About Prashant Pillai

Prashant Pillai is a music composer / music director and music producer from India.

Prashant Pillai’s distinguished musical career includes composing for film, television series, television commercials / advertisements, jingles, video games, musicals and concerts as well as his early years producing and engineering albums for recordings artists.

Renowned for his frenzied imagination, impeccable musicianship, complexity, versatility, child-like spirit, and fearlessness - Prashant’s eclectic, sombre, and experiential cinematic songs and scores have been the soul of popular films like Shaitan, City of God, Amen, Chandrettan Evideya, Double Barrel and Wazir.

Prashant has worked for some of the most iconic filmmakers of his times - Bejoy Nambiar, Lijo Jose Pellissery, Prakash Varma and Lal Jose.

His frequent collaborations with Bejoy Nambiar, Lijo Jose Pellissery and Siddarth Bharatan are always highly anticipated. 

Prashant has won 4 'Best Music Director' award for the score of Lijo Jose Pellissery's 'Amen' at the Asianet Film Awards, Vanita Film Awards etc and additional nominations for his works in MTV Rush, Chandrettan Evideya, Mosayile Kuthirameenukkal and more.

Asianet Awards 2014

Prashant Pillai receiving the Asianet Award from Remya Nambeesan

Laurel Award
AWARDS

16th Asianet Film Awards 2014
Best Music Director – Amen (2013)

TTK Prestige-Vanitha Film Awards 2014
Best Music Director – Amen (2013)

Minnale Movie Awards 2014
Best Music Director – Amen (2013)

Santosham Movie Awards 2014
Best Music Director – Amen (2013)

MUSICAL INFLUENCES

ray-charles-gustavo-niin-sawhney-ennio-moriccone

Inclined towards Jazz and Blues, Prashant’s repertoire spans a diverse range of musical styles and influences, while working with best musicians, directors and production houses.

A.R.Rahman's music was instrumental in him understanding and appreciating music.

But it was the music of Ray Charles, Ennio Morricone, Nitin Sawhney and Gustavo Santoallala that drew him closer to the nuances of songwriting and sonic design in songs and scores.

He loves drawing inspiration from the ever growing experimental indie music culture that's brewing around the world that cover's almost every genre you can think of.

Prashant is widely recognised for composing some of the most iconic scores, starting with Shaitan. Prashant created the distinctive musical signature for films like Nayakan, City of God, Nidra, Amen with a minimalist approach, combining massive ethnic Indian percussions, clarinets and woodwinds, and futuristic soundscapes.

FEATURED WORKS

Lucky Ali Prashant Pillai Dewarists

Prashant Pillai with Lucky Ali for Dewarists song - Khirama

His curated selection of music for television advertisements/commercials include the widely popular and viral ‘Kanna Keep Calm’ Jingle for Star Sports IPL and Vasan Eye Care commercials.

His works have been featured on Life Ok (Devon ke Dev Madadev), NDTV (Jai Jawan), AIB (Sachinocalypse), MTV (Rush), Star World (Dewarists), and Kappa TV (Preeti Pillai Project) amongst others.

THE START

Prashant learnt the Indian classical rhythm instrument, Tabla, for 8 years under Ajit Deshpande. He later got inclined towards music production and engineering on softwares like Hammerhead, Sound Forge and Fruity Loops.

His passion for music led him to a part time job as a Music Sales Executive at the iconic Music World store. It was here that Prashant was introduced to professional recording in their karaoke studio. Here, he went on to record over 300 classic karaoke songs for music lovers and became a self-taught rookie at sound recording and mixing.

Teaming up with friends, he went on to score for jingles commissioned by Doordarshan and independent production houses. He also scored Pune’s first ever ’The Wizard of Oz’ musical along with his school-mate Anirudh Gautam, for his alma mater - The St. Ursula High School.

Prashant Pillai and A.R.Rahman

Prashant with AR Rahman at Panchathan Studio, Chennai in 2003-4

An 2003-04 SAE (Chennai) sound engineering passout, Prashant started his career as an assistant sound engineer, with Oscar and Grammy winning music composer - A.R.Rahman.  

Along with sound engineer Emmy, Prashant was one of the initial team members to setup Rahman’s A.M.Studio in Chennai.

During this phase he was also involved in sampling the revered London Symphonic Orchestra for a Notion Music notation software project along with Yotam Agam and team for Virtuoso Works.

INTERNET MUSIC

Prashant was one of the very few from India to have his music listed online at the start of internet music revolution - much before myspace.com was launched.

His first band - Headroom was a stepping stone to his music career. His music was featured on download.com’s world music top ten charts and continued to remain in that list for over 5 years - peaking at position number 2. 

It was here that Bejoy Nambiar (Shaitan fame) heard the music and got him to work on his short film score ‘Rahu’.

The music featured his friends - K.S.Krishnan(singer-songwriter), Vipin Venugopalan(multi-instrumentalist, music producer) and his sister Preeti Pillai(singer-songwriter). 

FILM DEBUTS

Rahu was one of the most important films in Prashant’s career, for it was this film that led him not just into Bollywood, but also the Malayalam film industry. Lijo Pellissery and Bejoy were participants in the highly acclaimed Gateway show on Sony Pix.

