It’s safe to say, that the Lost Stories’ version of Alan Walker’s popular song ‘Faded’ became as prominent as the original, after the duo Prayag Mehta and Rishab Joshi launched their unconventional interpretation of it a year ago. Lost Stories rose to fame after they revived leading chart-busters by artists like Tiësto, One Republic, and created equally exciting alternatives of it. As contradicting as their personalities may be, their work is a blend of 2 musically inclined individuals who bring a lot of diversity to the table. The disc jockeys became a digital sensation when their cover of Justin Bieber’s song ‘Sorry’ with Armaan Malik earned them over a million views on Youtube. The crowd pullers have performed at music’s biggest and wildly celebrated festivals like Tomorrowland (Belgium), Mysteryland (Netherlands), Marenostrum Music Festival (Spain), Sunburn Music Festival (India), Supersonic (India). The new-age artists secured the 52nd spot in the top 100 poll for the DJ Mag in 2016. The power performers released their first ever original track, ‘Paradise’ last year and have pleasantly surprised the evolving music lovers in India. In a recent tête-à-tête, the founders of Lost Stories spoke at length about their immense admiration for veteran artist A.R Rahman and the importance of quality music in today’s time.
[Q] How lost stories came about? And what was the idea behind it?
“I met Prayag on the internet. Before that, I was making some music on my own. I wasn’t sure of his style, but then I heard he was killing it on the International scene. All the big Dj’s were playing his tracks, so I found him online on some website, and I hit him up, and I asked him if he wanted to make music together. He heard my music and liked it, and that’s how we formed Lost Stories.”
[Q] What has been your biggest inspiration?
“We grew up listening to a lot of Bollywood artists – we have been highly inspired by folk singers, and a lot of musicians in India such as A.R Rahman, Amit Trivedi. We were also inspired by artists from our field, like Porter Robinson, F. Manso, so we tried incorporating a lot of Indian and western elements right from the beginning.”
[Q] Was becoming a musician always on your mind, or was it by accident?
Prayag – “It happened by accident, I broke my left wrist and I was on complete bed rest for 6 months, and that’s how I stumbled upon this music software called frooty loops, this was 10-15 years ago. I don’t have a musical background.”
Rishab – “For me it was different, I grew up listening to music. My dad was a musician – he was always into music technology and would bring home new devices which fascinated me. I was conditioned the right way. I knew I wanted to do something with music, but the thought of doing dance music only happened after I met Prayag.”
[Q] What do you think is the biggest challenge for aspiring musicians out there?
Rishab – “There is not just one challenge; firstly, to sound original is highly underrated. People don’t know that if they cut through the noise, they can be on the top. We have an academy called the Lost Stories Academy, and the first thing we tell them is that you need to sound different from the other producer. All of you cannot sound like Martin Garrix – there cannot be another Martin Garrix.”
Prayag – “I think, also in the technical side in India people lack the knowledge of music business. I think it plays a vital role in your growth as an artist. The students we cater to, they really don’t know the difference between a music producer and a label per say, there needs to be more clarity.”
[Q] Did you guys learn music professionally or was it something you learnt on your own?
“No, we learnt it on our own. We did read the manuals back in the days.”
[Q] With singers showcasing their talents on YouTube, what do you think about these platforms?
“Everything is good in moderation. These days Internet being free, people have started to upload anything and everything, behind which, the good music gets lost. It’s great for indie musicians who don’t want to approach a label.”
[Q] What has been your biggest achievement so far?
Rishab – “playing at Tomorowland, we did it when not a lot of producers from India were performing there. Being ahead of the curve is what we’ve always looked forward to.”
Prayag – “Getting signed by Black Hole, that’s how we started and that’s how we earned recognition. Apart from that, playing at Global Citizen alongside Cold Play, Tomorrowland, Mysteryland and a lot of other elite clubs have been our major achievements.”
[Q] Who do you look up to for musical and creative inspiration and what has been the biggest influence in the sound and soul of music?
“There are different aspects to music, the emotional connect is very important. You don’t need fancy studios, you can write songs in your mom’s basement and it will still connect with people. Hence, I always go back to folk music. I truly believe folk music was and never will be written to sell, it always has more soul. When it comes to image and the look there’s Zoo, Alan Walker, Odessa. When it comes to sound its Diplo, Skrillex, we have divided our inspirations.”
[Q] How is your process of creating and ranging a song?
“I think what is really important is having a live experience, which will translate into a song. Life experiences are important to start with, have an inspiration; it does not have to be in front of you, it can be something that inspired you a long time ago.”
[Q] How has music enriched your personal life?
Rishab – “Growing up I was a super shy and timid, I still am. I wouldn’t do things out of my comfort zone, music has taken that away. I am a changed man now.”
Prayag – “music has taken away our stage fear – we have played at multiple festivals and clubs. Although, we are still shy and that hasn’t changed.”
[Q] What’s something interesting people don’t know about your music?
“All the music we made until now was made on a little laptop or in a dull room. A lot of our music was made on the flight. I absolutely love when people notice the details we put hours into.”
[Q] Tell us something no one knows about you?
Rishab – “I have played at Navaratri as a musician. I was one of those guys who played for 300 bucks.”
Prayag – “I have cleared my first level of CA, I think I have cleared my second level too, I never went back to check it.”