Devoted to Carnatic music

Karthik KP’s relationship with Carnatic music began ever since he started learning under his father, flautist Parameswaran KN. For 20 years now, he has been learning without a break. The 24-year-old was adjudged ‘Voice of the Year’ in the 7th The Hindu and Saregama MS Subbulakshmi Award 2018 held recently in Chennai.

An Ayurvedic doctor from Moozhikkulam, Karthik says music has been an inseparable part of his identity. Even while he did his medical studies at the Tripunithura Government Ayurveda College, he made sure there was time for music. Practice sessions were not as regular, but he made up when he could. “My earliest gurus were task masters and I thank them for it now, my foundations are helping me.” Currently learning under CR Vaidyanathan, Chennai, Karthik says learning is a continuous process and he never tires of it. Pursuing his post graduation simultaneously, some times the music classes are via Skype. “It has its limitations, but ultimately, it is learning and it has to continue.”

Karthik is one among the four musicians who won the Scholarship for Young Artists by the Centre for Cultural Research and Training. A regular participant at school and university level competitions and having won most of them (he won first place in the CBSE State Youth Festival continuously for five years), a competition does not unnverve Karthik. “I was not nervous for the MS Subbulakshmi award competition, but I wanted to give my best shot. Singing in Chennai, which is a stronghold of Carnatic music, was a challenge.” The final round, which had four other competitors, involved singing three compositions in 25 minutes. He sang ‘Neekela dayaradhu’ in Sarasangi, ‘Karuna joodavamma’ in Varali and ‘Jagadodharana’ in Kaapi. He would get to record an album with Saregama.

Though there are youngsters who pursue Carnatic music, few stick on for long, says Karthik. “Carnatic music has lesser appeal compared with other forms of music and some may even feel they don’t have a fraternity to inspire them. Also the format is such that the scope for interaction between the performer and the audience is limited.”

An All India Radio B-Grade artist, Karthik’s interest in music is mainly Carnatic—he listens to Semmangudi Sreenivasa Iyer and KV Narayana Swamy’s concerts. “It must be because I grew up in a household, which was deeply rooted in Carnatic. Somehow, I have not been as interested in film music.”

As a musician who has performed in various stages across Kerala and outside the State, he takes care of his voice and follows a discipline. “These disciplines actually vary from person to person. We even know of acclaimed singers who eat cold stuff. I mainly try to avoid curd, pickle and spicy food a few days before a concert.” Though practice does not happen every day, Karthik prefers practising in the morning as it is ideal to train the vocal cords better.

Karthik hopes to combine both his interests—music and Ayurvedic medicine. “Though music is commonly believed to have therapeutic effects, it is yet to be established scientifically. I hope to do research on the subject and see how I can find a common platform for the two to meet.” He was the recipient of the Agnivesha Award for the brightest Ayurveda scholar by the Kottakkal Ayurveda College in 2018, an event which had Ayurveda medicine student participants from all over the country.

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Printable version | Aug 10, 2020 5:40:29 PM |

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