Yashraj Mukhate, a name that has transcended the boundaries of innovation and musical ingenuity, has captured the hearts of millions across the globe. Known for his extraordinary talent in transforming ordinary moments into captivating melodies, Yashraj has become a household name synonymous with creativity in the world of music.
He recently started a new venture and unveiled his very first original track, “Rasmalai,” presented under his own label, YM Originals. With this release, Yashraj embarks on a new chapter in his career, showcasing his versatility as an artist and his ability to craft music that resonates with the deepest of emotions. In an exclusive interview with Deccan Chronicle, Yashraj Mukhate talks about his new venture and recently released single, ‘Rasmalai’.
Can you tell us about the inspiration behind this track and what it means to you personally? People usually relate only as a dessert, never thinking of making a song on it. However, they’ve used it, you know, in some songs for a moment, but never really dedicated a song to it. So how did it happen?
First of all, thank you so much for having me. It’s great to be on Deccan Chronicle. So, this I anyway have a very fascination for food in general as a subject. I am a foodie. I love to eat different kinds of foods and dessert. Deserts happen to be one of the most interesting part of my of my relationship with food and Rasmalai is that one dessert which I genuinely feel that it’s like the coldness, the softness, the rust of it. It’s just very enjoyable to me. It was just one day I just had a very spicy lunch and someone offered me a bowl of Rasmalai. And the moment I took that first bite after a very spicy lunch, it just did something in my brain, I felt like there had to be a way in which I should be able to capture this feeling in an audio track. So that is when I thought, “What if I make a song that when you hear the song, it should feel like you’re consuming Rasmalai and it has to be sweet. It has to be soft, it has to be soft and you feel you should feel like it’s calming. So that was the initial idea of for the song and I just followed that and I and I and I made the first riff of the song and then started composing the music and I realized that this song could be that one song which is a love letter from my side to my most favorite dessert Rasmalai. So, that was the initiation of the idea.
What made you decide to transition, make videos through this transition and you know, create original contents from existing videos and contents?
It was something that I usually used to do anyway, because basically manipulating with different kinds of sounds. And right now also I have this tic tac dub I hear I’m just playing it just experimenting with the sound just to generate a new beat using different kinds of sounds. So, I used to do that right from the start. I have used broomstick sound, I have used chamach ka sound, I have used jeera ka dabba, I have used a paper crushing sound in my audios. So basically manipulating with different kinds of sounds is what I really used to enjoy. And I still do. So, dialogues and getting something from the internet and getting something which is slightly funny was also one of those things. What if I can make something musical with something which is not related to music at all and then turn it into a track. So, I found that idea very interesting and the dialogue thing was also one of those experiments which successfully went ahead and people liked it.
Rasmalai seems to capture a unique blend of emotions and nostalgia. How do you go about translating everyday moments into musical compositions?
So as I said, the one part was initially also I had made a song called Tinka Tinka Barsa which was I felt that when the first rain happens after a very long time, the smell of the soil, I thought that what if I just capture this emotion, this feeling into a soundtrack. So basically the kinds of emotion I’m feeling, I should be able to capture it into a… Like we take a photo. So if you see very good scenery, you just take a picture. So, in that process, the camera is the tool. So, in my process, I think if I make something which is audible and if you hear it, you should So, in my process, I think if I make something which is audible and if you hear it, you should be able to transform to that scenario. So, that was the idea. So, the Rasmalai, this rain song is all parts of the emotions converting one emotion into a mp3 track. That is the idea.
“Rasmalai,” is presented under your own label, Yashraj Music Originals. What motivated you to take this path and what are your goals for the label?
So, having a label is one thing that was very clear because what happens is for individual artists and independent artists like me, usually what happens is they make a song and then they sell it to a label or a big established label because the established labels have a very huge distribution system. So when you sell your song to an established label, they can distribute your songs to a number of platforms. They can distribute it. Your song will reach more people. That is the idea. But I thought about the kind of songs that I’m making and in the last few years, I have built an audience for myself and I have a small distribution system of myself. I have my own audience and there is no middleman in it. If I make something and put it on my channel, it will directly reach the audience. So I thought having my own label is more comfortable because then I don’t have to cater to the label or sell my song to a label and I can directly be in contact with my own audience and I find that more comfortable and convenient. So having a label of my own really made sense in this scenario for the kind of song I’ll be making next. So under this label, there are going to be different kinds of songs. This Rasmalai happens to be one of the first songs which has come out and really done well, but I have released songs before that also from 2018 I have been making independent songs. So there are going to be different kinds of songs on this label. So I don’t want it to sound a certain way. It will have a certain sense of once you understand the soundscape of the entire label, you will be able to make out the key it’s visible. But I don’t want to keep the genre the same. The genre will be different from all the songs and I’ll try to make the song bank as diverse as possible.
