Berklee Alumni Among Emmy Winners for Momentum Generation

By 
Katie Gibson
June 20, 2019

Kevin Doucette and Ishaan Chhabra received a Sports Emmy for their work on the surfing documentary Momentum Generation.

Ishaan Chhabra B.M. '10
Image by Mike Spencer

At first glance, Berklee and sports may not be an obvious match. But several alumni and faculty members have made their musical mark on the sporting world in the last several years. 

Pianist and songwriter Kata Kozma B.M. '11 composed the theme song for the 2017 FINA World Swimming Championships, held in her native Hungary. Pablo Munguia, director of Berklee’s Music Production, Technology, and Innovation master’s degree program in Valencia, Spain, worked with Justin Timberlake for his Super Bowl halftime show in 2017. And at the 40th annual Sports Emmy Awards on May 20, two Berklee alumni received accolades for their work on a documentary about surfers. 

Kevin Doucette '05 and Ishaan Chhabra B.M. '10 both composed additional music for Momentum Generation, which won the Emmy for Outstanding Long Sports Documentary. Doucette also worked as a music editor and mixer on the film, which received a nomination for Outstanding Music Direction.

The film follows the rise of U.S. surfing culture in the 1990s, when a group of teenagers on the north shore of Oahu, Hawaii, challenged themselves and each other to surf some of the world’s most dangerous waves. The group included future surfing icons such as Kelly Slater, Taylor Steele, Shane Dorian, and others. Their collective impact on competitive surfing continues to shape the sport today. 

Doucette studied film scoring at Berklee, and Chhabra, an electronic production and design (EPD) major, took multiple film scoring electives. Both of them developed their production skills as students and enjoyed being exposed to a range of musical genres. Clint Valladares, managing director of the Berklee India Exchange, said, “Momentum Generation included a variety of musical styles, ranging from contemporary underscore to songs to high-impact action, as well as punk rock.” Doucette and Chhabra applied their expertise working with a variety of artists, such as Indian composer A. R. Rahman, to their work on the film. 

The two alumni are both part of Chai Time Studios, a new boutique music production company based in Los Angeles with roots in Chennai and Mumbai.

Watch the trailer for Momentum Generation:

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