Mumbai raised me, San Francisco shaped me, Los Angeles made me.
I was born and raised amidst the chaos and commotion of Mumbai, India. My mind was set on working in the esoteric field of Astrophysics. Reconciling the burning existential questions I had through science, seemed like an enjoyable and deeply relevant pursuit. However, it was an unlikely choice, given that I was a horrible student. I stubbornly pressed on only to find myself thoroughly bored and ill equipped to deal with the coursework. In classic escapist fashion, I turned to movies. I would buy stacks of bootleg DVD’s from a notorious store in my neighborhood. They sorted the movies by “small” which were fims from the 2000’s, “medium” which were films from the 90’s and “large” which were films from the 70s and 80s. I slowly went through all the sizes.
I soon found myself in San Francisco for film school. I had never been to America and I was immediately thrust into the burgeoning underground music scene of the city. Coming from India, I was stunned, I couldn’t believe the madness that went on at these parties. Renegades on cliffs, raves in sketchy warehouses, on docks and in other generally murder friendly locations. Surprisingly no one was documenting any of this, so I decided to.
Soon juggling school with my new found clients was becoming difficult. I dropped out of school and setup a production company called “Motion Eccentrica.” Before I knew it, I was working with artists that I revered, making videos for them, going on tour all over America, the UK, Europe and to the biggest festivals in the world. In 2012 I went back to India for a break and was stunned to see all the same cultural markers that I saw in 2010 in America. The live music boom, the explosion, was coming and I wanted to be on the forefront. I decided to launch another company, “Oji”
where we would create concerts in India with the very same artists I did videos for in the US and the UK.
The plan was to use my video experience and lead with innovative content, to cut through the noise and establish ourselves quickly. “If you build it they will come” – Field of Dreams, kept me going. We went from a 300 person rave to a 10,000 person music festival headlined by Major Lazer within 2 years. We did Major Lazer’s first tour of India, a hard fought contract against the bigger players in the market. During this tour I simultaneously produced the music video for Lean On which has over 2.7 billion views to date.
Through Oji I gained a wealth of experience leading a team and steering a company. I did everything from working with top tier agents to book global talent, raised capital from VC’s and media companies like Viacom to execute large scale music festivals, raised sponsorship from global brands like Budweiser, In Bev, Ray Ban and Renault. Created strategic partnerships with for marketing initiatives with legacy and noveau media. Created and executed marketing plans, both ATL & BTL across multiple markets. As we grew I still continued to create most of Oji’s content, often directing and editing myself. I also managed to setup a partnership between Diplo & Bollywood legend Shah Rukh Khan and go 4X platinum without ever making a beat.
I’ve been lucky to have some very diverse experience in a variety of different markets and all of it informs my choices as a filmmaker, the most erratic and unpredictable profession of them all.