Many young and talented artistes have popularised Indian classical music in the global arena. In doing so, a challenge is set in retaining originality of the genre. One artiste who has done so successfully is Aishwarya Vidhya Raghunath, a Bangalore-based vocalist. She has set a new trend in the world of Carnatic classical music by not losing out on the traditional aspects of her music even while performing at a variety of concerts. A youth icon, she has participated in shows organised by some of the most prestigious sabhas in the country.
The artiste speaks at length about her journey in the field of music, unique style of rendition and about her future plans with City Express. About her initial days in the field of music, Aishwarya says, “I was initiated into the world of classical music at the age of three by my grandparents who were ardent music lovers. They would even sing devotional songs as lullabies to me. I learnt music under the tutelage of P S Vasantha and Late Seetha Lakshmi Venkateshan.”
A graduate in biotechnology, Aishwarya is currently training further under the guidance of P S Narayanaswamy and Vegavahini Vijayaraghavan. In order to pursue music, she quit a lucrative job. “To be a professional musician, it demands attention, time and hard work. I truly enjoy what I do,” she smiles.
Her mellifluous rendition and flawless voice has captivated a large number of music connoisseurs. “Earlier, I would sing in the presence of stalwarts of music like M S Subbulakshmi and Semmangudi Srinivas Iyengar. At the age of 13, I rendered my first concert. I always had love for the stage and since I performed along with my guru P S Vasantha from the age of seven, I had no stage fear. Those experiences gave me good exposure to the field and let me mould myself as a musician,” Aishwarya says.
Being an upholder of Semmangudi bhani and Veena Dhanammal bhani (schools of music), the artiste has won several awards and a scholarship from the Government of India. Speaking about the two schools of music, she says, “Both the styles complement each other by emphasising on gamakas and sarvalagu without fancies being added to them. These two schools of thoughts preserve the values classical music as they adhere to and the hold on to the composition in its original form.”
Aishwarya also listens to Beethoven, Mozart, Bach and Tchaikovsky. She says, “Music transcends borders and cultures. It is important to have in-depth knowledge about music and understand the emotion with which composers compose their pieces.”
“I would like to continue with this endless journey into the world of classical music and better my performances,” Aishwarya signs off.