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Does your art fit into a 9-5?

Is it possible to juggle a day job while keeping your dream alive? We get together with these young musicians who are keeping their passion intact in spite of a daily job

With its many responsibilities and chaotic nature, it's easy to get sucked into the unrelenting and almost ruthless corporate culture. Countless creative people settle for a day job in order to make a living and get the bills paid by the end of the month.

Location courtesy: Trikaya Pic/Ashish Rane
Location courtesy: Trikaya Pic/Ashish Rane 

Do you ditch the vicious 9 to 5 cycle of work to pursue your dreams or vice versa? Self expression often comes out in things we love the most, as long as you doggedly pursue the things that you are passionate about, you can find a way to make a full-time job work without giving up on your creative aspirations.

These talented musicians who come from diverse arenas of life tell us how that is not only feasible but can also be a fun-filled ride.

Ankur Tewari
Content head, Pepsi MTV Indies and singer-songwriter for band Ankur and the Ghalat Family
Ankur Tewari
Ankur Tewari is a man who wears many hats and flaunts them with full aplomb, his motto is- 'why not?' He writes and performs songs with his band, freelances as a screenplay writer for films, directs fiction and documentaries, and consults with Pepsi MTV Indies for content and strategy. Ask him why he doesn't choose to devote all his time and energy to his music and he says, "There are some Ideas that are best expressed through music but then there are ideas that deserve other forms. Why limit yourself with one sphere when you have so many ways to express yourself?"

Keeagan Pereira
Associate creative director and vocalist for Laxmi Bomb
Keeagan Pereira
Copywriter by profession and moonlighting as the vocalist of an electro pop act aka Laxmi Bomb, that has made quite a name for itself, Keegan Pereira has an interesting way of looking at his dual occupation. He says, "Think of me as one of those China-made mobile phones with two-sim cards. Each toggling back and forth, but answering just one call at a time!" Quiz him on how he divides his time between his band and work and he replies, "Both jobs are 9-5, except Laxmi Bomb is a night-shift. If my career were a relationship, I'd be this "non-committed" guy flirting with both of these wonderful women, swinging from one priority to another. The idea is simply, not to get caught…in the cross-fire!"

Anish Menon
CEO, TalentMetrix and guitarist, Blakc
Anish Menon

The popular band is firing some big guns and is all set to release it's third new album and the guitarist has a few pearls of wisdom to offer. "You need to have the brains and the heart, but most importantly, the belief and you will make it." His creative process entails working for 14 hours, sleeping for 6 and managing his music in the rest. Ask him why he doesn't pursue his love for music full time and he says, "My work started off as a duty to the family. But now the company is doing better and I believe it will have a lot of social impact."

Shiraz Bhattacharya
Ad film director and drummer for Pentagram
Shiraz Bhattacharya

For the drummer of mega successful band Pentagram that is often deemed as one of the pioneers of original Indian independent music, Shiraz Bhattacharya, the decision to start a band happened on a scooter. "I was 19 years old when I convinced Vishal Dadlani to start a band with me. I told him, you can sing well and I can play the drums. Let's start our own band." Quiz him on why the necessity to do a day job while being an important member of such a huge band and he says, "Unfortunately, a non Bollywood music career is still not financially viable in our country. So, music remains a passion and we perform at gigs purely for the love of music. I love what I do and that also happens to be my bread and butter."

Suprateek Chatterjee
Entertainment editor, Huffington Post, India and guitarist for Hologram 28
Suprateek Chatterjee

Even after working in a number of big publications and making a name for himself as a journalist, Suprateek Chatterjee ventured into the world of Indie music with full fervor and is now involved with his pet project Hologram 28, an electro pop collaboration with singer-songwriter Heather Andrews. His response to why he doesn't pursue a full time career in music is straightforward, "No money. The only real way to make money off music, independent music, at least, is to play gigs. But there aren't that many venues. You need to invest in gear and you need money to sustain it. Also, personally, I'm happy it's that way. I do enjoy writing a lot too." Ask him whether it's feasible for musicians to start a full-fledged career in music and he says, "Most musicians I know either double up as sessions musicians/vocalists or composers for the advertising and film industry. There's a lot of money there, but also a lot of compromise. But I know enough musicians who have struck a good balance between the two and are now living their dreams."

Prashant Shah
Animator and guitarist of the band Scribe
Prashant Shah

After developing an affinity towards playing the guitar in his adolescent years thanks to the influence of bands like Metallica, Prashant Shah started a band called Exhumation with another school friend. While working a day job at that time, he'd get by the tedious working hours with the hope of playing his beloved instrument in the night. Now a part of popular band Scribe he says, "To maintain the kind of life that my parents gave me, the only option in my opinion is Bollywood music or doing something that's popular and commercially acceptable. I decided early on that I didn't want to go down that path. Besides I feel very lucky that I have a day job that I love as much as music. Having a dual occupation keeps things fresh without getting too saturated."

R Venkatraman
Advertising and lead guitarist of Bhayanak Maut.
R Venkatraman

R Venkatraman, or Venky as he is popularly known says, "Being in a band has to be the most gruelling yet rewarding experiences one can have, and I thank the universal powers that be for allowing me to do that with some of the best musicians and full-time brothers." The uber gifted guitarist worked in advertising for over 9 years and worked for some big brands to earn his daily fill. "I end up multi-tasking a lot; I consult for communication projects, work with Aditi Mittal (stand-up comedienne) on sketches and IPs, design T-shirts, pursue music with all I've got and eat as much sea food as possible,"he says in his trademark style.

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