A Steinway pianist at 23, Neville Z Bharucha has spent considerable time in the West – earning his chops at the Trinity College in London and performing across the United States, for starters.
Now, he’s back to Bengaluru – a city that he calls home, navigating waters here and hoping to take his sound to a new audience. Neville recollects that his tryst with the keys began at age four.
"Like many pianists who start out, we had a piano at home and my father, who is extremely passionate about music, used to play. He started teaching me when I was about four and that’s when it all began," he says.
Now, the young musician is known to produce a dynamic variation in sound – one that is familiar with a feeling of an ebb and flow in tempo. Explaining that it all stems from his roots in Western Classical music, he says, "My influences vary widely from time to time – a few years ago, it consisted of Death Cab for Cutie, Jack’s Mannequin, Animal Collective and even some older Coldplay. Currently, it’s the French composers such as Ravel, Messiaen and Saint Saens. Film wise, I absolutely love Alan Silvestri’s scores."
The pianist who continued his piano studies in Bengaluru with Russian concert pianist Natallia Kapylova reveals that he’s now particularly keen on composing for film.
By now, if you think he sounds familiar, it’s because he played the keys for Bengaluru band One Nite Stand (now Best Kept Secret). You could say music took him places. Neville is now the recipient of numerous music awards: Capt. Alvares Trophy for Excellence, Peter Coelho Memorial Award for Music, Fewkes Memorial Trophy for Outstanding Musician, to name a few. He is also the winner of the 24th Ennio Porrino International Piano Competition held in Caglairi, Italy.
Earlier this year, he was also awarded the Kerr Memorial Prize for Outstanding Musicianship at the Royal Overseas League Competition, London. But for this 23-year-old, they are just ‘milestones.’
"I have a very long way to go and so there’s nothing I’m particularly proud of to date. There have been certain milestones that I have achieved in terms of education and competitions that push me forward," he says, humbly.
His years in UK have turned his sound around and he believes travelling to new places can do that, "I feel music and personality are inseparable, so travelling often changes artistes’ sound through a change in character."
Now back home, he hopes to enable people to understand the language of Western Classical music, while performing at newer venues. Whilst he works on his goals and his music, Neville has other high-flying plans too – and quite literally at that.
"I am very passionate about cars and I can’t wait to get myself a private pilot’s license. I’m also a great animal lover and like to spend time around them. Pets have always been an important part of my family’s life," he says.