5 Minutes With: Warren 1284723'Souza
24 March 2015
This interview has been a while coming.
We’ve profiled a number of people essential to the industry in the past, from more obvious musicians and label owners to promoters, venues, and festival coordinators. That roster, however, felt a little incomplete without Warren D’Souza - founder of SOUND.COM, Gearhouse Sessions, and an unabashed audiophile.
As a music focused organization, pretty much everything eventually boils down to one thing - sound. Simple vibration, in any of its forms, is an imperative element of our daily existence and we wouldn’t be here right now if we didn’t have a deep love and connection to it.
It’s a feeling that D’Souza has understood since he was a child. By the late 90s he tuned into his calling and launched what is now widely acknowledged as the foremost sound rental company in India – SOUND.COM, as well as a concert property called GearHouse Sessions.
India has its share of sound rental organisations but none quite like SOUND.COM, which in the 16 years of its running has developed a formidable reputation for professional ethics and uncompromising quality like no other existing company. They’ve powered every format of event you can think of – from music festivals to sporting events and award shows, SOUND.COM has done it all, and done it well.
Apart from powering the 2012 Commonwealth Games in India, for which the company is most widely known for, SOUND.COM also managed to keep the palace intact at both seasons of Magnetic Fields Festival at Alsisar Mahal in Rajasthan.
We got in touch with SOUND.COM’s boss man and unwavering sound nerd, Warren D’Souza, to find out more about his company, passion for the science behind sound and affinity for old school rock n’ roll.
How did you decide to get involved with sound?
My dad was into sound and although our ideologies did not meet and we went separate ways, my window to this industry came from him.
Did you ever want to become a musician? What instrument would you have played if you pursued it?
I started learning violin and in a weeks time I knew I wasn’t cut for that, and then I thought it would be cool to learn guitar and I barely had the patience to learn. But sub-consciously my mind inclined me towards sound.
Dream band you would want to handle sound for? Dream festival you would want to work with?
AC/DC no doubt or any old school rock n’ roll band. Festivals I cant say, I am not for big gatherings or big ticket festivals, I like boutique festivals, smaller communities, being there in the first years and growing with them, see them grow. It gives me immense satisfaction.
What speaker system do you use at home?
I come home to silence, the last thing I want to do when I get home is listen to a pair of loudspeakers.
What for you is the best sound system in the world?
There isn’t really a best sound system but I can say that the top tier companies are Adamson, JBL & LAcoustics.
Biggest event you and your team ever handled?
The Commonwealth Games 2010 Opening & Closing Ceremonies.
You handle an array of events. What are your favourite kind of events to work?
I love sporting events especially ceremonies as it has a combination of protocol events that have to sound distinct and intelligible mixed with cultural events where the entire experience has to be cinematic and lastly following into musical events that have to have an experience that can be only witnessed in a stadium and putting all this together into a broadcast mix is the ultimate challenge.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen someone do backstage?
Not knowing how to get on stage when ones name is called.
If you could learn any language on earth fluently what would it be?
If you could go back in time and advise your younger self in 1998, what would you say?
Learn the business of economics simultaneously while you chase your dreams.
Describe yourself in 5 words.
Sound Guy For A Lifetime.
The Same Three Questions
3 most inspirational artists?
Famous Four, Bob Dylan & Jimi Hendrix
3 favourite albums of all time?
Dark Side Of The Moon, Court & Spark & Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band
Favourite 3 artists at the moment?
Beyoncé, Taylor Swift & Ed Sheeran