Music

The classical DIVA

Songster Aaditi Pradeep brings laurels to the music capital with an opportunity to sing at the prestigious Carnegie Hall. ALLAN MOSES RODRICKS tunes in with the details

Bengaluru has a new feather in its cap -- another music star, who has put the city on the global soundmark. Come December 18 and 17-year-old Aaditi Pradeep will be in the sonic spotlight on one of the grandest stages of all time. This comes close on the heels of 12-year-old Nilanjanaa Jayanth, who made the city proud at New York’s prestigious Carnegie Hall two months ago. Aaditi too is heading to the same stage to further etch our city’s name on the international soundscape. “The excitement is uncontainable. It’s still sinking in and the closer I get to the day, the more real it is becoming. I am not wasting any time now. Almost every other minute I am practising,” beams an excited Aaditi.

Having won the second place in the Western Classical category of the American Protégé International Singing Competition, the teen will perform her entry ‘Hark The Echoing Air’ from ‘The Fairy Queen’ by English composer Henry Purcell. “A composition from the Baroque period, this is a challenging piece. In fact, this is the first time I am doing an arrangement from that era. It has a lot of runs with notes bunched close to each other and you have to sing them really fast. I’ve never done anything like this before. But I like being challenged and it has turned out to bring good fortune to me.”

Aaditi shares that achievement is a little inspiring. “We constantly feel we cannot compete at an international level. Western classical music is not something we are used to. But I feel this has opened up another world for me and for many others like me. The time is ripe to harvest the rich talent we have in India.” On representing the music capital, Aaditi, who hails from Kerala but grew up in Bengaluru, says it is a “proud moment. Bengaluru totally rocks! We have so many talented people and every other day we’re making headlines. It is such an honour to be associated with this great city.”

A product of VioVoi Music Academy, headed by vocal coach Tanisha Herbert, Aaditi recalls that she had an unsuccessful stint in Carnatic music before she struck gold with Western classical. “I was forced into Carnatic music when I was six or seven, and I hated it. I don’t know why. It was only five years ago that I went to VioVoi Music Academy and got hooked to Western classical. It was challenging. I had to be focussed and give it 100 per cent concentration. I felt that was interesting since no one else around me at that time was doing it. After a while, it started growing on me. And, now I’m totally in love with it.”

At the Academy, Aaditi affirms that Tanisha was her biggest support. “While I had gone there just to try out some pop singing, it was Tanisha who suggested Western classical to me. Initially, it seemed as something that old people would do. But after a while, I hit it off. She has been there for me all through the good and bad times and has never stopped being encouraging and patient with me.” The support from the family also goes a long way, she adds. “They did not know much about Western classical either. So it was actually a very interesting journey for all of us. Now they too absolutely love it.”

The child prodigy points out that music has shaped her life. “It has been there for me all the time. I didn’t really have time to hang out with friends and family since I had one class after another. But the effort was worth it. It is finally paying off and music has been my rock throughout. Being able to take it with me wherever I go is a special privilege.”

When not singing her heart out, Aaditi dabbles in her other interests. “I am a Bharatanatya dancer and a Western pop singer. I also play the piano. I enjoy dancing and singing and plan to incorporate it in everything I do in the future,” says the youngster, who also has a self-titled Western pop album to her credit.

“Music is definitely a career option for me. I want to do it full time. But I need a solid backup so I will go to college and eventually, will pursue a career in music. It’s such a good time to be a singer and a musician. This age and generation is accepting, adventure-driven and loves to explore. It is a good time in the world even for music with the international arena opening up. She quickly adds: “Of course, nothing comes without hard work. So to anyone aspiring out there, dream big, work hard and stay loyal to your goal.”

While Sergei Rachmaninoff, Leopold Stokowski, Miles Davis, the Beatles, Zakkir Hussain and several others performed at Carnegie Hall at the peak of their career, this teenager is kicking hers off with her performance on the same stage. “It’s so surreal. I am going to take it one step at a time. Right now I am just glad this happened. So I am going to live in the moment and whatever happens next, I am going to give it my 100 per cent,” she signs off with an infectious smile.

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 9:11:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/The-classical-DIVA/article16833619.ece

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