Racquet rhythms: Somdev Devvarman talks about turning musician with his debut album ‘One3Two’

The former Indian tennis star talks about the similarities between music and sport among other things

Updated - February 08, 2023 05:08 pm IST

Published - February 08, 2023 04:26 pm IST

Somdev Devvarman

Somdev Devvarman | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Music and sport are seemingly worlds apart. One is considered a creative endeavour; the other a physical pursuit. If the masking of effort is admired in one, the exhibition of toil is appreciated in the other. The requirement of different skills makes it difficult to master both. There are, however, a few who have managed to straddle both worlds with considerable success. The late Micheline Ostermeyer, for instance, was an Olympic gold medallist (in shot put and discus throw) and an accomplished concert pianist.

“The qualities that make a true artist are nearly the same qualities that make a true athlete,” she believed.

Former Indian tennis star Somdev Devvarman concurs with Ostermeyer. Though he isn’t a master of music and sports like the French champion, Somdev is familiar with both worlds. During his playing days, he has played live gigs occasionally. Post-retirement, he has been making his pastime his primary passion project. He recently released his first single, ‘Something More Real’, from his debut album One3Two, which will be released later this month.

“The approach and the process [for music and tennis] is incredibly similar but also different in many ways. There is no perfect way of doing it. And the only wrong way of doing it is if I rush the process and not be true to myself,” he says, “Regardless of what people say, as an athlete, you need to be comfortable with your style when you’re out there. Otherwise, it’s not going to work. And I felt something similar with songwriting as well.”

Six years after hanging up his shoes in tennis, Somdev says he felt like a novice again while creating the album. “It’s a completely different thing to immerse yourself into a studio and figure out the sound that you want to create. You need to be open to constructive criticism. That was the most important thing in sports as well. You need to be brutally honest with yourself and say, ‘Hey, these are the areas that you need to improve on.’ And, the only way to improve is by repeating the process,” says Somdev, who is also a panelist on the Extraaa Serve show on Sony Sports Network.

Songwriting, for Somdev, is the favourite part in the album-making process. He has been dabbling with it for the last five years. “I had so many thoughts, feelings and concepts in my head. Whenever they kept coming to me, I wrote them down and thought I could make them into songs. Instead of releasing them separately as singles, I thought it’d be better to put them together in an album. Many years down the line, I’ll be proud of all the effort I put into making the album even if no one listens to it.” 

One3Twowould have 15 songs including ‘Something More Real’. Each song, Somdev says, has a unique mood. ‘Something More Real’, for instance, is a pensive track about seeking. “There’s a love song, there’s one that evokes humour, there’s a melancholic song… There are different kinds of songs in the album. Hopefully, all of them put together will paint a good picture of what it’s all about.”

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.