Born and raised in Doha, Qatar, Vandana Srinivasan began training in Carnatic (South Indian classical) singing from a young age. During her time in Chennai – where she pursued a degree in Psychology – she trained in the Hindustani style (North Indian classical) of music. She then moved to London in 2009 where, alongside studying at the London School of Economics and Political Science, she explored more musical genres. Since her return to Chennai in 2011, Vandana has been working to establish herself as both an independent musician and playback singer. She is the lead female vocalist for Staccato, a Chennai-based band, and also co-founded The Krimson Blend – a two piece acoustic outfit along with Prithvi Chandrasekhar.
Last month, Vandana performed at the Vijay Music Awards. Here, she shares her experience of being part of the star-studded event, in her own words.
The Vijay Music Awards took place last month and it turned out to be a star studded evening. K-town celebrities including members of the music industry and those from the film fraternity attended the event and expressed their support. The Nehru Indoor stadium was occupied to full capacity and the air was charged with excitement.
As a recent entrant into this industry, it was indeed an exciting event and for multiple reasons. It was my first experience at an awards ceremony and to add to that, I was going to perform a song that I lent my vocals to with the talented music director GV Prakash, versatile vocalist Haricharan Seshadri and flautist par excellence, Navin Iyer; amongst many other regulars in the performing circuit.
The ceremony began with the legends, Dr. Balamurali Krishna and Janaki being recognized for their spectacular contribution to the field of music along with a performance from the former that left the audience speechless. This was followed by the presentation of awards in various categories such as Best Debut, Popular Song of the Year, Best Sound Design, Best Lyricist and many more. A lovely line up of performances kept the audience on their toes throughout the evening. Andrea Jeremiah, Shweta Mohan, Naresh Iyer, Krish, GV Prakash and a few others made quite the impression on stage and the response from the audience was proof enough.
As an artist, I think such evenings are a great source of encouragement and support to musicians and it is always wonderful to have people acknowledge your work. In fact, this form of external reinforcement is a tremendous source of motivation to many who aspire to be part of this glorious industry. If wishful thinking got its due, I would be thrilled to see such a forum for independent music as well. This is in practice in several music communities around the work and I would be happy to see its implementation in Kollywood.
You can keep up-to-date with Vandana’s music by Liking her Facebook page, following her on Twitter, and subscribing to her YouTube channel. Check out the video for a mash-up of Tamil A.R. Rahman songs that Vandana did along with Shankar Tucker and Prithvi Chandrashekhar, below.