It was here that Lijo got introduced to Prashant’s music through the score of Rahu.

Later on Lijo went on feature Prashant in all of his feature works, the same in case of Bejoy.

LIST OF PRASHANT’S DEBUTS

- Rahu - Short Film Debut (2008)
- Nayakan Malayalam (2010)
- ShaitanHindi (2011)
- DavidTamil / Telugu (Dubbed) (2013)
- Mamachya Gavala JauyaMarathi (2014)
- Andhra MessTamil (2014) 

PROMOTING INDIE, NEW, UP AND COMING ARTISTS

Known for his experimental soundscapes, Prashant prefers to work with mostly up and coming artists for his scores. He is the only music producer to have introduced more diverse indie artists through his soundtrack for films - a practice that he still follows.

mikey mccleary Shaitan debut

Mikey McCleary

A little less known fact, Prashant introduced cult music producer Mikey McCleary and his music to Bejoy Nambiar, who later collaborated with him for 2 songs for ‘Shaitan'. This was Mikey’s foray into Bollywood music.

Advaita band's debut with Wazir

Advaita

In early 2015, Prashant also introduced Bejoy to the music of Indian Fusion Band from Delhi - Advaita - who debuted their music on the soundtrack of ‘Wazir’.

Want to send in your demos? Send them over here. Let's collaborate!

SOME OF THE PRASHANT'S INDIE ARTISTS COLLABORATIONS -

K.S.Krishnan(Shoonya Nagari) 
Shriram Sampath(Filter Coffee)
Alok Kulkarni(Ash King)
Prakash Hariharan(Project Yuj)
Rajendra Vellury(Hariharan) 
Amrit Rao(Live Banned),
Arun Kamath (MTV Unplugged)
Sanjeev Thomas (Rainbow Bridge)
Lucky Ali
Prakash Sontakke(Prakash Sontakke Group)
Govind Menon(Thaikuddam Bridge)
Harish Sivaramkrishnan(Agam)
Shravan Sridhar(Sapta)
Alexis D’souza(Alexis)
Siddarth Gautam(Opposite Sex)
Frijo Franics(Frijo’s Not Yet Jazz and Dr. L Subramaniam)
Vivek Santosh(Vivek Santosh Trio)
Vasudev Prabhu(By2Blues)
Mahesh B Raghunandan(Mahesh and the Mix)

He also promotes talents to scale and go mainstream. He has mentored his music assistants, amongst whom Charan Raj(known for Godhi Banna Sadharna Mykattu) and Sankar Sharma(known for Darvinte Parinamam), have gone on to make careers as full-time music directors.

FUTURE SOUNDS

With his uncanny musical approach, that’s coupled with conceptual and progressive uses of technology and recording, Prashant is a true blue avant-garde music director.

He is one of a handful of composers with an active career in film and television, across film industries that covers Bollywood, Kollywood, Mollywood, Tollywood and Marathi Film Industry. He has also been featured in two international films as a music composer.

Prashant’s score displays the hallmarks of an organic, journey-isque sophisticated narrative and constantly explores new and deep musical territories.

RADIO

Prashant Pillai at Big FM Studio's in 2006

Prashant started as a sound engineer and peaked as a Programming and Station Head during his stint with Red FM(Sun Network), Radio City(Music Broadcast Pvt Ltd.) and BIG FM(Reliance - Anil Ambani). He helped them setup and operate profit churning radio stations during the phase 2 of FM Radio Launch in Chennai, Pune, Nagpur, Ahmednagar, Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, and more.

Trained by some of the best brains in radio like Andrew Crothers, Keith Fowler, Ravi Iyer, Binoy Joseph, to name a few, Prashant went on to win accolades and awards for his Radio productions.

Prashant later went on to share his expertise in audio production and creative content management. He trained sound engineers, radio jockeys, content/promo producers, programming and station heads during his stint with these networks and continues to train radio enthusiasts across India as a consultant and coach.

ENTREPRENEUR

A dilettante entrepreneur, Prashant constantly experiments with his new business ideas.

Gary Vaynerchuck Quote

Gary Vaynerchuck

Constantly hustling and trying new things,  Prashant under his media company, Madras Blues, successfully launched - a co-working company, a Fresh Fruit and Cream Cake delivery, a property search website), an event listing magazine and more recently  WOW Fest(Wellness Festival in Bangalore), and FutureBourn(a social media marketing venture).

Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuck, Tim Ferriss, Pat Flynn are some of the genius entrepreneurs Prashant looks upto.

He loves the era the world is transcending into, and is contributing to it's surge in his own small ways. 

WRITER

Prashant is most happiest when he writes music and writes about things that matter to him the most - life, music, family and business.

His self published book as an author is a motivational, self help book called 'These Simple Things'.

He takes inspiration from his favourite thinkers and writers - Sidney Sheldon, Paul Coelho, Woody Allen, Sir Ken Robinson, Tina Fey, Ariana Huffington, to name a few.

His writings can be found on Blogger, WordPress, Medium and on his official blog here.

Ken Robinson on education

Sir Ken Robinson

Come, be a part of Prashant's monthly Book Club, where he curates a list of exceptional books. Sign Up here.

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