Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I grew up in the music industry, as my cousins are the multimillion-selling record producers Simon and Diamond Duggal, and another cousin is the reggae artist Apache Indian. Diamond is also known as DJ Swami, and when I was 16, I joined his band, Swami. The first album we did together was “DesiRock”, which led to a deal with Sony Records and ended up being a huge smash. We toured the world several times and followed up with the albums “Equalize” and “53431” on Virgin/EMI Records. Most recently, we did the album “Upgrade”. I’m currently working on my new project, The Violet Reality, which has already turned into a successful YouTube channel and blog, and we hope to release original music soon. 2020 has been really great for us in spite of the pandemic, with over 500,000 views on the channel this year. And, our Swami song “Hey Hey” is currently featured in the hit Netflix show, “Indian Matchmaking” which is presently in the Global Netflix Top 10, and has even hit #1 in some countries, so that’s been awesome!
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started doing this?
Around the time we did the Swami album “Equalize”, we were asked to headline a stage at Glastonbury Festival, which is the biggest music festival in the UK. What we didn’t know until just before the festival started was that The Guardian newspaper had listed us in the “Top 5 Acts To See” at the entire festival (which has thousands of acts performing) alongside the likes of MIA, Arctic Monkeys, and the late great Amy Winehouse. That was an incredible show!
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
There’s a trend towards being hyper-productive in this day and age, but it’s important to take time for yourself. As creatives and songwriters, we need to be inspired, and inspiration comes from reflection and inner peace. Burn out won’t help you write a hit song, in my experience!
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
The person who has helped me the most is definitely my cousin and bandmate in the Swami group, Diamond Duggal (DJ Swami). Not only is he an extremely skilled producer, musician, and songwriter, but he had already achieved huge success in the music business before I’d ever written a song, so he knows the business inside out, the pitfalls to avoid, and how to help artists progress. When I started out, I was just a vocalist. One day he told me that longevity in the music business comes from having lots of different skills, not just doing one thing. Since then, I started songwriting, producing, DJing, learned graphic and video design, and much more. I’ve even designed some of the merchandise we sold on tour and arranged the physical manufacturing of merchandise. The more skills you have in the music business, the better!
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I’m committed to healing the planet and supporting animal rights, so because of that, I’ve been vegan for 11 years, way before veganism was as popular a movement as it is today. Multiple people have told me they’ve become vegan, or at the least, stopped eating as many animal products because of my guidance. So I feel like I’m doing my part to help the planet in that way!
Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?
My favorite artists of all time are Prince and Michael Jackson, and they’ve inspired me in so many different ways. Michael once said “Study the greats and become greater” and that’s what I try to do every day. And Prince once said the aim of his music was to “affect people inside their bodies” – that visceral, gut feeling when you hear amazing music has the power to change the world, I truly believe that.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
I’m @CaseyRain on Twitter and Instagram, and our YouTube channel is youtube.com/thevioletreality.