How would you have done differently with the intro music of Jawan?
I couldn’t do it better than Anirudh. I loved the entire King Khan track. I loved it. And Anirudh is ruling right now. I think there’s nobody who can touch what he’s doing right now. So, I totally loved it. I don’t think I’ll be able to do it better than him.
How has your online presence and fan base influenced your musical journey and does it affect your decisions?
I try that in my creative process so that it shouldn’t affect when I’m making something. I purely try to stick to the original idea of the track. So the YM Originals is pretty much that because in that sense I am not when I’m making a YM Originals song I’m not catering to the mass audience or I am just trying to be as honest as possible to the track I am making and trying to convey the emotion. So, there, I don’t think of how long the song should be, or how small the song should be. I just make it as the song is flowing and the composition is flowing. Whereas, it comes to the social media content that I make, there I have to cater to a certain kind of audience which is consuming the content on a certain platform so, that the platform has some there are those are not rules but those are just some things that you have to keep in mind so that the social media content reaches to more number of people like keeping the hook or the people you have to attract people in the first three seconds. You can’t let them scroll away. The audio should be clear. The video has to be vertically short. It has to be it has to have some hook value and some kind of repeat value to the reel It has to be it has to have some hook value and some kind of repeat value to the reel so that once they see the real…and some kind of repeat value to the reel so that once they see the reel they should at least watch it thrice or four times before scrolling to the next one. So, these are certain things that I think of when I make the social media content but, while making the YM Originals songs I try not to think of all these things and make the song as honestly as possible. There are certain things that I definitely keep in mind while making the song. So, it kind of influences a little bit of my decisions, but not much.
What are the challenges that you faced on your journey to becoming a successful musician and a content creator? And how have you overcome them?
So, the initial challenge is to, now the challenge is still on, the struggle which happens is mostly that I was very fortunate that practical problems like parents not allowing or parents wanting me to do something else was not there because my parents were already interested in what I was doing. So, they were more than encouraging in what I wanted to do. So, that major problem was not there right from the start. Now, the main struggle was to get good at the craft. Having all the access to the equipment doesn’t make you a good craftsman. But I have not had formal training in music because, by education, I’m an engineer. So by the time I was doing my polytechnic in engineering, I didn’t get time to learn music formally. So, all the things I know about music, everything about social media is through the internet and I’ve learned through the internet and practice on the internet by putting out content and getting feedback from people. So the process of getting better at what I do and failing at it was the only struggle that I had and I still do because there is no fixed path to this. I had no one to tell me what is right or wrong. So, I had to just practice practice, practice, practice and just come to a point where I could think that, initially the basic goal was to get an audio track made without having noise in it because I used to record on an analog system and there was a lot of noise used to come. So the initial days, I just struggled to get the audio track as clean as possible because it couldn’t happen. So I did not know that what they do in the films and albums, they record it on a digital system. That is why there is no noise on it. I didn’t know which software they used to use. So I had to do some jugaad and put it in my Windows PC and then record it. So the struggle which happened over a period of time just to learn the craft and get it as close as possible as right as possible and it still happens now right now from the last two to three years I have been trying to compose songs. Composing a melody is an underrated craft. People don’t realize that it’s not as easy as they show it in the interviews and as the music director says, ‘ki ek din main betha tha coffee shop mein and I suddenly got a tune in my head and I made the song’. It is not that easy. I realize that’s a lot and a lot of practice that goes into making a good melody that will stay in people’s mind and heart. So the struggle is just to get things right and it’s still on. I think it will still, it will always be on. So I’m into that process and I’ll always be in that process.
Can you recall a moment that you know, when you realize, okay, this has gone viral. Which one do you think it was?
