You might not have heard of award-winning commercial composer Ravi Krishnaswami, but you have likely heard his music in your favorite TV shows and video games. Ravi joins Making Ways to talk about creating tunes for Super Bowl commercials and best-selling video games, his challenges in college, and his first steps into the music industry. Along the way, Ravi shares the passions that fuel his creativity, like his songwriting as a solo artist, performing in The Smiths tribute band The Sons & Heirs, and mentoring students in music composition at Vermont College of Fine Arts.
“One thing I tell my students is to stay open to new opportunities even if they don’t seem like a good fit for their skillset, because you never know what you are good at until you try.”– Ravi Krishnaswami
Ravi Krishnaswami is an award-winning composer and songwriter for media and games. Ravi is creative director, lead composer, and founding partner (along with his longtime producer Jason Menkes) at COPILOT, where he creates music for ads and interactive media for clients such as Visa, Verizon, and the World Wildlife Fund. He also composes for the gaming world; his credits include Fallout 3, Dishonored, Wolfenstein, Tetris, and BattleCry. Previously, he worked at advertising-focused music production studio Sacred Noise for over 10 years, where he scored national spots for major brands like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, GE, Pfizer, Volvo, and Cadillac. Ravi is a member of the music composition faculty at Vermont College of Fine Arts. He recently released his debut solo album, Gemini, and is a founding member of the highly acclaimed The Smiths and Morrissey tribute act The Sons & Heirs. Ravi studied poetry, ethnomusicology, film music, and electronic music composition at the University of Virginia. He lives in Connecticut with his wife, daughter, and rescue dog.
When Ravi Krishnaswami isn’t scoring best-selling video games or earworm-worthy TV jingles with his partner Jason Menkes at COPILOT, he’s off making music fans happy as part of the acclaimed The Smiths and Morrissey tribute act The Sons & Heirs or recording as a solo artist. (He just released his debut solo album, Gemini, under the moniker Hybird.) But that’s not all. Sure, Ravi has his hands full with his client projects and solo passions, but when I sat down with him for my podcast Making Ways, all about the unexpected paths to a creative career, he let me in on one of his favorite professional activities in life: mentoring. Ravi has made mentoring a part of his creative career framework as a faculty member of the music composition faculty at Vermont College of Fine Arts, where he gets to help “mold [MFA] composers and pass along some of the wisdom he’s learned over the years” about scoring for media and songwriting.