To call Malavika Anand a budding talent would be an understatement for this young Hyderabadi singer is already well on her way to making a name for herself. After securing the distinction of being the youngest person to perform at the Royal Mysuru Maharaja Palace as a part of city’s historical Dasara celebrations in 2014, Malavika was invited once again this year by the Government of Karnataka to perform at the Dasara celebrations at the Jagan Mohan Palace in Mysuru a rare honour indeed for someone who’s not a native of the state.
Upon her return to the city, Malavika tells us about her “amazing” experience. “I am lucky to have been invited to perform for the second time. Artists from across the world perform in the city during the festive season, which makes for a fascinating, historic celebration. The atmosphere filled with festive fever and the feeling of performing in front of a packed house was great. I never expected such an opportunity at such a young age,” she says.
In her hour-long performance, Malavika performed songs in four different languages Sri Rama Chandram bhajans in Hindi, Ramanama Payasake in Kannada, and Tyagaraja keerthanas Marugelara O Raghava in Telugu, and Kuraiondrum Illai in Tamil. She also sang a few Annamacharya keerthanas and Purandara Dasa compositions.
Talking about how her musical journey began at the tender age of three, the 19-year-old says, “I used to memorise and sing all the jingles and advertisements on TV, so my parents decided to enrol me in a singing class. Later, I started training under Revati Ratnaswamy garu at the age of nine, which is when my musical journey actually began. I now learn classical singing under Hari Priya garu (of the Hyderabad sisters) and light music under Nithya Santoshini garu.”
At the age of nine, Malavika set a world record for being the youngest person to sing the Srihari Sankeerthana in four languages. “My guru, Revathi garu, suggested that I should sing an entire album of 17 songs in different languages. So I sat in the recording studio the whole day and completed it,” she says, not making a big deal of the incredible feat.
Throughout her life, the singer, who is currently in the second year of her undergraduate degree studying in Badruka college has managed to successfully maintain a balance between her studies and her passion for singing. She says that it hasn’t been too difficult. “It has never been challenging because I enjoy them both,” she explains, adding that she only takes time off singing during her exams.
Having performed on several esteemed stages, including the World Telugu Conference in 2012 and TTD’s Brahmotsavams in 2014, Malavika is looking to expand her repertoire even more in the future. The versatile musician says that she’s not averse to singing for films either....