Sid Sriram, the popular songwriter, composer and playback singer for Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam movies is still a hardcore Carnatic musician by heart. Born in Chennai, he spent his childhood in America and learnt Carnatic classical music from his mother Latha Sriram. He later did a music production course at Berklee College of Music. Sid recently performed in a Carnatic classical music concert for South Indian Cultural Association (SICA) at Hyderabad.
Luck is to be credited for Sid’s major break. He was chosen by renowned music director AR Rahman to sing Adiye for the Tamil movie Kadal. And how did that happen? “As I was completing my course in Berklee, I had recorded an original piece and sent it to AR Rahman through email. Since the email did not bounce back, I assumed it reached him and had my fingers crossed. I received a call back and rest is history,” he shares.
Sid recalls few memorable moments, small and unassuming which are etched in his mind. “I was around ten years old and we had a guest in California who had lost her relative. After listening to me sing, she was in tears. I realised the impact that music can have and how it can benefit the society. The day I got an acceptance letter to learn music in Berklee, I was overjoyed. When I met AR Rahman (my hero), it was an unbelievable life-changing moment. Singing with Mridangam doyen Umayalpuram Sivaraman last year was an unforgettable experience,” he reminiscence.
Sid embraced all musical genres as they came his way. “I was experimenting with many forms of music including western music. I was always encouraged by my parents to take up music as a career and also work on different genres of music. Most of my film songs have a flavor of contemporary music with a blend of Carnatic music.”
Sid faced obstacles quite early in life. He shares, “It was quite hard in 2014 when my recordings and programmes were going nowhere. But surprisingly, it gave me a time to introspect and practise more. I fell in love with the process of getting up early and exploring music. It kept me grounded but doors opened up after that.”
Compared to the West, Sid finds India to be full of ‘energy’. Youth in India are interested in all different forms of music and it’s a good sign. For a performing artiste music is an emotional process. It requires a lot of emotional output which can be draining, but also fun. “What keeps me going in life is the desire to keep exploring. I am dreaming every day,” he concludes....