When and where was your first experience of music / singing?
My first experience was at my local primary school, where an outreach music initiative had myself and my classmates turn our Year 3 classroom turn into a choir practice room one lesson a week, over the course of the academic year. The leader noted I had some musical inclination, and could be ‘trained’ to develop this.
I was then very fortunate to become a chorister in 2008 at St Paul’s Cathedral after an audition. This marked the beginning of my formal musical education. I then also had the opportunity to study both Piano and Double Bass alongside this – the latter being a logistical nightmare for my parents!
Where did you grow up? Did you have access to classical music?
I’ve spent the majority of my life in the UK in North London, but home is Kerala, in South India where all but my immediate family live and I visit often. I would say I was introduced to a very different kind of music, rooted in Indian tradition through my parents. Again, I am very fortunate to have a chorister background and I’d say I am very much a product of the system which was the foundation of my musical career.
What has been your most memorable performance so far?
My most memorable performance was on tour in 2012, with the choristers of St Paul’s and Saint Thomas’s New York in the Dresden Opera House (Semperoper). We sang a commissioned requiem by Lera Auerbach which involved 40 languages (and I enunciated some of those I had familiarity with!) It was a very challenging setting which I certainly did not appreciate back them, but the recording is quite an entertaining listen.
What are you looking forward to with Genesis Sixteen?
I’m still at an early stage of my musical development, so I’m really looking forward to absorbing the knowledge and experience of the musicians we get to work under. Whilst I’ve sung in ensembles before, I really like how we’ll get to intimately work on different passages and appreciate the variety of ways we can approach phrases.
Everyone on Genesis Sixteen will share their passion for singing, but the diversity of thought each individual brings is refreshing and will encourage innovation. Ask me at the end of the course what I think about my peers! I suspect I’ll have made very close friendships.
Outside of singing, what do you like to do in your spare time?
I’m a keen sportsman, thoroughly enjoying my hockey and cricket playing at competitive level. I’ve also recently got into Netball, which my ankles are slowly regretting.
I’m also a diehard Arsenal fan, where my emotions will often be confused for passion. I know this will go down a treat with the conductors.
Are you still in education? Are you in any other young artists schemes?
I’ve entered the world of work, utilising my Economics knowledge in the Civil Service. Whilst this is on the opposite end of the music world, I really enjoy having singing as a ‘serious’ hobby, as it gives me the chance to break away from the desk and fully concentrate on something else which I love doing.