Abhay Jodhpurkar is from Indore and now calls Chennai his home. He is a singer and has been trained at AR Rahman’s KM Music conservatory. His debut hit song ‘Moongil Thottam’ from Mani Ratnam’s Kadal is a favorite amongst all who appreciate Tamil music.
Apart from being launched by A R Rahman, he has also been a part of A R Rahman’s concerts including “Thaai Manne Vanakkam”, MTV Unplugged etc. He has sung other songs following his debut song (including Adiyae Yenna Raagam (Rummy) Music: Imman; Othayilae (Endrendrum Punnagai) Music: Harris Jayraj; Padhiye (Aaha Kalyanam) Music: Dharan). He has performed in various college cultural festivals and has judged various talent shows. He has won several awards including “BIG Melody Awards” for his Debut song. He has been featured in many TV shows like Vijay TV, Jaya TV, Zee Tamil (Isai Unplugged) & Kappa TV (Music Mojo). He sings in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Marathi (Marathi is his mother tongue).
In conversation with Abhay to know how the musical journey unfolded for him.
Abhay please tell us about your life so far? How did a career in music happen for you?
I was born in Sendwa in Barwani district, Madhya Pradesh where I completed my initial schooling years. We moved to Indore and my higher secondary school years were spent at Vidyasagar High School. My grandfather was a Hindustani classical singer and right from a young age, I remember learning from him. I started singing for competitions and public functions from the age of 5. He participated and won at national level music competitions. Not only was I passionate about music, I was actively involved in sports, dance and art.
While in Indore I learnt music from my guru Ms. Sulochana Moghe who has also been my spiritual guru and learnt many a life lesson from her. While in Grade 12, I decided to pursue an undergraduate degree in Bio-technology. I was passionate about music, in fact, my parents encouraged me to pursue music as a full-time career, but I wanted to play safe with a backup career plan and hence packed my bags for Chennai to pursue Bio-tech from the reputed SRM University. This was 2009.
He was selected for the Amul Star Voice of India but couldn’t make it to the competition because of his Grade 12 exams.
As I was slowly settling in Chennai, I was drawn to Tamil music, to Carnatic music, to the instruments – mridangam and nadaswaram and so on. While in 2nd year, I became aware of Rahman Sir’s KM Music conservatory and started learning music at KM during the weekends. Every day at KM was a tremendous learning experience. I would wait for the weekend to arrive! I was part of the Qawwali group and sometime in 2011 at the annual day performance Rahman Sir took notice of me and sent for me. He recorded a couple of devotional songs/kalams with me. It was a surreal experience working with Rahman Sir. I recorded my debut song ‘Moongil Thottam’ in the December of 2011 and it released in exactly a year. That song opened gates for me and I’ve sung many other songs since then. I feel grateful for all the love and appreciation I’ve received. I’ve even been told that I’ve grasped the right Tamil accent!
I love Chennai now, its culture, its people. I am awestruck by Bharatanatyam. Every day is different. Many a times, I rehearse and record at night. It’s very peaceful. I will continue to learn music. There is so much to learn! I am also part of independent music groups such as the Kroonerz who recreate old music in new arrangement.
What do you love about what you do?
The joy is actually in listening to good music. I’m happy that my day begins and ends with music.
What are the challenges you face?
I started with a hit melodious song. The challenge now is to find songs of other genres to sing.
Please tell us about some memorable moments
The moment when Rahman Sir called me for the first recording. He actually remembered the lines I sang at the Qawwali performance. Recording Moongil Thottam was great. It was a dream come true. Rahman Sir is also my spiritual teacher. He’s taught me to ‘be myself’. ‘Thai manne vanakkam’ a performance in front of the largest crowd I had ever witnessed, close to 30,000 people was a heavenly experience.
What’s your Chennai favorite?
What are your dreams for the future?
I want to become an established and versatile playback singer. I wish to own my own music recording studio, and also be involved in independent music. I want to build a music school like KM at Indore. I paint and dream of holding an exhibition of my paints some day! I want to continue dancing.
Life is too short to do just one thing!
Who or what are your inspirations?
My grandfather, he was a survivor in life, struggled and worked hard and took care of his entire family. He ensured that all of us had everything we wished for. Rahman Sir is a great source of inspiration. My parents have stood by me in all my decisions.
Is there any advice you would like to give?
Learn music and let your teacher be your judge. And yes, you just have to give your ‘everything’ to your career.
I am also a believer in destiny, it leads you to where you belong.
Image Courtesy: Abhay Jodhpurkar
http://www.newindianexpress.com/entertainment/telugu/article1423419.ece – “The big break”
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