COVID 19: Classical singer Priya R Pai’s song for the times

Priya R Pai

Priya R Pai   | Photo Credit: K_K_Mustafah

Priya R Pai recorded the song to exhort people to stay strong and not get bogged down by the lockdown

When singer Priya R Pai posted a video of her rendition of the Purandaradasa composition Sreejalantharam aashrayaamyaham... set in gambheera nattai raga on her Facebook page, the last thing she expected was for it to go viral. Uploaded on March 31, the song has already been viewed around 2.8 lakh times, “this is way beyond my expectations,” she says. Priya has been regularly posting musical videos (mostly devotionals) on her social media handle: “It is a way to give people strength to cope with the current crisis, tell them that it will be okay.”

She sings with her daughters Shradha and Shreya, the recording is done at home. “The response and feedback has been good for all, but the response this song garnered was unexpected. While the other songs were slow in tempo, this one is faster. I wanted to energise people who might be feeling bogged down with the current situation,” Priya says.

Priya performing with her daughters and inset, Suryanarayanan

Priya performing with her daughters and inset, Suryanarayanan  

A two-time winner, second place, at (Kerala ) State level Youth Festivals, Priya has made a name for herself not only as a vocalist but also a composer, playback singer, teacher, and television host. Some of her albums are Thillana, Bhavatarang, Oothukkaadu songs, Raagasudharasa, Mahaadeva Siva Sambho, Krishna Nee Begane Baaro and Harshamo Dukhamo (composed by Benoy Viswam). She has also composed two albums, Lalitha Sahasranamam and Vishnu Sahasranamam, set in 15 and eight ragas respectively.

Accompanying her on the mridangam, remotely, is a Chennai-based student Suryanarayanan. One of the songs she posted online was a rendition of ‘Maitreem Bhajata...’ which MS Subbulakshmi performed at the UN General Assembly in 1966. The singer/music teacher conducts music lessons — via video calls — her way of connecting with students, and giving them assignments so that they don’t lose touch with their lessons. “This time is actually good, it has give people the time to get in touch with themselves, know who they are and spend time with themselves. Otherwise we are all in such a constant state of hurry, always busy and rushing about,” she says.

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Printable version | Jun 7, 2020 6:21:37 AM |

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