Nikhil Paralikar, Musician and Tabla Artist, recently joined NewsX for a candid chat as part of NewsX Influencer A-List. Recognised for excellence in music, Nikhil spoke exclusively to NewsX about his love for Tabla, various aspects of being a content creator in the digital space and much more. Read excerpts:

Talking about being a digital media ambassador for Bahubali, Nikhil said, “My role in this project was to make an official Tabla version of the Sahore Bahubali track, the Telugu version of the track. Doing this was very difficult, yet I had a lot of thrill and joy covering this track. Being an influencer or being on the digital content creator side, when it comes to Sahore Bahubali track, was to tell people how this track can sound with Tabla. Once you listen to Sahore Bahubali track, it is a beautiful track. To collaborate with it using my Tabla, was a very beautiful feeling.”

On being asked about finishing the entire recording in one sitting, he added, “Yes, I was at studio for this track. I thought of my guru and my parents before starting. I closed my eyes for 5 minutes. I heard the track for 5 minutes and I just like ‘Let’s do it’. I started and finished the track in one take. I did not stop till I finished the entire track.”

Reflecting on his journey and association with the Tabla, he shared, “I started learning Tabla at the age of 5, all thanks to my mother, my father and my guru, who encouraged me and pushed me towards playing the Tabla. Somewhere down the line, they knew that I would probably be good at it. It is because of their blessings that I am doing what I am doing today. I was advised by a lot of people to take up drums, Octa Pad, congo or wong or the vessel instruments but I did not go for it. As my classical training started, I started to develop this interest towards Tabla, because of its technicalities and the interesting compositions that we have. It built my interest even more towards Tabla and I did not leave it after that.”

Speaking about the business side of being a full-time digital content creator and a Tabla artist, especially amid the pandemic, Nikhil said, “Before the pandemic, I used to earn from gigs. At that time, the brand deals also used to come in via digital, but now, in this field, it is all about the brand deals. I personally do not enjoy doing the live shows on any Zoom call because the feeling of having around 500-1000 people live in front of you, is different from what we would have on Zoom or any other platform. That used to be my major source of income and now it is the brand deals through digital media.”

Elaborating more on the aspect of brand deals, he added, “If we are collaborating with a brand, I either have to cover one of their tracks or I have to put it as a post or story on my Instagram or on YouTube.”