Following the release of a musically epic and conceptually unique Those American Eyes, we caught up with multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Shauvik Sharan, AKA Flyght Club, to find out more about the music, his journey so far as an artist, and his plans for the future. Here’s the conversation in full.
* * *
Hi Shauvik / Flyght Club, congrats on the new release – and thanks for the interview! For those who don’t know, how would you personally describe the music you make?
Hey! Thanks a lot for having me, I’m super excited to see what the listeners think of the song.
If I were to describe my music, I’d say I try to bring forth the concept of extreme versatility. Every song I make caters to a different set of audience and mood. If I make an upbeat pop track, the next song could be a heavy rock track or a rap song. I try to make it so that me as an artist cannot be classified into any one specific genre.
My main goal is that no matter what style of music you like or what emotions you’re feeling, you will find at least one song in my catalogue that you will be able connect to.
When did Flyght Club begin, why this band name, and do you personally arrange each track or is it more of a collaborative effort?
Contrary to the common first impression that the name ‘Flyght Club’ creates, it’s actually not a band or a group but my solo contemporary music project. All the songs are written, produced, mixed and mastered and most of the instruments are also played by me unless I wish to experiment with uncommon instruments in which case I bring in my talented musician friends to help out.
The name ‘Flyght Club’ represents a concept that I hold very close to me. Basically, anybody who dares to dream big and is ready to give everything they’ve got in order to achieve it is part of the ‘flyght club’ as well as everybody who supports the vision and wants to see the dreamers succeed. The goal is to create an ever-motivating community and grow together and that’s the concept behind the name ‘Flyght Club’
Those American Eyes takes a notably poetic approach to song-writing, offering double meanings and a broader, somewhat political undertone. What inspired you to write this, and what do you hope people take away from it?
Having struggled in Los Angeles as a music artist for the last 5 years, I’ve encountered a lot of talented musicians like myself trying to achieve the same dream. Some got a break, many others couldn’t. Lack of work, exploration, and logistic issues caused them to give up on their dream.
I wanted to bring forth not just the struggle of a music artist but also as an immigrant trying to get by while trying to achieve the great American dream. In order to subtly yet effectively portray this theme through my song, I decided to personify America as a woman and sing to her as I’m hooked onto her enticing charms and strive to hold on as I try to court her.
Do you think it’s important for artists to tackle the bigger topics in their music, or is it just something that weaves its way into your writing due to the emotional impact of the times?
I feel what topic someone wants to write about is entirely their call as songwriters. The best part of song writing is getting out whatever you’re feeling. A heartbreak, a moment of happiness, intense feelings of love for someone or a social message; song writing offers the opportunity to pour any or all of the emotions, thoughts and experiences into a song. These feelings are then identified by listeners who then find it easy to connect to the song and make it their own. So I’d say it’s important for artists to stay true to their emotion when turning them into songs, irrespective of what the song is about.
The musicianship is superb on the new single. Are you musically trained, and who or what first inspired you to pick up the guitar?
Thank you so much. Yes, I’ve been playing the guitar since I was 14 years old. I remember, as a kid, I used to constantly keep listening to the 70s rock artists day and night, trying to learn their songs on the guitar. I was in complete awe of the uniqueness in their sounds and the versatility in their music catalog, which played a major role in influencing the philosophy of making music that I follow today.
Artists like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Eric Clapton helped me build a strong foundation in music. I later started using what I’d learnt and developing my skills in electronic music production and more modern sound-design tools, which led to me creating the music I create today.
Given the extended track length, is this a common approach for you, or do you just let the music decide how long the journey will be?
I always let the song tell me how long it wants to go on for. When creating music, I tend to think of it as a listener journey rather than just a song. The song either needs to start off somewhere then take the listener to places and let the listeners explore the soundscapes or keep the listener completely hooked at one place for a short while which is the case in most popular music. I try to make both kinds of music and so the approach to making each song changes.
For Those American Eyes I wanted to create a deep and vast sound exploration where the listeners start off at a mellow acoustic vibe, then travel to a psychedelic rock style with all the instruments dropping in, then into a heavy rock soundscape with distorted guitars driving the section and then into a trippy progressive abode of electronic elements fused with sitars, synths, and vocoder layers until it drops right back into a heavy riff rock feel for the grand finale and ends the journey with listeners wanting to go on the ride a second time.
To successfully execute this and make the transitions and the flow smooth I found a length of just under 7 minutes worked perfectly.
Is there a longer project on the way, and if so – what can we expect from that?
Nothing concrete as of now. Since my songs are so diverse and different from each other, I find it best to market them individually as singles so they reach the right people and audience. Since the single release and marketing plan is doing well for me, I’m gonna keep going on with that. But who knows, with all the music I am sitting on and my increased desperation to share the songs with everybody, I wouldn’t be surprised if I eventually gravitate towards dropping an EP or maybe even an album. But as of now, there’s nothing finalized.
Do you have plans to tour with the whole band as and when things open up again, and what have you missed the most about live performance this past year?
I’m desperately waiting for things to start opening up again and the live music scene getting back to where it was. As good as sharing my music on streaming platforms and receiving feedback from listeners is, it’s not the same as the intimate connection you feel and the feedback and audience response you get while playing a live show.
Looking at the people in the audience vibe to your songs, having them come up to you after the show and build a relationship with you over your music is definitely the best part of being a recording and performing music artist. Having someone come up to you after a show and say “Hey, your songs are beautiful and made my night” is the greatest form of appreciation that you can receive as a music artist and the level of motivation it provides helps you push further and work even harder on your art.
So yeah, I can’t wait till things open and me and my band can start playing shows and touring.
What’s the best piece of advice you were ever given as an artist?
Back in 2017, I had the opportunity of meeting Rob Halford of Judas Priest. He told me that the single most important thing I’d have to learn was to look past all the failures and come back stronger. He said that in the path to becoming a successful music artist, I’d try a lot of things, take on a lot of opportunities and fail at 90% of those, not seeing results as good as I’d want.
The important thing would be to look past the failures and keep trying to achieve your game with the same amount of passion and persistence. I’ve kept that advice in my mind at all times and try to adhere to it as much as I can.
What’s the best thing fans can do to support you right now?
The best thing anybody who wants to support can do right now is to listen to and share the songs as many times and with as many people as possible and to follow me on social media. Helping grow and expand my audience will be the greatest way to support and help me sustain myself as a music artist and be able to keep doing what I am.
Is there anything else we should know?
Yes! My next single Olivia drops on the 30th of March and I’m super excited to release that and see what the audience reaction and feedback will be on that. It’s very different from Those American Eyes in terms of structure, melody and style and so I’m curious to see how that song will do.
But till then I hope everyone keeps playing Those American Eyes and enjoys the journey to its fullest. People can follow me on my Instagram at @flyghtclub_ to stay updated on all my latest releases and activities. Thanks once again for having me! Hope everyone stays safe!
A massive thank you to you too!
* * *
Download or stream Those American Eyes here. Check out Flyght Club on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram or visit their Website.