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Interviewed by Anu Gopalakrishnan | Copyright 2013 ©      

A breathless journey from an IT professional to a top-notch singer!
A quick chat with India’s celebrity singer Shankar Mahadevan
Interviewed by Anu Gopalakrishnan | Copyright 2013 ©
Shankar Ehsaan LoyThe Amar Akbar Anthony trio of Bollywood (Shankar Mahadevan, Ehsaan Noorani and Loy Mendonsa), fondly called SEL will be making their debut in Detroit this Friday, June 21st 2013. 
Click here for event details.

Shankar Mahadevan had a quick chat with Anu Gopalakrishnan, exclusively for – he shared his thoughts on his relationship with Ehsaan and Loy, his chance with luck, his amazing journey filled with beautiful compositions and the legacy he has created.

Some excerpts…

Starting with Kandukondein Kandukondein (ARR’s music) to Kajra re, Don and then Vishwaroopam and Singham II – you are all across the music map. What’s the journey like?
Frankly speaking, I only have to thank god for putting together a beautiful picture. The journey has been too good. I would have been in a cushy job as an IT professional if not for my calling. I decided to venture to do something close to my heart. That does not mean, I got it all made. Pursuing your passion also has its own obstacles. You might or might not get recognition. Sometimes it is years and years of hard work before you get that one super hit song. My journey has a lot of little stations. Whether I failed or succeeded, I never stopped trying. I tried hard with the same intensity. As a musician or an artist, you have to be grounded. I have enjoyed my failures too because I have encountered beautiful situations when I failed. I have been around in the industry for 18 years and I am pretty surprised the way my life has turned out.

Ustad Zakir Hussain and Ustad Amjad Ali Khan have always raved about the structure of the Shankar Mahadevan Academy. Can you share a few thoughts about your dream project?
Shankar Mahadevan AcademyI started this academy owing to my visit to the US a few years ago and figured people spent so much time picking and dropping children to music, sports, art classes. Shankar Mahadevan Academy was born to help all non-resident Indians manage their time better and at the same time help children learn different styles of music – all within the reach of a computer. Shankar Mahadevan academy is two years old (started February 10th, 2011) and we have a presence in 34 countries. We have teachers working day in and day out across the world and we also provide self-learning and self-practice tools. The response has been tremendous. This is to offer music in one’s own pace, space and convenience. We have some really high-profile engineers, doctors as students of the academy. New technologies are changing the landscape of learning. Knowledge needs to be shared and it is the responsibility of the musicians to spread joy and happiness through music to generations to come. (Visit

You must be a proud dad with Siddharth getting into the music industry?
Siddharth just received the best playback singer award in Marathi. I just got off the phone wishing him. I am so happy that Siddharth and my nephew Soumil are doing so well in Marathi cinema. I have always mentioned this to the kids- choose a career which makes you happy. I have never pressurized my kids. I always wanted them to do what they wanted to do. Siddharth is still a student. He has received a bright start. There is constant learning in music. He has sung in the Farhan Akhtar-Sonam Kapoor starrer Baag Milkha Baag – the song Zinda is such a delight. My advice to kids pursuing singing as a career would be to “find your own, unique style. The singing should define your personality. This will eventually give you a position to sustain amidst competition. Music today needs originality and personality and music should be a good blend.

Shankar Ehsaan Loy in Michigan DetroitEhsaan and Loy brought the best out of you, correct?
Very true! Just like there is a traditional marriage between partners. The relationship with Ehsaan and Loy is a different type of a marriage- a marriage of musical minds. This is a marriage where good music is celebrated through new compositions. As partners, we have our share of laughter, jamming sessions, fights and we spend considerable amount of time with each other. You are looking at the music part of it only. When such a musical marriage happens between partners (which we see in abundance in Bollywood), other aspects are involved too. Singers and composers need to control emotions, respect ideas and new thoughts as musicians. Basically, there is no room for ego and pride. This relationship has lasted for 17 years. It’s an amazing and beautiful relationship that touches music in all strains.

Are there any regional albums in the offing?
My venturing into regional is purely singing. As for the SEL compositions, logistics are different in different regions. Opportunities are very limited though I am singing in all four South Indian languages.

You would be a cook if not for singing?
Absolutely! I love cooking. It is a very important part of my life. The reason being, I treat music and cooking as one. Just like you need to have all the notes in the correct tempo, in cooking, you need the right amount of ingredients. Too much of anything will screw up the dish or composition. Cooking is a stress-buster for me!

Click here for Event Details>>

Kind attention Shankar Mahadevan fans!!!
The singer will belt out numbers in Tamil and Telugu provided there is a public demand.

Interviewed by Anu Gopalakrishnan | Copyright 2013 ©  
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