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y. sunita chowdhary
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conversationHe hardly watches films or remembers their names but is enjoying singing for different languages and genres

Hemachandra is in a happy place now, having completed the 100th song with theAaale Aale number fromTeen Maar. He's got a new band in place now and is working on compositions for the forthcoming TANA (Telugu Association of North America) meet in July. Amidst all this, he finds time to learn western classical music, and is set to release his latest album on the net. “We came up withOh Jaane Jaana to cheer up my friend, who's back from the US and was feeling depressed. We uploaded a part of the album on Facebook and the response was overwhelming; so we decided to do the full song,” he says. His first albumHemachandra had done well.

Hemachandra has just completed singing for the Tamil version ofThree Idiots, rendering a song that was rendered by Vijay Prakash for Telugu. The singer, who's just 22, expresses satisfaction at the mushrooming of talent in Andhra Pradesh and attributes it to the reality shows becoming a platform to display their talent. He feels that we now not only have many singers but singers of quality. Hemachandra came to the music scene at a time when exposure was little, and not many understood the concept of Sa re ga ma competitions in Andhra Pradesh. But with Karunya and Sri Ramachandra breaking into the big league, people have become far more aware; there is more response and demand for young talent. Getting opportunities is easy if one has talent as every music director needs a fresh voice and vice versa.

Hemachandra avers that singing for reality or live shows is different from singing in a studio; the mike they use in a live show seems correct in that place but in a studio, a slight hiss becomes highly audible and one's voice has to sound extra beautiful to get the correct output; it's sheer hard work. He still cites the number inBaanam as his favourite and his heart beats for melodies. It gives him immense peace of mind.

On the preference of his directors, he says Mani Sarma experiments with his voice, loves the rusty sound, Koti prefers the innocence and immature, raw feel and Harris Jeyaraj makes him sing many times and chooses what he wants. “My voice is rusty. When I speak over the phone for the first time to a person, he would think I'm 35 years old,” laughs Hemachandra. He talks fondly of the music college started by his mother Sashikala Swami, a singer herself, at Apex Residence in Anand Nagar Colony. She has over 180 students and even teaches people abroad through Skype.

Hemachandra drinks only cold water, loves ice creams and chocolates; his mother discovered that he'd have a career in music very early in life and might have to travel so got his voice habituated to different temperatures. Ask him for which film he is singing next, he draws a blank expression; he doesn't remember the names of films at all and hardly watches them.

y. sunita chowdhary

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