Guitar virtuoso PRASHANT ASWANI just wants you to listen to the music. And as you will soon discover, his music speaks volumes for itself.
In the studio and as a live musician, Prashant's voice on the guitar is one of a kind. Fans and fellow musicians alike seek him out in hopes of duplicating his technique and tone, but its winning combination is inimitable. Audiences are mesmerized by his unique groove and the skill, passion and spontaneity with which he plays. A guitarist of Prashant's caliber is a rare breed.
Prashant is about to prove with his latest release why he is truly a triple threat - as a player, a writer, and this time around, as a producer. His soon-to-be unveiled third CD, the aptly titled "Time", reflects the maturity and the authority of a musician who has come into his own. He has spent countless hours in the studio, writing and recording material for "Time", which he promises will be both an update of the jazz-influenced progressions and ethnic melodies that are his trademark, as well as a return to the hard-hitting, aggressive style that won him rave reviews when he first burst onto the scene in 1998.
Music, it seems, was inside of him from Day One. His father, an avid follower and sometime singer of classical Indian music, would play music and take him to concerts while he was still in his mother's womb. So it was only natural when Prashant picked up the tabla, an Indian percussion instrument, when he was 8 years old. "I loved it," he recalls of those days. "What kid doesn't love banging on drums? But I realized that I didn't understand music until I started studying it." Playing the tabla gave him an understanding of music and a solid sense of time and rhythm.
Prashant was bitten by the guitar bug when he was 11 years old, when he bought his first album, AC/DC's "Back In Black". Listening to Angus Young, Prashant knew then that he had to become a guitarist. At 13, he got his first guitar and spent the entire summer figuring out scales and playing AC/DC and Ozzy Osbourne songs. He never took lessons, but played everything by ear, imitating the sounds he heard on the radio.
After playing in bands all through high school, Prashant headed for the world-renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. It was during his time at Berklee that he first met guitarist Greg Howe, who became his producer on both "Revelation" and "Duality", his first two CDs. Prashant was so determined to take lessons from Howe that he would take a bus 8 hours to Howe's studio in Pennsylvania for a 4 hour lesson, then take the bus 8 hours back to school.
Prashant's first album, "Revelation", released in 1998, is a heavy, rhythmically aggressive set, a mix of Indian rhythms and memorable melodies. The album is hard core, raw but palatable, with the beginning qualities of sophistication. "I was young when I did this album," Prashant says. "Working on this record taught me how to structure my soloing and my compositions and even my life." "Revelation" was well-received by the guitar community, and the success of the album brought Prashant overseas. He moved to Italy and spent almost 2 years promoting his album and conducting guitar clinics all over Europe and Asia.
Following his stint in Italy, Prashant moved back to the U.S. to work on "Duality", his second album. It was released in 2000. His efforts this time yielded a more sophisticated sound - a fusion of jazz harmonies and Indian melodies, with a more progressive influence in the arrangements. "I really love the melodies on this album," Prashant says. "The energy and the emotion that went into those solos is nuts. I am blown away by the outcome."
With his reputation as a highly skilled, versatile guitarist, Prashant has spent much of his time since finishing "Duality" focused on broadening his already impressive repertoire. He has successfully played almost every genre of music imaginable, from mainstream rock, pop and soul to the more eclectic fare of the international music scene. Prashant has recently toured with a variety of recording artists - he completed a sold out tour of Japan with R&B songstress Christina Milian and performed at the Billboard Music Awards with pop idol Justin Timberlake and played on the albums of respected veteran musicians such as Howe and keyboardist Darrell Diaz. He's also traveled the world conducting guitar clinics on behalf of his endorsers, namely ESP Guitars, Framus Amps, Levy's Leathers, Seymour Duncan Pickups, and Dean Markley Strings.
Prashant has lent his chops, over the last couple of years alone, to nine albums worldwide, among them: Howe's latest two CD's, "Ascend" and "Hyperacuity"; Diaz's project, "Devotion", which also features jazz legend Herbie Hancock; a 2001 Jeff Beck tribute CD featuring other well-known guitarists; and an Indian fusion project with world-renowned bansuri (bamboo flute) player Ronu Majumdar.
Not missing a beat, Prashant now turns his attention to his next endeavor, the highly anticipated "Time". With two accomplished albums and a slew of other projects under his belt, what kind of inspiration can we draw from him this time around? "I put my heart and soul into 'Revelation'. 'Duality' is about blood, sweat and tears," he says. "The work and the motivation that's behind 'Time' is deeper than even that. Music is my world, it's the way in which I function. And when the music is right, the time is right."