Married to music

Kaushalendra Singh –

Doing stage performance among childhood acquaintances is a matter of pride. This sense of pride was quite evident in Soumya Sanathanan when she came to perform in Salalah.
A successful singer, composer and percussionist, she was born in Muscat’s Khoula Hospital in 1984. She spent her childhood years in Salalah and began her musical journey at the tender age of five here.
She was thrilled to be back in Salalah to give a performance on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Malayalam Wing of the Indian Social Club Salalah.
She was curious and excited to see large scale developments – high rise buildings, new bridges and above all, the new Salalah Airport. Walking down the memory lane was equally exciting for her.
Soumya has made a foothold in the world of music through ‘cappella’, a group or solo singing with the help of human voice, claps and snaps, without instrumental accompaniment.
“I started learning music at the age of five here. I moved to Thiruvananthapuram in the Indian state of Kerala at the age of 10. There I learned from Perumbavoor G Ravindranath. I started learning tabla when I was 11 and started off as a tablist in a children’s music show in television channel Asianet when I was 12,” Soumya shared.
Music became her passion. She started singing and doing a lot of shows on TV. After coming in contact with famous musician MG Sreekumar, Soumya did many shows in India and abroad along with him. Saiwar thirumeni was her first movie in which she gave her song, which was composed by the famous music director Raveendran Master. She also sang for Chaturangam in which the song Neelambalalle was a duet with MG Sreekumar.
She has completed bachelor and masters in Music from Kerala University with first rank. For her interest in music therapy, Soumya also did masters in psychology. She had to give a pause to her musical activities for a while, but picked up again with songs in Vasanthathinte Kanal Vazhikalil and another recent movie Dhanayathra, a song composed by Rajamani.
She is currently doing research in music and is a Grade One light music composer for Akashavani.
She has composed music for the lyrics written by the legendary figures like Sreekumaran Thampi, Poovachal Khader, Mankombu Gopalakrishnan, Rafeek Ahmed etc and recently composed three Onam songs for the mini choral which was revived after a gap of over 15 years.
“I also composed a set of five songs for Doordarshan for Onam this year. I have a great passion for percussion and I am doing percussion shows these days,” said Soumya who has her own studio at home.
As there is none in the family who sings or plays any musical instrument, she has a broad range of inspiration. “I think I cannot name one person. I have always been inspired by many musicians and also by people who have really struggled a lot to achieve something in life. I try to get inspired from everything possible,” she said.
All forms of music excite her that she is not sure about her own specialisation. “I don’t know really. I just know that I love music. I love singing, composing, playing instruments and I keep on learning all these,” she said.
There is no one in the family except her six-year-old daughter Neelambari, who has interest in music. The family support, however, is amazing.
“Whatever I am doing is only due to my parents’ support. They have set up a wonderful studio at home for me… Neelambari is fond of music and dance and she does accompany me in my videos at times.”
She admits to have struggles in her journey and says, “I think behind any success there is always some hard work. Luck favours only some. I always enjoyed my journey in music.”
Soumya doesn’t believe in chasing success but keep on challenging herself to get new skills and be perfect in whatever she is doing.
“I think I have miles to go before I sleep, as I want to be known as a good musician and also a good human being, who has been married to music.”