What I love the most about singing, songwriting, and music is that I can write down my thoughts, my fears, and my dreams. You go through a trance of studying your own thoughts and how they’ve affected us in one way or another. I also adore jamming with a band, and let me assure you that it is the best stress relievers I have ever had. Most of the songs that I’ve written are based on real-life experiences, in one shape or another. Some are based on my closest friends, but they really haven’t decoded them yet – I think I’ll tell them when I’m hopefully famous!
My name is Nikhil Alexander. I’m a Business Analyst and a part-time musician. I’m a native of India, but I’m currently based in Galway, Ireland.
I’ve been in IT for the past 3.5 years. My dad caught on early into the tech industry, which directly inspired me to do the same; I’ve been in the field of computers for a while. I believe working for one of the top Fortune 5 companies really pushed me to make a slight change in my career; I used to be in Quality Assurance for 3 years. Working directly with stakeholders and product leads intrigued me to move into a more analytical and managerial role. Hence, the Masters in Business Analytics in Ireland really pushed my boundaries to explore various possibilities in the field. I look forward to landing a project in product management and analytics soon. That being said, many of my friends think I should be in marketing!
A good chunk of my early years was based in the United States; I grew up there for around 12 years. My dad was transferred continuously every 2-3 years within the country. My dad was offered to move to Australia and Japan, which did not make complete sense at the time. So, we made the decision to settle in India. I moved to India during my high school years. Now, you can literally hear my accent constantly swinging both ways – it’s fun.
After I completed my Bachelor’s in computer science, I was hired immediately for a role in QA. The need for more in my profession found Ireland a suitable location to pursue my Master’s studies. I completed my course last July, and have been a Business/Product Analyst in Galway ever since.
Outside of my job, I love music. Music goes back to when I was in elementary school. I grew up listening to classic rock and country music. I was initially a drummer when I first started out. A close friend of mine was going out for drum classes – I thought I needed a hobby to pick up, so I joined along. Fast forward to college, and I’ve been playing and competing all over the country with multiple bands. This was a time where I slowly transitioned to taking up other instruments, and I also caught hold of my mom’s guitar. By then, I was experienced in guitar, bass, and singing. I was always a different instrumentalist for a band, but I never fully mastered one instrument.
Pursuing music as a career seemed to be frowned upon by a lot of people, including my parents. When I got my first job, I still wanted to pursue music, but time was a limitation. I used to rush to pubs after work to play solo acoustic performances. I must say, it wasn’t easy rushing through traffic after work hours, but it was worth it.
I sometimes sang in choirs during my childhood, which developed over time. I started practicing singing on my own during college. I won’t say it didn’t affect my studies, but it was totally worth it in the end. During my final year, I won multiple singer/songwriter competitions in India. Funnily enough, a good chunk of the people who know me thought I left my IT job to pursue music. All in all, I taught myself all instruments and singing (apart from drums). I currently play Guitar, Drums, and Bass.
I’m a huge metal head, but the songs I write are mostly acoustic folk. I usually write down the melody first – I’m more comfortable laying down a pitch and tempo before I write my music. I usually create a simple chord progression, which I lthen ay down my lyrics. I build upon the instrumentals from then on.
Playing music helped me stand out in one way or another. I was surrounded by nerds for so long, but I was clearly not a nerd – I was always “that music guy”. I won’t lie, I kind of liked it. One of the best things I’ve done in my music career was when I started a music club during college, where I held the role of President for 4 years in a small city called Mangalore in India.
My experiences with music allow me to meet people with different tastes and personalities from all around. It’s such a fresh experience to see different twists on a song we all love. You get to improve as a musician, make brilliant friends, and maybe even meet famous musicians. It’s all a really fruitful experience.
There’s so much uncertainty at the moment with the Covid pandemic, but I do have plans to release an album this year or in 2022.
I see a few similarities between my technical and music career – looking at objects in a different light to uncover new things is something that has certainly applied to both.
In this fast-paced environment, the most important tip I can give any techie/musician out there is ‘PRACTICE’ – a very crucial element to mastering any talent. A good chunk of people tend to ignore the hassles that come along with learning something new. Taking it slowly and one day at a time will always do you good in the long run, and you’ll get there soon. I still have a really long way to go.
There is always more than tech. I believe to break the monotony that exists in everyday work, sharing new talent with one another develops personality, and makes you known to the world in a new light.