Behind The Scenes With The Team - Sid Bishnu, Kritika Singh, Jonathan Lusteau, and Joshua Thakur
Updated: Nov 5
"No dream is too big, no dreamer too small."
This dialogue from Dreamworks’s Turbo has a much greater meaning than what appears on the face. This grouping of really simple words from the English language is perhaps the fuel that started this journey which ultimately became It’s Kritikal!
Meet Kritika Singh, a marketing genius, an animal rights activist, vocal about veganism and sustainability, based out of Hyderabad, India. But most important of all, she’s a dreamer.
As the world got terrorized by the pandemic, we started noticing a few problems arise. Not to say that these are new, but when the busy moving world stopped for a long time, we started noticing these factors more and more. It seems though as something we did was wrong, that started this global pandemic. So maybe, this was the time to tell people about what wrongs we (knowingly or unknowingly) are doing, what we could do to make things better and how we could do it. With these basic points in mind, Kritika decided to use the medium of podcasts to reach out to more people and tell them what’s what. Podcast being an auditory medium, didn’t necessarily come as a hindrance to our daily life. And with the advancement of low-cost internet services, this could potentially reach out to a larger population. She reached out to a friend Ayan (one of our guests in the 1st episode), who wholeheartedly gave her a boost to start it. Her ideation was to reach out to speakers and personalities in their field of expertise, related to a topic that’s Kritikal. Here’re a few points of how she made a plan for the flow of the podcast:
Speak about points that have been negatively affecting the world.
Reach out to people who are an expert in one (or more) such field.
Organize and carry forth a research-based serialization of such topics which creates a flow in the episodic format.
Make it so that it is easily accessible by a larger population so that the greater impact can be achieved.
The idea was brilliant and it had to be executed. To make it a reality, a designer was needed. That’s when she reached out to Sid Bishnu (that’d be me), an illustrator and designer based out of Bangalore, India. What I loved about this idea was that even though this idea was so simple (and Kritikal), nobody thought of it before. That became a booster for me and hence I just jumped in. Being a designer, I wanted to give the whole thing a theme that could unite it and speak out for itself what we had a vision of. Thus started a session of ideation of logos, fonts, and colours that spoke Kritikally. An amazing fact here is, the logo of It’s Kritikal! was cooked by Kritika herself. I just added the spices of refinement and plated it with a tinge of colour. My primary role was to define the theme of each episode. My thought process for this can be summarised under the following points:
Come up with a cover image that’d go on each podcast episode. This had to be a bit fun as I thought that would make the Kritikal topics a bit more friendly and approachable.
A quirky title to define our guests and host so that the Kritikal speakers seem not so scary (and they were more friendly than I thought they could be). This led to the name Hostus Maximus for our host Kritika Singh.
A teaser post that let’s our (potential) audience the upcoming episodes.
Growing up with comic books, action figures, superhero shows, and everything pop culture, this was the most fun I had in creating something. With the ideation and design done, we started off talking to some amazing guests and we got to know so much. They were amazing in educating us in their fields of expertise. Our recordings and releases were fine but we still felt something missing.
And then it stuck. We had been using a free YouTube studio track as our title music. Though initially, we liked it, it soon turned out flat and monotonous. In comes Jonathan Lusteau, an extremely talented self-taught musician from France. Our brief to him was simple. We needed something simple and yet magical enough to invite everyone in. He, after a few sessions, came out with our new title music. And it was magical. Speaking to him about his ideation, we summarised the following:
A title track carries the identity and flavour of the show.
It unites each element together in a theme.
The music had to be simple and yet speak loud.
And music can cross boundaries and reach a million hearts.
And voila! We had the holy trinity who could make this podcast series, something meaningful and educational. We started recording with various esteemed guests over Google Meet (or Discord) and started releasing the episodes. The editing of each episode was done by Kritika, who had to learn it through YouTube. She was doing an incredible job for a person having no background in the field. And it did result in a few hiccups in the episodes. We had to find someone who could make the audio silky smooth.
That’s when we met Joshua Thakur, an audio engineer based out of Hyderabad, India. He helped us in making the audio much better with his expertise on the tech and tools of his trade.
That’s the whole team. We hope that we will continue to spread awareness about the topics that are Kritikal. We do hope you’ll join us on this journey. Thank you for being there. Coz without you and your encouragement, we wouldn’t have the gusto to record and produce every day.
Each of us would like to drop in some resources and inspirations which boosts us and maybe would do to you too.
So starting with Kritika, here are some resources and inspirations you could follow/read too:
Books on Animal Activism & Rights: The Encyclopedia of Animal Rights by Marc Bekoff, Animal Rights by Henry Salt, All Jane Goodall Books, For A Moment of Taste by Poorva Joshipura
Books on Climate Change: The Future We Choose by Christiana Figueres and Tom Carnac, Lobbying For Change by Alberto Alemanno, The Great Derangement by Amitav Ghosh, For A Moment of Taste by Poorva Joshipura
People (outside of home) Who've Inspired her: Late Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam, Jane Goodall, Gene Baur, Satyen K. Bordoloi, Marc Bekoff, Henry Salt, Dr. Makhmoor Bashir, Ajay Chandel, Dr. Jeff Sebo, Dr. Andreas Eisengerich, Jonathan Lusteau, Sid Bishnu, Ayan Jeloka.
I (Sid) would like to put forth the following:
Comic books. This goes without saying. I’m sure you guys are familiar with the world of Marvel Comics and DC Comics. But there is a huge galaxy out there. Go through the library of Image Comics and Dark Horse Comics
Stan Lee is a household name now. Try out the works of Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, Jeff Lemiere, Art Spiegelman, Joe Sacco and Alan Moore.
If art is what you seek, check out the wonderful works of Jim Lee, Frank Miller, Jack Kirby, Frank Frazetta, Jean Giraud ‘Moebius’ and Alex Ross.
Watch movies by Michel Gondry, George Miller, Coen Brothers, Quentin Tarantino, Wes Anderson, Edgar Wright, Bejoy Nambiar, and Anurag Kashyap.
A few more authors Douglas Adams, J. R. R. Tolkien, Frank Herbert, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, H. G. Wells, and Philip K. Dick.
Something from the land of art and beauty that inspires our musical genius Jonathan Lusteau:
Solo guitarists: Yngwie Malmsteen, Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal, Mattias IA Eklundh, Nick Johnston, Rick Graham, Guthrie Govan…
Eternal gods: Jean Sebastien Bach, Chopin, Django Reinhardt, Jon Lord, Ronnie James Dio…
Phenomenon bands: Sons of Apollo, Stratovarius, Freak Kitchen, Deep Purple, Rainbow, Kansas, Igor, Corpo Mente, Opeth, Jinjer.
Non-musical inspirations (YouTube channels and others): La Carologie, La petite Okara, Better Ideas, Food with Chetna, Emma, Fous de Normandie, Tristana, Jean Laval, Elisabeth Medium, Insolente Veggie… Sepp Holzer, Greta Thunberg, Robin Williams, Fabien Olicard, Maxime Ginolin, (MagicJack Productions)
Authors: Lise Bourbeau, Eckart Tolle, George Orwell, Fabien Olicard.
If you'd like to follow team It's Kritikal!, here are their social media handles:
LinkedIn: Kritika Singh
Medium: Kritika Singh
Goodreads: Kritika Singh
LinkedIn: Siddharth Bishnu
Sound Cloud: Jonthan Lusteau
Youtube: Jon Lust
Jon's Band: Shelby Lee Blackbird
We hope you have a great time listening to us and keep supporting us.
Happy Listening! :)