The emotions on her face tell a story, just like her soulful voice. The audiences can only sit in rapt attention, mesmerised by the powerful vocals that surrounds them, can’t believing that it’s a 15-year-old up there on the stage. Junior Carnatic concerts are rarely a full-attendance affair, but that was far from the case as Bengaluru girl Sahana Chandrasekhar took to the stage at Bhoomija’s Jackfruit 2017 concert recently, showing that hers, is a voice to watch out for.
“For me, melody is important. I like to have emotional conversations with the audiences through my music,” says the teen who was accompanied by Vaibhav Ramani on the violin and Kumaresh Krishnan on the mridangam, for the concert. Coming from a music-loving household, it was only a matter of time before she picked up tunes. “Even as a kid, I’d attend Carnatic concerts with my parents. I couldn’t keep my interest, but my mother would always promise to get me a picture with the artiste performing if I sat till the end of it. Slowly it became more about the music than the picture,” she smiles.
Having started her musical education under Vidushi Smt.Vasantha Madhavi School of Music in the city, she now trains under Chaitra Sairam, Bombay Jayashree’s senior disciple. “My gurus are my biggest influences and inspirations – I love the soulful content of Jayashree akka’s songs whose quality is such that you can listen to it anytime. Chaitra akka’s unique style of singing makes me want to develop my own,” she says.
She has been training for 10 years now and has a flurry of wins to her credit – most recently, a win at the Madras Music Academy Swathi Thirunal & GNB competition. “My most memorable one however, was being declared the winner of Muthuswami Dikshitar - Junior South Zone competition and being presented a tambura by Sangeetha Kalanidhi, Padma Bhushan T N Seshagopalan,” she beams. Even then, she admits that she has a long way to go. “I’ve been told by Bombay Jayashree how important it is to have a unique vocalisation – that is, whoever listens to the song should be able to recognise its singer. I’m working towards that. Carnatic music has several intricacies, I want to make it simpler and develop a style of my own first,” she says, exuding an air of quiet confidence.
Now stepping into the 10th grade, Sahana believes that it might slow down her musical pursuits a bit. “Academically, I love math. I’m hoping to pursue a career in that, but it should support my music as well,” says the student of Sri Kumaran’s Children Home, zeroing in on her calling....