Rising on the charts

Holyrico releases extended version of debut album “Galvanized”


Provided by Ayan Nath

Ayan Nath (11) edits “Boeing,” one of the songs in “Galvanized Extended,” the extended version of their debut album “Galvanized.” “Galvanized Extended” was released Jan. 8.

by Sally Zhu, Humans of Harker Staff Profiler

Two high school students, one love for music. 

Music production pair “holyrico,” formed by juniors Arnav Dani and Ayan Nath, released the extended version of their debut album “Galvanized Extended” on four music streaming platforms, Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes and Amazon Music on Jan. 8. The album, which has 11 songs total, features both Harker students as well as non-Harker vocalists.

Living just a short three-minute walk from each other’s houses, Arnav and Ayan started their music collaboration early on for student council videos in middle school simply out of convenience. A few years and music collaborations later, they knew they wanted to take their creative mindset to the next level, naming themselves holyrico and officially establishing their music platform. 

From recording during 2 a.m. music production sessions to creating new songs for an English project, the pair not only discovered each other’s strengths and skills as musicians but also simultaneously developed a strong friendship. 

Even when the pandemic sent them both into lockdown, the pair continued to create and produce music. Since most of their recording and editing is largely done online using different technologies and software, music production can be done at home very easily. 

On April 20, 2020, Arnav and Ayan released their first song “Boxed Laddoos” on SoundCloud, followed by other singles such as “Boeing.” After some research, they decided to move their music to Spotify and other more common platforms to both generate money and make their music more accessible, before releasing the original version of their debut album, “Galvanized.”

“In [the editing] process, Ayan’s]singing is also interweaved in and so we keep slowly updating it based on that,” Arnav said. “It’s more a back and forth, not just I do one thing and it’s independent. It’s more collaborative.” 

“Galvanized Extended” features many different music genres since Arnav and Ayan do not have a favorite genre of music. They wanted to explore the possibilities, from rap and R&B to pop and country, and they take inspiration from the music they listen to. 

“I just like music in general. I can sing along to any song,” Ayan said. “If we look at the songs I listen to as well, there’s this complete random assortment of many different genres.” 

Holyrico’s process for making songs all starts from a music style with drums or a bass beat. They often use drum sounds or piano keys from the Internet that they weave into the melody, passing the developments back and forth until they are satisfied. After edits upon edits using Garage Band and FL Studio software, they add vocals and lyrics, often from other Harker students.

Melody Yazdi (11), who describes herself as a more “classical” vocalist, says that her collaboration with holyrico was the first time she had the opportunity to create her own music and in a genre completely different from the choir-based music she normally performs. Though she was nervous at first about the release of their collaborative single, “Solitaire,” she feels proud of her accomplishment. 

“I’d say I was nervous, but also really excited because now I could just go on Spotify and see my name, and I was like, ‘Oh, cool. I can just listen to myself singing on Spotify now if I wanted to,’” Melody said. “I definitely appreciate myself more now. I feel more capable in my singing abilities.” 

Arnav Dani (11), smiles as he strums a chord to one of holyrico’s songs, just one step of the duo’s creative process. (Provided by Arnav Dani)

After adding vocals, Arnav and Ayan finish the song with some final tuning and additional effects, which include pitch correction for reverb and compressors to change the way the voice sounds, extensively working on minute details until they reach their desired result. 

“Singles are just a way to get people if they don’t want to listen to the whole album, which requires 30 minutes of someone’s time to go through the whole thing,” Ayan said. “With a single, there’s a better chance they listened to the whole thing.”

Holyrico also appreciates the supportive environment that the Harker community provides. They are grateful for their friends’ listening to the music they made and also for their feedback. 

“Everybody, especially since it’s Harker, is doing their own little thing because of the culture at Harker. Everyone respects whatever unique thing that everyone else is doing,” Arnav said. “So I think that creates a more positive environment where you can just accept people giving good criticism, good feedback.” 

Even though Arnav and Ayan are on a path to create music outside of Harker, Ayan still strives to create new music and videos for his junior student council and high school community. 

Working with fellow student council member Yejin Song (11), they released “Little Things,” a song that the council displayed in a music video format at this year’s fall Zoomchella. Yejin is thankful for the community’s supportive response to the song and for the opportunity to be part of the production process. 

“I’m really grateful that he gave me the opportunity to be a part of this project because I got a lot of support and positive feedback regarding the song, the video and my singing, which I really don’t do much of,” Yejin said. “I always knew he produced music but this was actually the first time I got a thorough listen of it and got to see his production work behind the scenes.”

Arthur Kajiyama (11), who goes by the artist name “Artie Young,” also collaborated with holyrico on their 2020 single “Lose My Mind.” Arthur already had an interest in music and beat production and had created some of his own instrumental tracks, which he then sent to Ayan last summer. 

Throughout the rest of the summer, Arthur and Ayan sent different tracks and comments back and forth. By first creating a melody, building it up with additional chords and then editing it in FL Studio, they ultimately produced their single. Through creating music, Arthur not only finds a way to express himself to other people but also provides a form of inspiration and enjoyment. 

“What I like about music is how you can create such different moods and expressions, even for someone who doesn’t know much about music. Just listening to someone can be really inspiring,” said Arthur. “I think [our song] was made in a way where lots of people could relate to and connect to it as well.”

In the future, Holyrico is planning to release more music in order to maintain consistency for their audience. And despite all the ups and downs, whenever Ayan and Arnav think of how someone can just click and listen to their songs on any music platform and enjoy their work, they know that every step of the tireless process was worth it.

Reporting by Alysa Suleiman.