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Rock star by night, composer by day: Nipun Nair is making his mark in LA
Indian born Nipun Nair has taken his dreams of musical success in America and made them a reality, yet he is still connected to his roots.

Composer, musician, rock star; these titles don’t mean what they used to…and for those who were constricted by them, this is a very good thing. Critics and fans like to label artists. Danny Elfman was the frontman for Oingo Boingo long before his unique compositions ever graced a single film or the iconic Simpsons program.

Trent Reznor was creating synth laden songs for Nine Inch Nails long before his win for Best Original Score for The Social Network. Radiohead’s Thom Yorke has scored the upcoming remake of the 1977 horror classic Suspiria (set for release in Fall 2018). Needless to say, the “cool” factor that previously caused modern musicians to avoid composing outside a band setting has been eviscerated. You can still emote and be a sex symbol on the stage and massage your mainstream (or non-mainstream) compositions to complement other productions during the other 22 hours that you’re not parading around the stage.

LA musician Nipun Nair is following the course set by some of the aforementioned rock musicians but is doing so by presenting it in his own voice.

Nair is a fixture of the LA music scene. You might catch him at Resident DTLA with Groove Martini (or sharing the bill with acts like Hall & Oates in front of 10,000), in the studio recording with adventurous instrumental ensemble NOOP, performing at the Staples Center with Latin Rocker Anthony Cruz (with whom he has recorded some of Cruz’s biggest hits), onstage at Hotel Café with Brit-pop star Chesney Hawkes, or on a number of other high profile gigs, but writing has always been as important to Nair as the visceral experience of performing in front of audiences.

Before his LA prominence, Nipun grew up in India and in addition to a successful career as a member of a celebrated rock band, he also gained notoriety as a composer. The track that Nair created for Ibaco Ice Cream became synonymous with the brand. The popularity of the song insisted that it stay as a part of Ibaco’s identity but when they wanted to update it, they reached out to Nipun once again. He created a tropical/jungle vibe to his original composition for an exciting seasonal twist to last summer’s ad campaign.

Nipun also exercised his musical theater writing chops recently with a new production by India’s Little Theater. Having composed for this award-winning children’s theater group before (The Red Bean Can), Nair penned the music for their latest “The Garage Gang.” This musical play is a call to imagination for a young girl who eventually finds her creativity in her grandfather’s garage as she defeats the Demon King and is crowned the Queen of Imagination. From a phone call, a script, and his own imagination, Nipun created a musical journey that the Little Theater toured with to the delight of many in India and beyond. Nair utilizes the same skill set here in the US with the Theater of Will (sponsored by LADWP and under the tutelage of Director Willard Simms). Leaving no stone unturned, Nipun was also brought on as “World Music Liaison” for Epic Music, one of LA’s top music libraries.

With all of these gigs and credentials it seems that this composer/musician doesn’t have time to do anything but music. It’s a thought that he recently recognized as well.

Nipun concedes, “I’ve worked so hard my entire life because I felt so passionate about being the best that I could be and achieving my potential. I have immense respect for musicians and the work that it takes to become great. It always seemed that there was something for me to improve on. Just last year I found myself always working and stressed/guilty if I had free time. I paused for a moment and thought to myself, ‘What have I always been working towards? What did I want to be when I was a little kid?’ The answer has always been ‘A musician.’ In a moment of clarity, I stopped and looked around. Here I was in Los Angeles, working with and sharing the stage with amazing musicians, some of whom were the very ones who inspired me to play music. I realized, ‘Hey, wait a minute! I’m a musician!’ Since that day the very act of exploring music in all ways, the life of a musician and a composer, it’s full of more joy than ever before. Sometimes we just have to realize that we finally got what we always wanted and now is the time to enjoy it.”

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