Tell us about your formal music training and how it helped you
I learnt Carnatic music and western classical piano as a child. Piano from age 5 to 15 and Carnatic was in high school and spilled over to college as well.
My Carnatic music training was from R.K Srikantan who is from the Rudrapatnam family. He was in his 90s when I learnt from him. He was one of the last remaining musicians from that golden era in Carnatic music who was still alive. It was an honour to learn from him.
What I take most from Srikantan sir is to give importance to music and I am lucky to be doing that now because my career revolves around music. When I was in school, he used to scold me for giving studies more importance than music which wasn’t even the case, I wasn’t even studious
Kiranavali Vidyasankar was my first serious carnatic music teacher. From Kiranavali I learned everything I know about Carnatic music; theory, compositions and how to improvise. I learned to love this music from her. She had this way of getting through to me when I didn’t appreciate carnatic music and she really helped to understand and relate to it.
Could you take us through your song writing process and what inspires you to write music?
I do not have one particular process. Every song has it’s own journey. I think, what inspires me the most to write songs is generally that I think about things, inner contemplations, thinking about society, things that affect all of us will be the basis of the song.
Some songs begin with a chord pattern on the piano, some with a vocal melody, some with the topic or the lyrics and all of the other elements fall into place.
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