Yeah, I think it was ‘Rasode Mein Kaun Tha’ for sure because it was the first video that suddenly, within a day I had crossed 1 lakh followers. I was at 8, 7 or 8,000 followers on the day before I put the video. Next day I had 1 lakh and every day it was growing by 1 lakh. My Instagram subscribers on YouTube started growing at twice the speed of Instagram. So, within a month I had crossed 1 million subscribers on Youtube, 9 lakh followers on Instagram. And that just went on happening because it was the first one. Then I put ‘The Beginni Shoot’. Then I put out ‘Tuada Kutta Tommy Sada Kutta Kutta’! Then I put ‘pawry ho rhi hai’. So it was in a streak and people used to just keep sharing it and the followers were increasing constantly. And the graph on the I get an insight of the Instagram inside where they show how much growth you have had in the last few days. So, it had crossed some like 4000% of growth suddenly. So, it was crazy. So, I think ‘Rasode Mein Kaun Tha’ was that one video which made it happen.
How do you think music has the power to connect people from different backgrounds?
I think sound, people who can hear things will always connect to music because I read a very interesting thing somewhere. I didn’t read that I used to go to do Riyaz to Guruji here in Aurangabad. Just for a few days I went just to ‘sur lagane jaata tha wahan’. And then I went and he explained to me a very interesting thing about human anatomy and music. He gave a very nice relationship. He told me that when you want to make a baby sleep, what you do is you tap his back in a particular rhythm. That is because you want him to feel like he is in the womb again and you want it to sleep and make him feel safe because when he is in the womb he is listening to the heartbeat of the mother. So, that is the heartbeat. If you do not put it in rhythm, the baby will not sleep. He’ll get disturbed if you do this. It has to be rhythm. So, rhythm is connected to our anatomy so closely that rhythm and music is there right from before our birth. So, it has that value to it. So whenever you listen to something which is pleasing to your ears, automatically you are going to connect to it. You hear the sound of rain and there are just 4 hours of videos on YouTube which are just sounds of rain and people put it on and go to sleep. So any sound which will please your ears, I think you will immediately be able to emotionally connect to that object or person. So, I think that the very core level music connection is there to our human anatomy and that is what makes it very relatable I think.
Earlier you mentioned you have done your engineering. You think it somehow helps you in music?
Absolutely 100 percent. I did not used to think like that before because I thought I was wasting time doing engineering. But as I’m moving on and I’m learning new things, I have seen people who don’t understand and have not done engineering who don’t have a technical background. They find it slightly difficult to cope up with the technical things here in music production, because I have had a technician with a very strong technical education. It is slightly easier for me to understand the background at the back end of the things I am doing. If there is a lag in my software, I know why it’s happening. If there is some noise, I know why it’s happening. This connection, the impedance matching of my speakers, the placement of my speakers, very small, small little, little things, the delay which is happening when I am recording a track, why is it happening and what are the flaws. It’s really easy to understand because I’ve had an engineering background and also engineering helps you to think in a certain way. Problem solving gets better and it teaches you how to think and not what to think. So, ‘how to’ can apply to multiple things. So, I think that is one of the things that really has helped me.
What can we expect from Yashraj Mukhate in terms of future projects both in terms of music and content creation?
I think content creation will keep on happening because I’ll make funny and entertaining stuff on my social media. I’m very clear about that because that is what that works. I can’t do very serious stuff. People don’t care. People don’t watch it. People don’t want any more serious stuff in their life. They want to have fun and I’ll give that on social media and I also enjoy doing social media content. So that will definitely happen on social media. Why I’m original is there where original songs are going to come where I’ll be collaborating with other artists. One song is already ready. So I think it might come. I don’t know when but as soon as I finish the video recording and everything that is there. There are some projects that are lined up which I have delivered and I have done my work. Now, they are shooting it and I don’t know when it will come out but I think mostly probably this year only they will put it out. So I am really excited that one of the projects is very interesting so I am not allowed to talk about it much but that is there. And then the brand works. I am really enjoying making jingles for brands. So I do brand work but there also I try to make original music and not take any dialogue or something. So making jingles for brands is something that I’m really enjoying because it is short. There is a context to it. There is a product that I have to sell in those 30-40 seconds. So, it’s slightly challenging also and I’m enjoying that challenge. So yeah, so multiple things and I hope people like all of the things that they have like my dialogue mashup videos also.