Music for the generations

Singer Kavya Ajith recently released the Carnatic cover song of Madhava Mamava Deva

Published: 08th January 2022 06:54 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th January 2022 06:54 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

KOCHI: As she was singing with her 90-year-old grandmother, Kamala Subramaniam, playback singer Kavya Ajit was euphoric. The music prodigy who elated the Malayali audience with the breezy melody Ee Shishirakalam from the film Jacobinte Swargarajyam recently released the Carnatic cover song of Madhava Mamava Deva on her YouTube channel. The classical composition in Sanskrit features four generations — Kavya, her seven months old daughter Lakshya and Kavya’s grandmother, Kamala.

For Kavya, it was a long-lost dream to share a music project with her grandmother who led her into the world of music when she was a child. The song Madhava Mamava Deva is originally an invocation. She says it holds a special place in her heart and thus rendered it along with her grandmother for the project.

“Grandma gathered her basic knowledge in Carnatic music when she was young and used to take music classes for children at our house in Kozhikode. Though skilled in the art, she has not performed on stage. So, I wanted to get her some recognition she truly deserved. Madhava Mamava Deva is one of my favourite songs she taught me when I was young and it is filled with many childhood memories,” explains Kavya. 

The song in Neelambari raga and the video to go with it was made based on an impulsive decision. The idea for the music video originated when Kavya was enjoying some quality time with her grandmother at their ancestral house in Kozhikode in 2020. “I was pregnant then and flew down to Kozhikode to stay with my parents and grandmom. We had many good moments and we recollected some old Carnatic compositions by playfully singing them. I recorded grandma as she was singing it. When time came for me to get back to Chennai with my husband, I thought of making a music video as a tribute to her,” adds Kavya.

The song received an overwhelming response from her friends and other musicians. But the messages she received from her grandmother’s long-lost friends and distant relatives was more thrilling. “She is not aware of social media and YouTube. She was happy that due to the song, some of her old friends and long-lost neighbours contacted her and talked to her. It was the best gift I could give her in her old age — bringing back the old friendships she cherished. Also, many praised the fact that we featured four generations in the song. It is quite the rarity these days,” she quips .  

Winding up, Kavya shares her future projects, including the release of her independent solo compositions. She also added that  the independent music scene is slowly catching up in the state. “More space should be given to it by broadcasting media by promoting independent music works on their platforms the way they feature film music”. 


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