In Tune With The Rhythm

Soumya Sanathanan

Soumya Sanathanan started off as a singer, got enchanted with rhythm and beats, delved into the art of percussion and now revels in creating mellifluous melodies. A versatile musician she is, S Soumya without doubt has a mighty presence in the social media and other networks.  A search in the media for her brings up a collection of her renderings for which she plays the percussion instrument of her choice.

From childhood itself she displayed affinity for music and thus was sent to music classes at a very young age. Soon for her luck the family got settled back to Thiruvananthapuram and she had the fortune to learn music under the guidance of Perumbavoor G Raveedranath. She participated in various cultural events and got recognized as a child artist very soon.  Though singing was her passion, there was something else that made her go wide eyed – percussion instruments and she decided to give a try on it. She started with tabala and soon at the age of 12 she was there as a tabalist in children’s musical show – ma ga ri sa. Learning and understanding the tabala made her more confident and with more curiosity she started to try other percussion instruments like edakka and drums. Her exploration in to the world of percussion instruments did not stop there; she explored more into the Eastern as well as the Western. She has got a very good collection of percussion instruments perhaps more than 30 with her including ‘Hapi’ drum and ‘Wave’ drum.

Dedication and devotion towards her passion, made her musical journey smoother and faster. She became a constant presence at various programs in Asianet, Doordarshan, Flowers and other known Malayalam television channels. She also shared the stage with M G Sreekumar for Sa Ri Ga Ma in Asianet.

She has given rendition for the compositions of the Raveendran master (Saiwar Thirumeni) and Rajamani and had the fortune to do a duet the song ‘Nellambalalle’ with MG Sreekumar in the movie ‘Chathurangam’. But the innate sense of rhythm and musicality in her has found more expression and made her more creative when she started to compose songs.  She says “I am more into composing these days and my taste for the instrumental music has aided me a lot while doing compositions”. She is the grade one light music composer for Akashavani Radio station. For all her talent, it was not a surprise that she has been awarded the best music director by Satyajit Ray Film Society. She had given music for the lyrics of the renowned bards like Sreekumaran Thampi, Poovachal Khader, Mankombu Gopalkrishnan and Rafeek Ahamed. She has done Onam songs for Doordharshan and also composed songs for the mini choral (Akashavani children’s choir) while it was revived after 15 years.

When it comes to academics, Soumya did not have any other subject of interest and she had music as her main subject for graduation and post-graduation. She has submitted her PhD with a JRF at Kerala University. In between she took a post-graduation in psychology with an intention to learn music therapy. She is in search of options to learn music therapy and though not qualified as a therapist, she has been teaching percussions at CADRRE Autism School since 2018 which she enjoys thoroughly.

She released the first Acapella cover song in Malayalam which became a hit in You Tube. She has smartly emulated the tones of various musical instruments in her Acapella. She does this with taps, voice manipulation and snaps, also called beatboxing. As her career demands, she does stage shows whenever possible and also manages time to provide drumming sessions for which there are many aspirants always. She also has set up a well-equipped studio ‘Neelambari’ at her own house. She is always grateful for her parents who has always supported her mentally and financially. If it was not for her mom she would not have gone for the music directory auditions in Akashavani. Now she has one more inspiration in her life; her daughter Neelambari, a budding artist who has inherited her mom’s music talent and this mom and daughter duo is all set to explore more into the exhilarating world of music and come up with more innovative creations.  When asked about her future plan, pat came the reply. “My dream is to set up a platform, a university where one can learn all the types of music and instruments, a complete music hub”. With a lot of dream in her eyes, she sets her happiness quotient when she says, “Serving the society through music and leading a joyful life with a peaceful mind is  what I consider as success and achievement”.

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