Friday, June 19, 2020

The Brigade that Builds Brands: Teesta Galway, an Air Force wife & singer-songwriter and guitarist on carving out a successful career as an independent musician

Hello friends! 'The Brigade that Builds Brands' #thebrigadethatbuildsbrands has another fabulous guest today. Meet Teesta Galway, an Air Force wife Rockstar (literally). She is a professional musician - a singer, songwriter and guitarist, and is here with some solid inspiration for any military wife, who aspires to follow an out-of-the-box career independently. Let's dive into this interview and get ready to be Inspired!

Teesta Galway performing at a fund raising music show
Teesta Galway - Musician & Air Force wife
Note: So, after more thought, we've decided to keep The Brigade that Builds Brands exclusive to Fauji wives. Military wives, who carve out interesting careers on the solo need + deserve to have a special niche of their own. But because, we're just as passionate about Women Entrepreneurs, especially mompreneurs who launch micro brands from home or bring about a change with their venture, we're launching a "sister series" called 'Ladies Who Launch'. We'll be publishing the first interview in this series soon. Stay tuned :).

CB. Please tell us something about yourself – what do you do, where are you based and how long have you been a fauji/military wife. 

TG. I 'm Teesta Galway, born and brought up in Shillong. I belong to the Assamese community and am currently based in Delhi. I got married in the summer of 1994, while I was in Jorhat for my higher studies and my husband happened to be posted there. So that makes it 26 years of marriage almost. 

CB. What has been your business or creative journey been like: how & when did you start your venture? 

TG. I 'm a professional singer- songwriter and a guitarist, with around 15 years of experience in the industry. With an early start, I played my first stage show with a live band aged merely 8 years old. It’s been a rough and tremulous road for me as a woman in music and I’ve had to nurture my talent and reinvent myself on my own accord. And unfortunately, I can’t say that I had been able to benefit off of the exposure that social media could have given me back in the day. Networking and finding work had proven to be a formidable challenge. I had no other option but to conjure up an iron will and venture out in a solitary state as music has always been my calling. 

Teesta Galway at a music show
Teesta Galway - singer, songwriter & guitarist

My journey as a musician has been great so far. I 've been a resident musician in some of the biggest five stars in Delhi, been on the drive time radio shows in two of Delhi's biggest FM channels Hit 95 FM and radio one 94.3 FM, been featured by the Hindustan Times and played in major events like the Wills Lifestyle Fashion Week ,the Lakmé Fashion Week and The Torque Festival (to name a few). I’ve also played at the most happening music venues like the Hard Rock Cafe and The Blue Frog.

Being a musician performing solo and with a band has given me the option to play in varied setups and venues. 


CB. Fauji wives make their home in an assortment of obscure places across the country. Our lives are about living in the moment and doing what we can, when we can. Can you share how you stayed creative or found work that satisfied you while moving across the country? 

TG. To begin with, I was lucky that I didn’t have to move places. Our first posting was in Agra and we stayed there for 11 years. That was where my kids were born, and there after my husband was posted to Shillong which was my hometown. Followed by which we moved to Delhi and I decided to stay put here with the kids. My husband was then posted to various places across the country while I managed to look after our kids and carry on with my work. This was essential as I am in a business where the scope of finding regular work is limited to metropolitans and also the kind of music I play further limits the employability. 

Teesta Galway performing with her guitar
"A little discipline has helped me tremendously."
CB. How do you juggle that load of social commitments & welfare activities + postings and stints of solo parenting that are an integral part of the fauji lifestyle, while nurturing your passions and meeting work deadlines? 

TG. I think a large aspect of it has been the fact that my job isn’t your average run of the mill nine to five, and I’ve always preferred to work on my own terms. That, and a little discipline has helped me tremendously. 

CB. As a creative/entrepreneur + fauji wife, is there something that you cherish very much about being part of this community? And is there something you feel must/can change for the better? 

TG. A very admirable aspect of being a part of this community is that you are looked after, no matter what. And that, I think is a pretty genuine face of the fauji community. People are always ready to help unconditionally which is extraordinary for this time and age. Also since we are all from, more or less, the same economic background, nobody harbours any judgement to the other. Ours is not a pretentious community, these are real simple hard working men and women living one day at a time, and teaching their kids the same values. 

I feel that we have room to grow and learn by focusing less on rigidity and incorporate more divergent thinking. 

Teesta Galway performing at a music show in a restaurant
"It all comes down to your take on life and how important being independent means to you."

CB. What tips would you give to fauji wives out there who’d like to pursue a career in your field while living at small and busy bases (many still believe or led to believe that you can either be a fauji wife or a professional, and that’s not true)? 

TG. Well, entertainment is a field where, like I mentioned earlier, the avenues are limited. Presuming that, someone wants to continue in the same field and keep changing base then a switch from live entertainment to audio production can definately be an option. One would need to set up a small home studio and maybe do a course on audio production. Engagement with production houses would be ideal as then an effort to mature into a composer can be made. But of course for those who are into the Indian music scene it’s a slightly easier ride in our country, but the abundant competition isn’t to be repudiated. So it all comes down to your take on life and how important being independent means to you. 

Thank you for answering these questions!  

STAY TUNED for my new Ebook "Queen Of The At-Home Lifestyle: A gal's guide to working-from-home, homemaking & homeschooling". Whether you're still adjusting to the stay-at-home life because of the lockdown & social distancing, or enjoy being a homebody, here is a short book that you can enjoy with a cup of coffee. 

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#teestagalway #militarywife #airforcewife #milpreneur #musician #songwriter #singer #indiemusic #guitarist #faujiwifeentrepreneur #solopreneur #teestamusic 


4 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing Ms Teesta Galway's interview .... its a long time since we were posted together at Agra....Jerry Sir, Teesta Mam .... proud of her as an independent professional, as an exceptional performer and artist, as a Fauji's better half and managing things so well ....

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  2. Such a lovely interview.. I love the title.. The brigade that builds brands.. Well been part of the phauj and still managing to work, take care of the family, fully enjoy the social part of phauj, get sincerely involved in the phauji activities.. It's not an easy task.. And hats off to all ladies.. Who just fit into the phauji boots so well..

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  3. Wow, glad to read about an inspiring rock-star. Glad you shared this interview to peek into Teesta's professional life. Look forward to read your upcoming e-book

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  4. What an inspiring read. More power to Teesta. Loved reading abouth journey

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