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Singer Poorvi Koutish on her musical journey

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From Chandigarh’s rose festival to singing for AR Rahman, singer Poorvi Koutish has come a long way

When Poorvi Koutish was three years old, she had already given her first stage performance. This was when her mother, a professional singer based in Chandigarh, Veenu Koutish had no idea that she could sing. “My principal asked me to sing at the rose festival, I did it and that is when my mom realised that maybe, I could sing. Then she started making me practice different genres,” laughs the 24-year-old-singer who is currently interning with A R Rahman and has sung backing vocals for numerous film tracks, ‘Ruby Ruby’ from Sanju being the first original song for the maestro.

“My mother got me CDs of Britney Spears,” recalls the singer who is still basking in the success of her latest music video ‘Jaana Kahan’, produced by Zee Music Company and composed by Dhrubo. Veenu who was an ardent follower of Hindustani music researched on different genres, solely to get her daughter familiar with different forms of music. This initiated the young singer to Western classical forms of music as well. Soon enough, she stumbled upon the concept of Broadway and operatic singing, and the theatrical and musical elements inherent in these genres intrigued her more. “In fact Glee was responsible for me looking into theatre and performance,” says the singer who started performing for official programmes at the age of 14. By the time, she was in class XII, Poorvi had a fair amount of experience with gigs and stage performances.

“Though my idea was to move abroad to pursue broadway, my friend told me about Indian Idol and wanted me to give it a try,” recalls the artiste who later ended up being one among the top four contestants of Indian Idol 6. Soon after, she collaborated with Universal Music, for various shows that were done across the country and abroad. Then followed a steady stream of opportunities to perform alongside Bollywood musical giants like Pritam (for Shaadi Ke Side Effects) and Shankar Ehsaan Loy (live performances), all while studying music in Mumbai’s Wilson College. “Western classical and Broadway had always been my interest and in the third year, I decided to move to Chennai and try my hand in KM Music Conservatory. My intention was not to get into Bollywood, but to try theatre and maybe go abroad.” says Poorvi. Her career took a turn after she did an opera production, Sempre Libera conceptualised by A R Rahman and directed by Adam Greig, her academic coordinator in KMMC.

Singer Poorvi Koutish on her musical journey

This production led to opportunities for singing operatic parts in certain tamil songs composed by the maestro himself. “The first time I sang backing vocals for sir, was in ‘Naan Un Azhaginile’ from 24. This was followed by ‘Vaan Varuvaan’ from Katru Veliyidai,” continues Poorvi. As months went by in Chennai, the singer also found ways to experiment with the city’s theatre groups, the significant trial being Sherlocked: A Game of Pantos, the year’s Christmas pantomime by The Little Theatre which was performed earlier this month. Her flawless rendition of The Greatest Showman track ‘Never Enough’ won her thunderous applause from packed houses.

Poorvi’s time in KMMC also introduced her to the intricacies of music production. Now, Instagram has proved to be her testing ground where she puts up originals or covers at least twice, week after week. Her unconventional video elements and out-of-the-box concepts have already stricken a chord with her followers and fans. “I associate music production to the creation of a sculpture. Whatever your thought process has been since childhood, invariably starts entering your work. It would be something vague, that you add elements to.” For instance, one of her originals was scripted as a news broadcast from Jupiter. “It’s all about connecting dots,” chuckles Poorvi of the creative inspiration behind her quirky videos, which she says, strikes out of the blue.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 2:46:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/singer-poorvi-koutish-interview/article25848201.ece

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