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Meet Sarthak Kalyani, the singer who wowed AR Rahman

Singer Sarthak Kalyani has sung tracks for in AR Rahman’s ‘Cobra’ and ‘Iravin Nizhal’

Singer Sarthak Kalyani has sung tracks for AR Rahman’s ‘Cobra’ and ‘Iravin Nizhal’

“This will be the song of the year,” Tamil movie lyricist Thamarai introduced throughout the current audio launch of Vikram-starrer Cobra, “Listen to it, and you will never realise it’s sung by a non-Tamil.”

The track she was referring to was the AR Rahman-composed ‘Tharangini’ and the singer, Sarthak Kalyani.

For the singer hailing from Indore, who as soon as needed to make a tricky selection between teachers and music, this was a validation amidst a few of the finest from the musical fraternity. “I’ve been getting great feedback for my two recent Tamil tracks,” says Sarthak, referring to the Cobra quantity and the ‘Kannethire’ track from Parthiban’s Iravin Nizhal.

Sarthak grew up as an academically-oriented scholar, hardly envisioning the musicians’ life he at present leads. “When I was five, I was humming songs, and my parents enrolled me in music classes,” he remembers. What began as a pastime quickly turned a ardour. “They suggested that I pursue the arts when I wanted to take up academics. Isn’t that the opposite of what usually happens,” he asks, grinning. The competitions Sarthak attended, he provides, weren’t about profitable. “It was all about exploring different styles of music,” says the singer, who landed spectacular performances in exhibits like India’s Got Talent and Indian Idol Junior.

Graphic: Joseph Satheesh

Sarthak’s days at the Indian Institute of Information Technology, Bhopal, in 2017 have been “transformational” as he obtained a number of time to dedicate to music. “I was mostly in a small room; it was only music and me,” remembers Sarthak. There, he would watch YouTube live shows — of musicians like Ustad Rashid Khan and Mehdi Hassan — aside from superhit songs from the Seventies. “I’d sometimes listen to music six hours straight. That, and the intense riyaz I did, helped a lot.”

It actually did, when he entered musical actuality present ARRived, India’s first YouTube originals. His rendition of ‘Krishna Nee Begane’ and ‘Mitwa’ ( Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna) grabbed the consideration of AR Rahman, who gave him a uncommon standing ovation. “He spoke to me for 15 minutes, asking me about my musical background. It thrilled me,” he says. Soon sufficient, the Oscar-winning composer known as him for a few tracks in 99 Songs. A tryst with musicians from varied cultures at KM Music Conservatory helped him hone his abilities; he fondly remembers lessons with Karthick Manickavasagam about the deeper that means of music.

Currently an everyday at Rahman’s studio as a singer and musician, the 22-year-old has his eye firmly set on making it huge in the music business. Apart from studying to play the piano and guitar, Sarthak can be busy releasing originals, targetting atleast one track per 30 days. “Music is like food, and everyone has different tastes,” he says, “Everyone has the ingredients, but it is what you make of it that makes the difference.”

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