Ashwin Sriram (Astra) is a 17-year-old Producer/Guitarist based in Bangalore, India. Dance music caught his attention at the age of 14 after hearing artists like Swedish House Mafia, and Martin Garrix. Inspired he started composing his own music on Logic Pro X. In 2017, he released his debut single ‘Sunset Runaway’ which combined his uplifting chord sequences, shimmering guitar solos, and the distinct voice of his friend Tarang Joseph. With over 25000 YouTube streams from @Thrilling Music and support from the legend, Tom Swoon in his live set at the Fiesta de San Mateo, the song has become an international success. The three successors, ‘Fade Into Me’, ‘Forgiven’ and ‘Under The Stars’ have also gotten support from DJ’s all across the world. With many big collaborations and solos in the works, 2018 is going to be huge so definitely keep a look out for new releases!
Check out Astra’s track and interview below.
1.)What inspired you to produce EDM?
When I was around 14 years old, I had started getting interested in the EDM and more specifically Swedish House Mafia. I became obsessed with the crazy energy in their tracks and how they had meaning behind their songs which were something kind of rare in the EDM scene. I still get goosebumps when I hear Greyhound and Don’t You Worry Child and their return to the EDM scene really gives me hope as a producer.
2) Why did you specifically governed progressive house?
Progressive House is a genre that I can connect to best. It had the emotional breakdowns, euphoric vocals, and uplifting drops. What I really love about it is that the focus on a progressive track is the song itself rather than the complexity of the sound design and fx.
3) What was your reaction owing to be supported live by leading progressive producer Tom Swoon?
It really took me by surprise, in fact, I think my neighbors could probably attest to that as well! I was just so happy when I watched the video and couldn’t believe that he had played it in front of so many people. I think the best thing about this experience was that It gave me hope. I had been facing a lot of rejections by labels for this song and had lost a bit of confidence in myself but when I saw this, It inspired me to work hard on finishing all the unfinished projects I had almost given up on.
4) Who do you consider as your idol and why?
I would have to go with KSHMR. I really love the music he’s been putting out and everything else he’s done to give back to the community. I think what really makes him my idol is his personality. He’s a really genuine artist and does everything he can to help producers get better, whether it’s the tutorials he’s been uploading or the incredible sample packs. Another thing about him that I really admire is how he has made a perfect blend of dance music and his Indian roots. He’s only going to get bigger and I’m excited about the upcoming releases on his label Dharma Worldwide.
5) What inspired you as a producer & what tip can you to the upcoming producers?
The biggest tip I could offer to upcoming producers is to try and find your own style. A lot of producers nowadays try to imitate others and follow the trends. Instead of doing that, try and find a particular niché and work really hard at developing it to perfection. I have been a guitarist for about 7 years now and try my best to incorporate guitar solos into all my songs to give it an organic touch. What really helps in finding your own style is to listen to different genres of music and try and draw inspiration from them. I’m a huge fan of classic rock and modern jazz and in my upcoming songs, you might hear some of these influences 🙂
6) How was Astra born?
It all started with Sunset Runaway and I had learned everything I could about sound design and Logic Pro to be able to recreate the vision I had in my head. From then on, it was just hard work and a lot learning from YouTube channels as well as getting feedback from different producers and friends. Fun fact: The name Astra is actually an anagram for ‘A star’, which is what my name Ashwin means in Sanskrit!
7) What are your future goals & aspirations?
I have many short-term goals for this year and the biggest one right now is to sign on Revealed Recordings. It’s been a dream for me for the past 4 years and I really hope it comes true! Apart from that, I would also like to explore new genres of music and continue playing with my classic rock band ‘Fleeting Glimpse’. My biggest aspiration is to perform at Tomorrowland and also start my own record label which can support talented musicians of different genres.
8)Top 5 best plugins according to you?
Spire, Fab Filter – Saturn, Guitar Rig, Camel Crusher, Kickstart
9) Rapid Fire Round –
Pizza or Pasta? Pizza
Biggest fear? My physics finals
Phone or Television? Phone
Soundcloud or Youtube? Youtube
Netflix & chill or Trip to an island? A trip to an Island
Clubs or Festivals? Festivals