She is well trained in western classical music and has completed higher grades in theory of western classical music as well as Trinity College of Music London apart from completing her Ph. D in music. Her thesis ‘Inter Culturalism in Carnatic Music, an Ethnomusicolgical Perspective’ was highly commended and appreciated. She is one of the highly sought after vocal artistes, who was acclaimed as a child prodigy.
She is none other than Shobana known as ‘Mahanadi’ Shobana, who earned the sobriquet due to her stint as a child actor and singer in national award winning movie Mahanadhi. She has been trained by stalwarts in Carnatic music field like P.S. Narayanaswamy, T.R. Subramanian and Swamimalaui Janaki Raman and she has given hundreds of concerts and show-cased her talent in prestigious venues, throughout the world.
In a tete a tete with DC she reveals how she was invited several times by the Singapore Hindu Endowment Board, to perform at major temples. She has special interest in performing thematic concerts in Tamil language and she is elated when she brings out that in her performances at the Tamil Sangam festival at Washington, DC, annual convention of Tamil Nadu Foundation at Detroit and Pittsburgh and in many other Tamil organisations across the world.
Your most memorable awards and titles?
Some of my recent awards are ‘Isai Selvam’ from the Muthamizh Peravai, Chennai in May 2015, ‘Tamil Isai Peroli’ from the New York Tamil Sangam in April 2014 and an international honor, ‘Individual Artist Award’ from the Maryland State Arts Council, USA for artistic excellence in Classical Music and a citation from the Governor of Maryland, USA. I dedicate all these awards and honors to my gurus and family.
Being a musicologist, tell us about your publications?
I have published a chapter, entitled ‘A Study on Dance Drama and Musical Plays’ in the book, ‘The Different dimensions of Dance and Music.’ I have published articles in several music journals. I have also contributed a chapter entitled ‘Music across Boundaries’ (Isai Ellaigalai Kadandhu) in the book ‘A Collection of 50 essays’ (Katturai Kothu) published in Tamil language.
Bring us on the social service programmes you have done so far?
I am associated with various non-profits and charities in India, US and Malaysia and have contributed in the form of performing concerts for fund raising events and annual conventions. Some of the concerts include Fund raising concert for free eye camps conducted by Arvind Eye Hospital, India, concerts for the Tamil Nadu Foundation across the United States and charity concert at Malaysia for the welfare of spastic children and many such events. I have rendered songs for creating awareness on legal rights among citizens, highlighting the rights of women and various legal help available for them from the government and was honored for the same by the State Legal Services Authority.
Your memorable TV appearances and your advice to children participating in musical reality shows...
Participating in reality shows is a great opportunity for aspiring artistes to showcase their talent to the world. There is immense talent these days. Due to the overwhelming reach of the television media, participants get immensely popular in a short span of time and this is a boon for singers. But, it is the responsibility of the parents and teachers to nurture and create a continuous learning environment for them.