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Meet Chennai’s ‘Gaana Girl’

Sivatmikha is hoping her ‘Gaana Song’ will provide a new launchpad for her

Sivatmikha is hoping her ‘Gaana Song’ will provide a new launchpad for her  

21-year-old Sivatmikha was inspired by her cat’s ‘meow’ to come up with her latest independent single

Sivatmikha used to hate going to school. She would rebel and give her parents a hard time. “I was terribly lonely and did not have friends. I think I was a weird kid. I was bad at academics, rebellious, and completely against what society would term as a ‘good child’,” she recalls.

Her books and lessons did not interest her, but what did appeal to her was her music class — her parents put her in Carnatic classes when she was barely three. A few years later, she was composing her own tunes. It helped that she had a variety of music to listen to in the household (“Amma would play Carnatic music and Appa would play Michael Jackson”). When she was in Class X, generally considered an important phase for students, Sivatmikha was busy... scoring music for random videos. She is now 21, and has given herself a new name — ‘Gaana Girl’ —and has released her independent song titled The Gaana Song.

The journey of ‘The Gaana Song’ started when she chanced upon some lyrics that her father (R Rajesh) had written. “It was really quirky. Initially, I was sceptical, but as I read it a few times, I realised that the words were simple and catchy, and decided to work on a tune for it,” she recalls, “The lyrics are about local gaana musicians, and highlight that it’s high time that Indian musical genres went on a global platform.”

Inspiration came from the most unlikeliest of places. The tune for The Gaana Song was inspired by the ‘meow’ her cat, Junior Aslan, constantly made that day. “I started composing my tune based on that sound. My biggest inspirations are the sounds around me,” says the singer-composer, who has composed and featured in the musical video as well.

Sivatmikha grew up in Coimbatore, but has been in Chennai for the last few years — since the time she did a course in electronic music production at AR Rahman’s KM Music Conservatory. She got an offer to work in a Tamil film, Antony, just after the course. “Unfortunately, the album and the film did not do well. Not many people knew about it.” But she has no regrets. “I learnt what it takes to be a composer for a commercial film.” The other good thing that came out of it was that it led her to the folks at Think Music, which eventually signed her on for The Gaana Song.

Sivatmikha’s interest in music is a little out of the box — she does not listen to songs on a regular basis, unlike most musicians. Every week, when she cleans her house, she plays international hits or instrumental music and “carries on with other work without consciously listening to it”. “I do not want to be influenced by other people’s work, and hope to create some new sounds,” she says.

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Printable version | Jun 27, 2020 2:49:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/meet-chennais-gaana-girl/article29725737.ece

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