Interview with Kartik Raman
Mr. Kartik Raman an Indian playback singer who started his career in singing as a backing vocalist. He has sung many songs in different languages like tamil, telegu, bengali, hindi etc. FairGaze got an oppotunity to interact with Mr. Kartik Raman. Below is the excerpt of the interview.
How did you develop interest in music?
I belong to a music family, my mother in M.A in sitar. My dad used to sing old hindi songs. It was in my family. When I was 5 year old, my mother put me into Hindustani music. I naturally went into it.
You have lot of support from your family in early years.
They have supported me all the way. I did my masters completed my education but they were always happy if I pursue my passion. They actually wanted me to pursue my passion so they supported me for that. I had their moral support to pursue music as a career.
For whom you used to sing in your childhood?
Sometime family friends used to visit then I used to sing openly for them. I actually used to sing for my friends in school. We used to have many co-curricular activities then I used to sing.
How did you have your first break in singing?
It happened so gradually that even I did not come to know. When I was around 15 years old, a show called ‘sa re ga ma’ used to come on TV and we used to always think that we should participate in that. However, nothing worked out at that time. After that when I was doing my engineering I was in Chennai, I randomly saw a poster about a reality show which was going to be judged by Padmashree Hariharan that was coming up. At that time, I just knew a couple of songs in Tamil. My friend encouraged me to participate and even I thought I should just try. I participated with two songs in Tamil and they asked me to sing more. I told them that I do not know any other Tamil song, and then they asked me to sing in Hindi. I got selected there and show went on for one and a half years. I kept on doing rounds for the show and finally I won in the public voting category. After getting into the reality show, I was trying to get into the Tamil industry but things could not work there. So then, I planned to pursue my masters and went to Ahmedabad to do masters in Urban Planning. One of my friends saw a poster on Facebook for college competition and told me about it. This competition was organized by Shankar Mahadevan Academy, and the winner would get ka chance to meet Shankar Mahadevan online for half an hour. I follow Shankar Mahadevan madly and I consider him as my idol so anyhow, I wanted to win that and I won that show and got a chance to meet Shankar Mahadevan. He liked my son. After that I did an internship at Shankar Mahadevan Academy and they liked my work.Gradually things fell into place and after my masters, I joined Shankar Mahadevan Academy.
Who is your musical inspiration or idol?
Shankar Mahadevan in bolllywood. Otherwise, my mother and dad both have always inspired me.
How does it feel to work with your idol?
It feels awesome. It has been two years now. However, I do not meet him often but I know he recognizes my work and that is a really good feeling. Not many people get a chance to work with somebody whom they really idolize and that way I am happy that I have a chance to work with my idol.
What training you undertook for music?
I have formally learnt Hindustani classical vocal from Late Pandit Shyam Das Mishra ji from the age of five, I have been learning since then. In addition, my mother has taught me music and encouraged me to practice more and more.
How do you promote singing in children?
Fortunately the course that I develop in Shankar Mahadevan Academy is designed for children. The times have changed. Earlier children used to follow their guru, but now day’s children have a lot of exposure and they have questions to which you cannot say no. These days music has to be back derivation. For example: you have to introduce them to popular stuff and then bring in the fundamentals. You have to develop their interest in the music by introducing them to the popular music styles. Therefore, I think that is the key.
What kind of training do you suggest them to go through for music?
That depends what the child wants. At times, they do not want to get into the hardcore music. Overall, every child must have a basic classical practice like seven notes of music daily. They can go through basic warm up exercises. It will help their vocal chords.
Do you advise singing as a career?
Music in India is still predominantly concentrated in bollywood. There is no surety as such like other academic fields where you know where you will be after 10years. It is about the passion what a person wants to do. If a person is passionate enough, then he will definitely do it. In the music industry today, there is lot of things one needs to know. One should be a multi tasker, only singing cannot help. You should know a bit of the technical side of music, some studio stuff also. I can say that you can take up music as a profession only if you are passionate about it else it is a very difficult profession.
There are very few mentors in comparison to trainers. What is your opinion?
Mentor is someone who becomes like you, guides you putting him in your shoes. Trainer is someone who tells you to do something. There are people who can be good trainers or teachers but there are less people who connect with children and become one of them. This is the reason why teachers are less and trainers are more
Do you advocate music to be a part of the school curriculum for children?
150%. Because all over the world when we wake up there is some music around us. We all knowingly or unknowingly hum tunes. Music is a very big tool to control stress and if we inculcate it in children, they will be eternally peaceful. Music should be used to make some changes in the kid’s life like we can have songs related to environment, traffic issues so that they start thinking that music is a way of communication and you can convey ideas through it. Therefore, it will become a medium for them and not just a music class.
Can you share some of your struggling days with us?
I am still struggling. I am still finding my way in the industry. It is a different level of struggle at different stages of life. Initially when I was in a reality show, the struggle was to successfully finish the show and come in eyes of music producers/director and get a good singing opportunity, but that did not happen. After that, my constant focus has been on learning various technical aspects of music production and composing along with singing. U must say that the major struggle has been to get in touch with the right people at the right time.
What are your future plans?
My plan is to get into music composing along with singing. I am already composing music with my friend Pavan under the brand name ‘Pavan-Kartik’ and we are collaborating. We have already made few songs and we will be releasing them soon on all platforms like itunes, youtubes etc.