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Music is my life: Aditya Rao

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Musician Aditya Rao
Aditya Rao, the young music talent, who has entered Sandalwood in Bhavana Belagere's Ballpen, spoke to Oneindia about his passion, works and more. Here are the excerpts from the interview:

Please give us a brief introduction about yourself.
I was born in Bangalore and brought up in Pittsburgh. I speak English, Kannada, Tamil, Hindi and a little bit of German! I'm a global citizen who loves music, striving to succeed in the entertainment industry. I have completed my bachelors degree in Finance from Penn State University. Currently, I'm pursuing a masters degree in Entertainment Industry Management from Carnegie Mellon University. A little, confusing, right? On the contrary!

My passion and training for music, movies and finance provides for an opportunity where I can incorporate my business skill set in an industry that I love: entertainment. I am in pursuit of understanding and experiencing the world of entertainment. Production, distribution and representation of media in a digitally immersed environment are all wildly awesome to me!

About your knowledge and fluency over Kannada...
I can speak Kannada but cannot promise a grammatically correct dialect!

Tell us about your works.
A blend of multiple interests, ranging from the art of music to the wonders of automobiles, basically describes the two main passions in my life in a nutshell!

I come from a home where music is an integral part of the day-to-day activities. My parents are patrons of music who listen to all kinds of music; ranging from classical (both western and Indian) to Indian movie songs, RnB and all in between. Semmangudi, Kadri Gopalnath, MS Subbulakshmi, Madurai Somu, Yanni, John Denver, Kishore Kumar, Balamurali Krishna, AR Rahman and many others are regulars for all of us at home.

I started my musical journey at the age of five at Vijaya School of Music (VCM) under the tutelage of my teacher K Ramesh. Since then I have studied various genres such as Carnatic, Hindustani, Jazz, Western Classical, Hip Hop. I continue to learn music through Skype from my teacher, K Ramesh, who lives in Bangalore. Through I have also had the privilege in competing and winning competitions and special mentions at the Cleveland Thyagaraja festival and the Gayana Samaja in Bangalore. I have been publishing my music on YouTube since 2007. The real recognition came when I worked with Shankar Tucker in 2011, where we recorded AR Rahman's 'Manmohini morey' and have made an impact to nearly 900 thousand viewers.

Some of my favorites have been an Acappella concept I tried with a Kannada evergreen song - 'Shivappa kayo thande...'. I have added the background music through my voice modulations along with the original background music in certain areas. Another favorite is a take I have on a John Legend's 'Ordinary people...'. This was also aired on CBS Radio's Morning show in Pittsburgh, when I interned there for 6 months.

How did you bag Bhavana Belagere's Ball Pen and how was the work experience?
I connected with Manikanth Sir via Facebook and sent him my YouTube links to 'Shivappa kayo thande...' and 'Manmohini...'. Surprisingly, he responded and gave me the opportunity to work with him in Ball Pen. I came to Bangalore last December and recorded two songs for the movie. The experience was awesome wherein both Manikanth Sir and the movie director Shashi Sir were absolutely a pleasure to work with. They treated me as a long time friend and made me feel completely at ease while recording. In fact, you can see those positive vibes on YouTube when you watch the 'Savira Kirana...' video.

Music is a hobby or is it a passion for you?
Though this sounds cliché, music is my life. In my mind, music is part of me that can never be separated. Even when I was figuring out the direction to my educational future, I knew it needed encompass music and entertainment in some way. My Masters degree has enabled me to intern at places like Atlantic Records, Warner Brothers Records, and International Creative Management (ICM- one of the largest talent agencies). Music is definitely a way of life.

Have offers started coming your way?
I do get regular offers but most of them require me to be in India. My main focus at the moment is to complete my Masters program by May 2013. However, I do have a couple of offers, which I look forward to work with during my trip to India this December.

Who is your favourite musician? (both Kannada and other languages)
PB Srinivas, Raghu Dixit, AR Rahman, Ilayaraja, John Legend, Carlos Santana, Shreya Ghoshal, Sonu Nigam, etc. There isn't enough paper in the world to list all of my favorites!

Are you interested in donning grease paint?
Haven't thought about it thus far.

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