Job Kurian Talks on Being an Indie Musician in Kerala


Job Kurian gets engrossed in conversation in an interview he gave to “The Cue Studio” as he talks about his music journey.

When asked whether he is bothered about the impact his songs have on people’s lives, he said that what he believes is that songs that are able to make an impact and connect with him have the ability to connect with his listeners too. He says that it usually works and that there are instances where it does not work too. His songs are mostly personal, and he is happy that they are able to make an impact in people’s lives.

When queried about his perspective on the freedom that he enjoys as an independent music composer, he replies that there are no limits to an independent musician. Indie music is a form of art that is created out of freedom. Every artist has a different motivation behind his art. My inspiration is my life. The aim is to emote what you feel inside to the listeners. But no indie artist is completely independent as they have to depend on their colleagues and technicians. But the concept of the term – “independent music” is – “one which has no restrictions and no conditions to its creation”.

“In a sense, it is a beautiful challenge. It could have more definitions, but this is what I think and believe”- he said.

When asked if he tries to stand emotionally detached after a song is released, he responds by saying that he tries to stand detached. But he gets re-attached after a song comes back to him once the hype fades away. He also says that he can’t stand to hear the song again for a certain period of time due to a particular fatigue that every artist experiences after hearing their song a thousand times during the production and post-production process. He mentions that he feels blessed to be an independent musician who is able to release songs without many constraints. There will always be financial technical and temporal constraints in releasing a work. An artist can never be completely satisfied with the work that they create. There is always a struggle to make it better. Sometimes an artist has to compete with themselves to stop perfecting at a point where they have to let go and finally release the work.

His wife Athira and Friends like Rex Vijayan assure and gives him the confidence to release the work he might be struggling with perfecting.

His response to the question about the financial struggles that he had faced in the process of evolving from a reality show contestant to a successful artist was that – “As an engineering graduate, it was extremely hard for me to let go of everything that was familiar to me and take the decision to make music my career”. Luckily his family was a huge support system. However, he wanted to make it on his own without depending on his parents. He got the chance to do small concerts. “I guess my passion and drive for music helped me channel all the energy to achieve what I always dreamt of”- he says. He also says that he could not have reached anywhere if it were not for his friends who were the pillars of strength in the most difficult points in his career, lending him money to invest in his career endless times, without expecting anything in return.

He goes on to say that if there is a producer, there will surely be external influences and suggestions and that he cannot take any external suggestions or alterations into account and change his music.

“I prefer to produce my works as I could take all the creative freedom I need. I never ask people to produce my songs. I am not comfortable with the burden of financial expectations affecting my creative ability. Recently, I did a song for Mathrubhumi where I got the complete creative freedom that I wanted. I can only strive if there is complete creative freedom”- he states boldly.

He spent his income and savings mostly on his career so that he can guarantee a stable and secure career for himself. He is generally very slow and well-planned in his creative process.

When queried about whether he enjoys the uncertainty and anticipation associated with the release or not he responds that it definitely includes a load of anxiety and tension. However, the acceptance that you receive is an ecstatic feeling. He says that there is no higher level of happiness than that to him.

To the question of How he managed to find a market for “Thaalam” at a time when the internet was just starting to get prominent, he replies that it was pure teenage drive and fire that existed in all 3 of them – Charan and Yakzen and me that made it all possible.

“It was indeed a risk that we took at that age. It was a give-or-take situation. We had nothing to lose. We approached many businesspeople to fund the project, but nobody cared to help. Alas, it was Manorama music who agreed to fund us after hearing our music”- Job excitedly recollects.

Then he goes on to say that it was the best reach, remuneration and support that they could get at that time. His father always believed in him and now when he looks back, he feels blessed to have received such valuable advice from his father at the right time.

To the interviewer’s question – “In your generation, cassettes were the major music sources. How did they contribute to and influence your personal style?”, he replies that they used to utilize each cassette they got to the maximum. He used to hear a song endless time as he had to wait for a new song to get released. He and his friends enjoyed dissecting every aspect of it, from the lyrics, the instruments used, the sounds used, and so on.

“In a way, it helped me to learn music. It was my cousin who was a hardcore music lover who introduced me to the pop genre. Until then, I used to believe that Yesudas and Carnatic music was the epitome of pure music, everything else was not music. The major pop stars of that time were Michael Jackson Celine Dion, Apache and so on” – says Job Kurian.

He talks about his 3-decade bond with the veteran Malayalam actor – Nedumudi Venu and his experience with him when Venu sang “Iruthalapakshi” for him. Job gets emotional as he recollects the memories with him. Venu who is the father of Unni Venu, job’s best friend, was like a father figure to him and he says that the pain he felt upon his death is inexpressible.

He talks about the people and moments which made his life memorable. The acceptance and love that he receives now are beyond contemplation and he happily states that he is indeed one who enjoys all the genuine interactions with people who recognize his art. He ends the talk by stating that he has no regrets in his music journey and that he is happy to have produced music that has touched people’s hearts.

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