HYDERABAD: Ambika Nayak aka Kayan’s music is a unique recipe — ingredients include rock, jazz, rhythm and blues, intertwined with the soul. This modern-day social media songbird has been an inspiration to many budding artistes on Instagram and her page exalts mass influence. Like most of us, she has always been around music. But, she was privilaged to have grown up in an artistically inclined family and social circle. “My mother is a Hindustani classical vocalist and my grandmother was a Kathak dancer. I bloomed under their influence. I learned Bharatanatyam for seven years, I also learned western classical piano. I was into too many things, all at once, just like a jack of all performing artiste trades, but was not sure until very late how my career would unfold,” says Ambika.
Over the years, confusion about her career faded, and Ambika joined a music school in Mumbai where she met like minded tribe. “Still, I cannot stick to one thing one genre,I am a singer, vocalist, a composer and also a DJ. All of these are part of music, but each different from another,” says she.
“My mother is my superwoman,” Ambika elaborates, adding, “She is my biggest inspiration. She inspired me to do anything that I had wished and trusted me with wherever it is that I was going.”
It’s not just mother, but teachers who have helped her become who she is today. “Besides, professionally I had a teacher whom I was fond of, he was my music and history teacher. He was encouraging and he gave me clarity about what to start with.”
Every city has its vibe and Hyderabad has its unique own vibe. “As I travelled, I understood the vibe of every city better and better. Since coming to Hyderabad I have to say that it is one of the most fun-loving cities. Every time I played a gig in Hyderabad it has only been received with an open mind and support and love. We were planning this Hyderabad gig for the first time after the pandemic broke, and I am finally excited that I am going to perform in the city I know that it is going to be another one of the shows that are off the roof,” she says with confidence.
Social media has been a great help for artistes like Ambika. “For me, social media was really helpful because throughout the pandemic I did not know what to do as they were no shows. When I put the song out I could tell my audience about it on social media. It is a great way to communicate with your audience and it gives freedom to portray yourself exactly the way you want.”
For Ambika, pandemic had a few low points. “It was a bit difficult because there was a lot of doubt and uncertainty. The best thing I could do was to adapt to what was happening, and then I put out a song that titled ‘Be Alright’. I shot this song on my birthday, and it was just like a ray of sunshine. Not much later, I launched myself as Kayan. It was my first single, and a big hit.”