Music is a way of life for Kavalam Sajeev. The Carnatic vocalist’s dedication to music was rightly rewarded when he was conferred the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetom Asthana Vidwan title recently. The honour was bestowed on him along with a few other select musicians by the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, Kancheepuram during the Navarathri festival.
Sajeev, a native of Kuttanad, came to the capital city in 1982 when he joined the Swati Thirunal College of Music for a degree course. “The college years provided me with a new insight into various kinds of music. Apart from the opportunity to learn from maestros at the college, it also gave me enriching experiences of associating with people like Kavalam Narayana Panicker. He has been my mentor and guide right from those days,” he says.
After finishing college, Sajeev went on to gather a wide range of experience by working with some of the leading contemporary dance and music troupes of the country. “Working with Bharati Sivaji’s Kalakshetra in Delhi and Protima Bedi’s Nrithagramam helped me gain a more comprehensive outlook. Besides, it also involved a lot of travelling around the country, especially North India’’.
His Kavalam School of Music, of which he is the director, has been running in the city for over 18 years now. The school offers students of music an opportunity to expose themselves to a variety of music genres. “Under the guidance of Kavalam Sir, we have made some exclusive compositions based on the folk traditions of Kerala. They are simple but contain profound thoughts in them.” The school also teaches Sopana sangeetham, Kathakali music, instrumental music, dance, drawing and painting etc.
He is also proud of his students who won accolades in various reality shows on television, such as Soniya who bagged the title in Asianet’s Idea Star Singer and Mahadevan who came third in Ragaratnam, a reality show for classical music. He is working on a music album on the late spiritual leader Sai Baba and another one which will be a collection of folk-based children’s songs.
Sajeev is a ‘B High’ grade artist of Akashavani. He lives in Elankom Nagar, Thycaud with his wife Maya, who is a Veena artist and two children Sai Malavika and Sai Maheswar.