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Updated: February 1, 2012 17:10 IST

Princess of pop

PRAGADISH KIRUBAKARAN
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Malaysian pop artist Shruthi Jayashankar. Photo: Special Arrangement
Malaysian pop artist Shruthi Jayashankar. Photo: Special Arrangement

Sixteen-year-old Shruthi Jayashankar is a pop star back home in Malaysia. She was in Chennai recently to prove that she truly is one!

It's been said that good music as an art form is often derived with either great pain or the will and patience to endure and explore the self and the world.

In the case of emerging pop artist Shruthi Jayashankar (16), whether it's writing personally-motivated lyrics, composing music that makes even those who can't understand the language tap their feet in rhythm and awe, or performing with sheer beauty and confidence, this young lady seems to have done it all.

Making the cut

Shruthi, a solo artist from Malaysia, blessed with a unique voice and two feature albums old, has already captured the hearts of millions in her home country.

It's been a rich and varied musical experience for Shruthi who started her journey, when just four years old by learning Carnatic music.

She branched out to try her hands in pop and fusion genres when she was barely 11; after being recognised for her talent, Shruthi was signed up by Rock Unite Music (RUM) as a recording artiste under their label in 2008.

Though she's rubbing elbows with many national and internationally acclaimed artists, she has been spotlighted on the radio and is also the sole mastermind/musician behind the No.1 hit singles Life is a Mystery and Ragasiyam Paesiyadthae that charted the Top 10 list three weeks after its first airplay and remained on the charts for well over 25 weeks on THR Ragaa, a prominent FM radio channel based in Malaysia.

Apart from this, she has also recorded one other album comprising Indian devotional songs in Tamil and has been a featured artiste in various compilation albums over the years.

Being a passionate and confident performer, Shruthi has already picked up impressive credits and has performed in a number of TV programmes for eminent Tamil and Malay channels over the last few years giving her pop star recognition.

Reflecting back, Shruthi said, “It's been a challenge to maintain two distinct lives that of a performer and a student in school, but my family's been very helpful and understanding throughout”.

Unlike most kids her age, she's not just an ardent fan of Michael Jackson or A.R. Rahman but also veteran music director M.S. Viswanathan which would clearly come as a surprise to most people.

First timer

When asked about how excited she was to perform in front of her fans at the three-day Chennai Global Music festival, she said she couldn't wait to connect with the audience as it was her first pop performance here in Chennai.

Besides, she was also looking forward to the premiere of her music video for one of her songs that was launched during the festival.

Talking about touching the right chord with the audience Shruthi admits she finds the Indian music industry a lot more competitive and sophisticated though it's healthy competition. She thinks the talent here is in abundance and therefore it's a lot harder to reach out to the people too; and that the kind of exposure the Chennai Global Music festival can deliver would give her and others just the right push for further success.

The much anticipated question: will Shruthi sing for Tamil movies? Mildly amused she simply laughed and said, “It is every artiste's dream to work in the Tamil music industry collaborating with different vastly talented people. So yes, if I get the right opportunity, I'd love to do it.”

After the Global Music festival, Shruthi is all set to embark on a nation-wide tour in Malaysia promoting her next album promptly titled VA.

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