At a time when Western music rules youngsters' playlists in India, along comes a velvet-voiced Bengaluru boy who sways audiences with his ghazals. This 21-year-old student, Adithya Srinivasan, from MS Ramaiah Institute of Technology recently produced a single, Gham-e-Duniya, which was released by legendary singer Hariharan. From performing at The Legend Ghulam Ali concert to recording at Abbey Road studios in London, this singer is shooting for the stars.
“Gham-e-duniya is my first composition. It is written by Mirza Ghalib, a famous poet from the Mughal period. I recorded it with a pianist I had worked with before, RURRER. I am also currently recording a video with model Monisha Ramesh. Unlike the Kolaveri video, which became a trendsetter, I'm taking it out of the studio and doing a very unconventional one," says Adithya.
He plans to release the video on August 15, with a message “Support independent music on Independence Day." Coming from a musical background, Adithya has been exposed to Carnatic music since childhood.
“My grandpa performed for Indira Gandhi when she was the Prime Minister. My mother used to sing on All India Radio. I also learned Carnatic music for a while," he says.
But the winds of change blew when Colonial Cousins (Hariharan and Leslie Lewis) released their single in 1996. “That's when I fell in love with Hariharan. I used to rewind and play his cassettes several times until I could sing like him," he shares.
His blue-eyed moment came when Hariharan, during a concert in Bengaluru in 2009, spotted him in the audience and called him on stage to sing Tu Hi Re with him, saying “he is like a son to me."
“I used to write songs for Hariharan on his birthday every year and mail them to him. I had even sent him some of my pictures. At that moment when he recognised me from the crowd, I was astounded," Adithya explains.
Adithya's debut album, Ghazal Ka Mausam, did not satiate his musical thirst. “That album was full of covers. Now I want to express my emotions and ideas through my own songs," he says. He is currently working on a new song Dilruba and plans to have the orchestration done at Abbey Road studio in London, the same place where The Beatles recorded their music.
He doesn't mind swimming against the tide. He likes his good old ghazals. Because “after all," he says, “Old wine in a new bottle is what most people prefer!"