Money & Careers

Reality radio's superstar

Learning along the way: Vyasaraj. Photo: Sampath Kumar G.P.  

RadioCity Super Singer Vyasaraj is all about keeping it balanced. This is the fifth singing show that he's taken part in and probably the third that he's won. He has kickstarted his career in playback singing with movies like “Minugu”, “Manthana” and “Police Story 3”. He is also a part of Praveen D. Rao's band Antardhwani.

Yet, Vysaraj is not planning to take up singing as a full-time career. “Right now, I'm focusing on my career as an electronics engineer. Singing is my passion and my relaxation. The other thing is that the payment in Kannada movies is not as good as Bollywood. Fresh singers get anywhere between Rs. 250 and Rs. 1,000 per song. Even established artists only earn between Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 15,000 per song. So it's hard to make a career out of playback singing. It's easier to earn through live performances.”

Vyasaraj says he has done over 300 live shows, singing along with his band in venues like Vidyaranya Yuvaka Sangha and performing with senior artistes like S. Janaki. “After winning the Super Singer show, I got to perform in TV Channels like Zee Kannada, ETV Kannada, and Chandana.”

Vyasaraj began learning music when he was four. “As soon I was born, my grandfather asked my mother to make me a singer. So I have been learning Carnatic music. My first guru was Vasantha Lakshmi and later it was Nandakumar, the son of one of the Mysore Brothers.”

Is Carnatic music really essential for a career in playback singing? “The thing about singing for films is that one needs to get familiarised with the studio ambience and culture. One big prerequisite is a clear voice and a good vocal structure, because studio microphones are very sensitive. It doesn't require more than a basic knowledge of classical music. I remember I asked S. Janaki about it and she told me that she used practise several times in a day and that they took a whole day to shoot one song,” he explains.

He plans to start learning Hindustani music soon to expand his knowledge. “I'm also planning to learn the guitar. I think an instrument boosts the confidence level of a singer. Also, Antardhwani plays classical fusion. Praveen gives us exposure to Hindustani, Carnatic, raga and tala. We basically do a blend of everything. We are planning to release an album soon.”

Having taken part in and won quite a few reality shows, Vyasaraj does not have much of an opinion on reality shows. “I think singing shows on the radio really encourage singers and give them a boost. But what happens with reality shows is that once the show is over, they don't really bother about what happens to the singer. All they care about is TRP ratings.”

He is grateful to his parents for supporting him throughout his sojourn with singing. “Whenever I have a show in the morning, my mother wakes up three hours earlier, to help me prepare. My dad has unfailingly dropped me to every music class. Even now, he does not miss a single performance.”

But work is his priority now. “I make time for classes and shows in the evenings. I ensure that my music does not interfere with my office timings, unless it's a really important show,” says the singing starlet who looks up to the likes of S.P. Balasubramaniam and Sonu Nigam.


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Printable version | Dec 2, 2021 3:36:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/money-and-careers/reality-radios-superstar/article2611699.ece

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