We had the good fortune of connecting with Mangal Suvarnan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mangal, what do you attribute your success to?
Success is a relative term for me. I’ve had so much failure in my journey, I’m almost used to it right now, which is something not a lot of people see. There’s a lot of rejection in the industry I’m in, and over the years I’ve learnt to take in my stride. I’ve had so many goals and milestones I’ve wanted to hit by the time I’m 30, and I’m no where close to it. But from an outsider’s perspective, a million plays on a streaming platform, is in fact, success. I’d like to call it “small wins”. A small victory that proves as a bona fide marker of the fact that you are, indeed, moving forward. I put my entire being towards achieving these small wins. This way, every step forward is euphoric, and celebrated with my friends and family.
Now here’s the other part of the mantra that goes hand in hand with the small wins. And it sounds super cliche, but hear me out:
NEVER give up. It’s one of the biggest factors for me growing up when it came to anything, be it competitive, or just creative. Half your battle is in your mindset, when you KNOW that you’re not going to give up on something, your vision is quite clear on the task. And even if things don’t work out, hey at least you know deep down that you’ve given it you’re all, and it’s just not meant to be. This was taught to me by a mentor of mine, and it made letting the losses slide a LOT easier.
Consistency, and persistence is key. I’ve had to send a new song to Armada (electronic music label) every month for atleast 3 years straight before I got my first record signed to the label. When they see that you don’t give up, they will let you in. (And of course, my music got SO MUCH better through the process)
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I’m a music producer, singer-songwriter and instrumentalist, and I LOVE to make all kinds of music! I’ve had the fortune to collaborate with some of the biggest names in Dance music. Laidback Luke, and just recently, Grammy nominated artist – BT.
How did I get here.. It started off in an office where I was interning, I didn’t have too much work to do, and I felt that spending time on Youtube, or secretly gaming wasn’t a good use of my time. I dug through my documents, and discovered that I had this software called “FL Studio Demo”. I was like ‘hmm.. sounds interesting”, proceeded to make my first ever beat on there, and man, it was the most satisfying feeling I’ve EVER felt. 10 years later, here we are, having this conversation! But from that moment till right now, was the most craziest journey I’ve ever had in my life. I’ve had the opportunity to meet some of the most talented artists ever, and even had the chance to work with a handful of them. In fact, I was blessed to meet my wife during this very same journey. If it wasn’t for my music, I would’ve NEVER met her. So crazy how one small moment in your life can change your path forever.
Throughout my journey, there were some incredible highs, and some incredible lows too. I’ve learnt a great deal on the artform of music making. There’s a real science behind it, especially when it comes to sound engineering your masterpiece. And of course, trying to bend the rules behind the science. Initially, my journey was all about never giving up. Every time I’m faced with a challenge, I wouldn’t sleep until I got on the other side of it, successfully. And it worked. It cost me dearly in terms of time, but I always learnt from it. And that’s exactly what I did at least for the last nine years. With every song, I’m faced with a new challenge, and in solving that challenge, I learn something valuable. Funnily enough though, this year, I’m finally learning another skill which is completely the opposite of what I said. It’s the art of letting go. There’s been a few cases in the last few months where I’ve tried EVERYTHING, and it just doesn’t work out. And letting go of it just seems to be the only solution for it to work! It’s been a weird year for all of us, and I learnt that letting go isn’t so bad sometimes.
I’m excited to let the world know that I’m working on a full length feature film based in India (Tamil)! I’m collaborating with an extremely talented friend and music director – Shashwath Sunil Kumar. This is a new venture for me, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with director Sugeeth, and the star of the movie, Narain. We’ve completed three songs as of now, and we’re currently working on the background score of the film. I simply CANNOT wait to share what Shash and I have in store for everyone!
Other than that, there are a couple of records lined up, filled with fresh sounds, ready to rock when the time is right!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There are so many spots out in LA that I’d love to mention here! There’s the regular touristy stuff, (Griffith Observatory, loads of small spots in DTLA, NOT the Hollywood Strip) but one spot just comes to mind – Tacos Tu Madre. This cornerstore is one of my favorite spots to eat. It’s at 1824 N Vermont Ave (Los Feliz), and you MUST order their Spicy friend chicken burrito. That really hits the SPOT. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to shout out a few people on here, who’ve helped me out:
The master himself. I can remember the first time I met him so clearly. Thank you for taking the time to listen to my demo 8 years ago, and responding to me as well. You literally gave me the reason to believe in myself as a musician, and your wisdom has given me wings. Working with you was such a pleasure, and quite frankly, I still feel the chills when I see my name next to yours in our record together. I look forward to meeting you every chance I get.
Thank you so much for considering me as a part of your grand vision. I remember a few years ago, collaborating with you was just a pipe dream. To see it happen in real life was a kids dream come true. Thank you for all the sage advice you’ve given me when I was in a tough spot. I hold that conversation dearly, and I cant wait to meet you again.
Brother, I grew up listening to your stuff man! It’s so cool to have a legend like you as a mentor, and it’s even cooler to know that I can call you a bro/ friend/ homie. Someone from the inside, some one know who knows the secret sauce to the industry, and someone who will make sure I get wasted every time we meet. So glad to have our paths cross this lifetime. Looking forward to much more music with you my dude!
Being a dreamer’s parent is such a nightmare. The logistics of it, seeing your son go through such treacherous waters just to materialize a dream that’s so far fetched. This isn’t an easy task. But you did, and you continue to do so. You believed in me at times when you really shouldn’t’ve (my music sounded TERRIBLE in the beginning). You are the OG’s to have seen my journey from day 1. Thank you.
Homegirl, where do I begin. The foundation of our relationship was solely thanks to our love for music. If there was one thing I am grateful for from my music, it was to find you. You’ve been an absolute rock from the day I met you. My biggest supporter, my biggest critic, and the partner of my dreams to join me in our journey, all while creating beautiful memories along the way. I couldn’t’ve asked for more. Glad to have a singer/ songwriter with me for life! I love you.