Published: 14th July 2017
Aaro Nenjil star Gowry Lekshmi opens up about her musical journey so far
The 23-year-old tells us why she chooses indie music over film music
With over 20 of her own compositions and a versatility that very few can boast of, 23-year-old Gowry Lekshmi, who rose to fame with Aaro Nenjil from the Malayalam film Godha opens up about how she was introduced to music and how she adapts to various genres. Excerpts:
How did it all begin?
I started learning music when I was three and was composing my own songs by the age of ten. I grew up in a village in Alappuzha, so most of my songs were inspired by nature. I then went on to do my MA in Music at Kerala University. I had once written a love song, Sakhiye, which the director, Rosshan Andrrews heard and used in the Mohanlal-starrer, Casanovva. After that I learnt western vocals from Augustine Paul in Chennai. I now sing playback for many Malayalam movies.
What was the defining moment in your career?
The first one, of course, was the song I did for Casanovva. The second was when I decided to get into independent music. A friend encouraged me to attend an independent music workshop and that was a life-changing decision.
Why do you think independent music is important in this day and age?
Of course, cinema music draws a lot of popularity, but independent music gives you the freedom that every musician longs for. You don't have to ask anyone's permission to do what you want. Also, abroad, the music industry is as popular as the film industry. Whereas in India, if a film has a ten-crore budget, only about 50,000 is allotted for the music. Independent music in India has a long way to go.
You've been training in different genres including western classical. How do you adapt to different genres?
I thank my gurus for helping me establish a firm foundation which is basic for every genre. That has helped me become versatile. Even when I perform western classical, I use my Carnatic music knowledge to sight read. It hasn't really been that difficult. In fact, I think my knowledge in various genres actually complements my performance.
Where do you see yourself in the next few years?
I'd like to do a tour in the future. I’d love to work with Amit Trivedi and A R Rahman. I write in Malayalam, but I don't want that to be a barrier. I'd like to work with artists from different languages.