CanvasRebel Interview: Meet Noshir Mody
We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Noshir Mody a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
CR: Noshir, thanks for joining us, excited to have you contributing your stories and insights. How did you learn to do what you do? Knowing what you know now, what could you have done to speed up your learning process? What skills do you think were most essential? What obstacles stood in the way of learning more?
NM: I’m a self-taught musician but that does not mean I locked myself in a room and one day emerged knowledgable and proficient. Rather, I would say that I accepted opportunities to learn from everywhere. From a very early age I deeply appreciated music which then became my passion and even though I went to school for engineering I pursued a parallel path of composing, performing and producing music because its process brought me great joy and satisfaction. It wasn’t an easy path but in hindsight it strengthened my resolve to find solutions to situations that seemed difficult and/or daunting. I put myself in performance situations knowing that I would initially struggle. I developed interpersonal skills and friendships that allowed me to receive meaningful feedback to close the gaps that existed in my musical abilities at the time. I also feel there are still plenty of opportunities for me to learn, grow and develop and that inspires me and keeps me grounded. This year I performed twice at Carnegie Hall and collaborated on some amazing albums that have received recognition at the highest levels, but none of this would have manifested if I hadn’t cut my teeth in coffee shops playing my guitar for anyone who would listen.
CR: As always, we appreciate you sharing your insights and we’ve got a few more questions for you, but before we get to all of that can you take a minute to introduce yourself and give our readers some of your back background and context?
NM: I am a Indian born composer, guitarist and producer and my mission is ‘To Save The World With Awesome Music’. I primarily function in the Jazz & Fusion genres though I’m proficient in a variety of styles. My priority as an artist is to serve the music. Being self-taught I’ve cultivated a unique sound that comprises of inventive ideas on picturesque sonic canvases that immerses listeners and takes them on a journey to ultimately inspire thought and action. I’m particularly proud of the fact that my music has manifested itself in an organic manner through my personal interactions with other artists, loved ones and my community. No gimmicks, shortcuts or quick wins for me – instead everything seems to have prepared itself on a slow flame and the music is better for it. I’ve recorded multiple albums, received critical acclaim and performed extensively everywhere from coffee shops to Carnegie Hall. This year I also had the privilege to perform on Masa Takumi’s album ‘Sakura’ that received the GRAMMY nomination for Best Global Music Album. I’m active on social platforms and would love to connect with listeners and artists from all over the world to promote values and causes that will make us and our world a more tolerant, accepting and loving environment where everyone is treated with fairness and decency.
CR: What do you find most rewarding about being a creative?
NM: Becoming an artist has allowed me to understand myself – what inspires me, motivates me and drives me to persevere. It has allowed me to understand that the pursuit of excellence is an iterative process where many unsuccessful attempts are integral to achieving a successful outcome. One just has to keep at it consistently and with a disciplined approach. Over time I have also grasped that wins and losses are only milestones on one’s path and for me the true contentment has been to take the journey – to keep learning and developing and making art that positively impacts people’s lives. This has been most rewarding for me
CR: Is there something you think non-creatives will struggle to understand about your journey as a creative? Maybe you can provide some insight – you never know who might benefit from the enlightenment.
NM: I believe we are all creatives even though traditional definitions typically separate the musician from the banker. Our culture and society dictates that creatives are typically emotional and volatile and the non-creatives are boring and dry. However this narrative of painting with a broad brush is a disservice to all of us as I’ve experienced many boring and dry musicians and similarly volatile and emotional bankers. The way I view it, we are all problem solvers working to eliminate obstacles in our paths and a variety of problems need to be solved to make us a thriving people. I believe what people may struggle with is how different another’s experience may be from their own, but this dialog of sharing our unique experiences is imperative to move us forward as a culture because the alternative groupthink is a proven path to the demise growth and development.
Mike Mullan, Livia Sa