Gowry Lekshmi’s big break came when she sang the soulful rendition of Aaro Nenjil in the Malayalam movie Godha. “I got lots of fans and followers because of the song,” she shares, smiling. “It’s every musician’s dream to be recognised for their work, and I’m glad it happened for me too.”
Having begun training in music at the age of three, Gowry turned music director at 13 for Mohan-lal’s Casanovva. “My own composition Sakhiye was chosen by director Rosshan Andrrews,” she recalls. “This entry to film music brought me fame and recognition. When I debuted as a composer, I was too young to understand how lucky I am or how big a deal it all was. I got a lot of media coverage because of my age. I was also the youngest female music director and lyricist back then.”
Gowry reveals that she started off by learning Carnatic music, when she was three. “My music gurus are S.K. Suma, Vaikom Vasudevan Namboothiri, Maruthorvattom Unnikrishnan, Chengotta Harihara Subrahmanian and Syamala Venkataramani. Later, when I was in the 11th grade, I started learning Hindustani under the tutelage of Fayaz Khan and Vijay Sursen. I started learning Western classical under Augustine Paul at the age of 17,” she shares.
The singer, from Cherthala, a quaint village in Alappuzha of Kerala, made her debut as a playback singer for music director Prasanth Pillai for the movie Ezhu Sundara Rathrikal, followed by the song Kalam Padunne for Rex Vijayan in the film Lord Livingstone 7000 Kandi.
The youngster’s USP has always been the fact that she’s a composer and lyricist. “Writing and composing my own tunes is the greatest happiness in my life. Performing to my songs live and witnessing the audience loving and cheering after the songs gives me an adrenaline rush,” exclaims Gowry.
On being asked about her inspiration behind penning lyrics, she says, “My songs are mostly about staying in touch with nature, being hopeful and, of course, my own experiences. I believe my songs have so much of soul in them because all of them are inspired by real incidents and feelings.”
Gowry, who has performed on many stages in India and abroad, never plans a particular genre while writing or composing. “I don’t fix a genre first and compose a song. But if you ask me my favourites, I love soul, RnB, contemporary folk and world music,” she says.
The indie music scene in India is undergoing a major change, in terms of new musicians, bands, collaboration and the type of songs. “This change is definitely giving so much of hope and happiness. We want more people to start exploring indie music. I certainly think indie is going to be huge in the near future,” says Gowry, with a hopeful stance.
Like any other singer/songwriter, Gowry gushes that she would love to collaborate with the likes of Coldplay, Lianne La Havas and Mutemath. As she bids adieu, the singer reveals her future plans.
“More music, more venues and bigger audience… I want to keep on releasing a lot of music, travel the world and perform and create a wider space for indie music,” she concludes.