you going when you tell them that you want to do something different which 9 out of 10 people are not doing.

Going against the flow of the stream was challenging for me as my parents wanted me to have a stable 9-6 job. It took a while for them to understand that I can make a living out of this ‘MUSIC’ scene. It's been a fun journey since 2015. I am glad to find like minded people while forming up a band, jamming with musicians, traveling with musicians. Its very important to be around people who always push you to do more rather than making you question your own decisions.

Psychological Harvest

I think there is uncertainty in every field you work. In music, the risk factors are bigger than a corporate job. Not comparing but in the corporate sector you know for a fact that x amount of money is going to credit in your account. That doesn’t happen in our field.

The idea of doing what you love for bread and butter is so fascinating. For me that’s the first thing I have been looking at. Expressing your thoughts through music is such an emotional process and then let it out in the world so that everyone can relate to the same through their own experiences is the best thing for the artist. The reward is right here. When you go to your bed at the end of the day and you look back at the whole day you feel satisfied as you have done something for yourself which is going to relate to the whole world tomorrow through the songs you are making.

Thankfully till now I have not had experience to think about my choices. It's been 6 years that I have been in the music scene as a singer-songwriter, band manager, tour manager and as a photographer. There is so much to learn everyday with every aspect of work I have been doing. I am hopeful that the situation never arises by second guessing the choices.

Pandemonium Effect

Covid hit us all in March. Right when the offseason of the gigs was about to start. Besides being a singer-songwriter myself, I work as a tour manager for Prateek Kuhad, When Chai Met Toast and a few other acts. I also curate indie gigs at a couple of venues in Pune. With COVID affecting the whole scene, there were a bunch of shows from March to May were cancelled within a span of a day or two and now its been 7 months that the last gig has happened and still we don’t have any clue when the gigs are going to come back.

Regarding releasing new music, I have been fortunate enough to sit at home and write new music in lockdown time. I have released two songs till now, one in May and the latest one in September with the next two in line up over the course of next 3 months. Overall I admit that the process of making songs has been slow with all the lockdown scenarios and less of creativity happening around me.

Indian Footprint

I strongly feel that the overall Independent scene is getting way better than it was earlier. Of course the pace is slow but slowly people have started listening to non Bollywood music. I feel pop is the closest genre to Bollywood tunes as Bollywood music is what gets consumed in our country compared to any other music and genre. People have started to show up at gigs in Numbers. The artists are doing their best to reach out to as many as people, connect with them. Compared to European and American scene, I don’t think we can actually compare the genre as the audience over there is completely different to what we have here. We are getting better year by year in every genre I feel.

On the Anvil

As I mentioned earlier, I have a couple of singles ready to release till December 2020. I have started working on my debut EP already. I am not sure if that will be an EP or an album but yes a release is going to happen next year with a couple of music videos for sure. As we all hope that vaccine comes out soon and things get back to normal sooner than we imagine. Till then I think I will keep releasing stuff digitally and will try to reach out to more people and connect to them through my so


Well, thank you once again for spending time with us, giving us valuable insight into your career. We wish you all the very best of luck in your endeavors. See you soon at a Concert

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