Shankar Mahadevan needs no introduction.
His melodious voice has captivated and enthralled one and all for the past decade. Songs from the films 'Dil Chahta Hai', 'Mission Kashmir', 'Kal Ho Na Ho', 'Kuch Na Kaho', 'Tare Zameen Par', 'Don 2: The King is Back', 'Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara' and others have floored the music lovers and the common man with it’s energetic and soothing tones.
Shankar, who was in Hyderbad recently as the brand ambassador for Akshaya Patra, interacted with City Express and spoke at length about his music, his academy and future plans.
Shankar has sung many film songs for the legendary music composer A R Rehman.
When asked about his association, he said, “Almost every person in the present generation is influenced by A R Rehman. He is a role model for many artistes as well as music connoisseurs. Besides A R Rehman, I am enamoured by many classical, ghazal, folk, rock and bhajan forms and try to listen and explore as much as I can.”
Earlier, many musicians composed great music, however, their works went unrecognised and failed to come to limelight. Even to this day, such a scenario is prevalent in our society.
Responding to the statement, Shankar said, “Today, the scene is changing due to the Copy Rights Act. Many great musicians of yesteryears who have contributed great songs, died in poverty. In contrast to this, musicians in the West lead a royal life after contributing some of the best music compositions to the society. In our country, there is neither any provident fund nor pension for musicians which should be made available.”
A year back, the well-known playback singer also started the Shankar Mahadevan Academy to offer lessons and vocal courses in Carnatic and Hindustani classical music, folk and Bollywood music.
“My aim is to blend technology with an art form. This online Academy is accessible to people anywhere in the world. Here, we have over 14- 15 teachers who are well qualified in music. Teachers spend most of their time imparting quality education to students. Our motto is making the music lessons more easier. In this course, we have multi media text books, curriculum and assessment of students.”
Shankar loves to take up newer challenges when it is to do with the world of music. He says that basic inclination towards learning takes one forward. On his opinion whether with the advent of CDs and DVDs, live concerts are losing its prominence, he said, “Live music cannot be affected by technology in any way. The audience response for live concerts is getting better day by day. When it is film music, the masses prefer it but this is not to deny the fact that the market even for alternate music like classical and devotional music is still good.”
Elaborating on his concerns, he adds, “Let alone film concerts, even if I do a fusion concert, tickets are sold out. And, by any standards, you cannot replicate or make a comparison of the overall effect of a live concert with listening on CDs or DVDs.”
Shankar who by training is a classical musician owes his name and fame to T R Balamani, his teacher. When asked about his future plans, he smiles and says, “I would like to associate myself with many causes and help the people of this country through my music.”