Happily Ever After
Electronica duo Lost Stories has big plans for their fledgling enterprise
When Prayag Mehta and Rishab Joshi first started collaborating they little knew that their love for progressive trance would land them a deal with DJ Tiesto’s label Black Hole Records. Their single ”˜False Promises’ was signed on to the label in January this year and subsequently promoted and marketed all over the world. The surprising part is that Joshi and Mehta managed this seemingly impossible feat within a year of teaming-up as Lost Stories. “When we started, all we wanted was to get support from big artists. It was great if our tracks were played somewhere, forget about getting signed on to a label,” says Mehta.
What started as an online project led to the creation of False Promises, the track that got them international recognition. ”˜False Promises’ started off as an online project between Joshi and Mehta. For this duo though, working together wasn’t exactly instant karma. ““It was not like we got it in the first click. We worked on a couple of tunes that didn’t work out. But ultimately ”˜False Promises’ is what we both liked,” says Joshi. Mehta also confesses that it wasn’t always easy. “Rishab’s style of music was a little different from mine. He used to produce fast BPM tracks while I made more progressive music. Earlier we found it difficult to collaborate but when we started working together we knew each other better.”
The duo also comes from very diverse backgrounds. 18-year-old Joshi is pursuing a BSc degree and is a trained keyboardist like his musician father. Unlike most teenagers, he gets considerable encouragement from his father but he mentions that their tastes differ widely. “I do not musically gel with my father. He is into folk music while I prefer more progressive music,” he shrugs. On the other hand, Mehta is a 22-year-old commerce graduate currently pursuing a degree in sound engineering. Mehta was also one of the first Indian DJs to find a position on Tiesto’s playlist. “Being playlisted by DJ Tiesto was a big thing. This inspired us. We saw that such things could really happen” says Joshi. Prior to Lost Stories the duo had individual releases on Tuhin Mehta’s record label Brutal by Birth, but it was ”˜False Promises’ that really put them on the map. Even world-renowned trance DJ Armin van Buuren acknowledged their work by playing their track as the tune of the week on his acclaimed radio show A State of Trance. They also received considerable acclaim from electronica artists like Ferry Corsten, Above and Beyond, Andy Moor, The Thrillseekers and Mr Sam.
The duo’s love for progressive dance music is clearly evident in their compositions. “It takes years to develop a distinctive sound. But luckily for us we found our sound quickly,” says a confident Joshi. Their music mixes catchy melodies with rich overtones and the right amount of breaks and grinding beats, displaying a knack for grooves with a commercial hook. Probe the reason for their success and they attribute it to extensive research and online networking. Getting signed by the biggest Dutch label definitely earns them brownie points. But what about the live act? Lost Stories has little experience on that front. When questioned, Joshi says rather whimsically, “We are not planning to spin CDs. We would love to put up an act with live musicians. But it really takes time putting together a live set.” Though they seem skeptical about live shows they are constantly churning out newer tracks at their studio. Mehta explains, “For the time being we are getting many requests for guest mixes for different radio shows. Once we get time off production we definitely will perform.” They also claim to not go to too many gigs but they appreciate the work of the MIDIval Punditz, Jalabee Cartel and DJ Pearl in the Indian electronica circuit.
The duo is currently working on two remixes: one an Andy Moor/Lange track and the other a collaboration with 19-year-old wunderkind Mat Zo. So are they looking at a long and prolific career in music? “When you know you are putting down the foundations of a whole new genre you need a vision. It takes a while. So yes we are looking at it as a career,” says Joshi sagely.