BENGALURU: Sandeep Boniface, a city-based musician, has been shortlisted for the coveted John Lennon Songwriting Contest.
His composition Moments of Bliss has been selected as one of the three entering the final round for the award. He is a music composer, singer, keyboardist and music teacher at Canadian International School, Bengaluru.
The contest, named after the former Beatles singer, was started by Lennon’s wife Yoko Ono in 1997. It is a platform for amateur and professional musicians across the globe.
Over the years, Sandeep got many offers to sing for Bollywood films, thanks to his association with musicians from around the country. However, he did not go down that road. “I did not want to cater to a particular market. I wanted freedom to make my own music,” he says.
Being nominated for an international prize has been a dream come true, says Sandeep.
“It is also a privilege to rub shoulders with fellow finalist and Grammy Award winner Ricky Kej,” he says.
Sandeep started learning piano at a very young age and performed for the first time at the local church when he was 10. “One of my earliest influences was the band Bee Gees. I was fascinated by their compositions and the harmony in their music,” he says.
Subsequently, works of French composer Eric Serra created an impact on him.
As a singer, Sandeep learnt a lot from Rab Halford, lead vocalist of the heavy metal band Judas Priest, and Pakistani singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.
He has sung and composed music for numerous radio jingles, TV commercials, documentaries, films and plays. He has also worked with organisations like Nimhans as a music consultant. A couple of months ago, he set up his own recording studio named DJ Nitro Production.
“Winning the award will help me reach out to a global audience,” he says.