Exclusive interview with Hemachandra
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Hemachandra, known as the HOT, HANDSOME and HAPPENING HYDERABADI', became internationally popular through Zee TV's Music competition 'SaReGaMaPa Challenge 2005'. He was the only south Indian to make it to the finals of the competition. Though he finished as the second runner-up, he was widely acknowledged as the best singer with the most original voice by several stalwarts of Bollywood such as Subhash Ghai, Aadesh Shrivastava, Ismail Darbar, among others.
The child prodigy Hemachandra hails from a family with rich musical heritage. He is the son of SMT.V.SASIKALA, an accomplished singer and Nandi award winner.
At the tender age of 18, he has established himself as an accomplished singer and performer. Although he sings film songs, he has extensive training in both Carnatic classical and Hindustani classical music. He has regaled audiences worldwide with his performances in USA, Canada, Bangkok, etc. He has already sung playback in Hindi, Telugu, Tamil and Assamese films.
Hi Hema! Give us some background on your music interest!
It started from my childhood. My father tells me that I used to hum along with my mother when I was 2. That prompted them to put me through right channels in music. I learnt Carnatic. I started giving stage shows when I was 5. Before I went to Saregama, I learnt Hindustani also.
How did you enter Saregama?
I was in Delhi once singing for Sangam group. I was singing Telugu songs. Anooj Kapoor, music director, came to me and adviced me to participate in the competition. I was excited but was very tensed at the same time. Reason is that I didnt know Hindi. I never heard Hindi songs before. After that trip, I learnt Hindi from my uncle and heard Hindi songs on regular basis. One month before the competition, I started to write down the lyrics and tried to understand them first. Knowing the meaning would get the song from heart. Initially I was tensed. The friendly environment and co-operation I received from other colleagues made it easy for me.
You came runner up in the finals. Were you disappointed?
Not at all. Did you see me feeling disappointed or crying on the show. No. My mom always told me that it is the participation that matters and not the result. And moreover, I was very happy that I got appreciation from nook and cornor. Also the judges showered their
personal appreciation on me.
What do you consider is your best break?
I consider many. Alag, Dil Diya Hai, Premante Ide (Koti), Boss etc. It is Boss that gave me good break and that song got me good recognition.
You are only 18 now. When you sing songs in the films, sometimes you might have to modulate to an elderly voice. How do you do that?
My base is good. I take enough measures to modulate my voice to suit the heroes. I am still working on that front. I still have to learn lot of things. And also,I take plenty of time to practise.
How did you get your first break as playback singer?
When I was on Zee Saregama, Srivatsava gave me an offer for Alag. That was my first break. After that Koti garu offered me Premante Inthe. I was initially asked to sing one. After I did my first one, he made me sing 2 more. I am really very thankful to Koti garu.
Who is your favorite music director and singer?
Music director - it is always Ilayaraja. I love his songs. I heard so many and even sung so many of his songs. I also bought so many CDs and cassettes just for his sake. There were times when I even bought the CD just for one song. My all time favorite songs are Jilibili palukulu chilipiga palikina (Sitara) and Matematramu Manasebandhamu (Sitakokachiluka). I also love KV Mahadevan's compositions. Ye divi lo virisina parijathamo is one of my all time favorite songs.
Coming to singers, I love SPB, Janaki, Chitra and in Hindi I like Shaan, KK.
Do you watch movies?
Not much. I am always into music.
In the competitions, you imitate a song, an existing song or tune. When you sing for a film, it will be new composition. How do you find these different?
Actually imitating is not that easy. One advantage is that when you listen to the original you can feel the expressions and tone. However, when you go to record a new song, you have to understand the lyrics to get the feel. If that is not understood, the pain or the joy will not be projected appropriately.
What is your education?
I am doing by BSc first year in Mumbai.
Is your singing career conflicting your education?
No. Both have to go without conflicts.
Apart from your love for music, what else do you like to do?
I am into sports. I am a state level champion in skating. I love badminton. That was few years ago. Now I dont have time for anything other than music.
Any plans for your own album.
Adesh Srivatsva garu is planning one album.
How is the response for your shows.
It is great. I recently toured US and the response there was excellent. I also gave solo performances in Canada and Toronto.
Also I tourned San Francisco along with Vinod Rathod and others.
What are your next movies?
I sang songs in Chakri's Adilaxmi and also Bhagyalaxmi Bumper draw. Also, I might sing one for Subash Ghai, Vishal Bharadwaj etc.
Which music director would you like/dream to sing for?
Ilayaraja and AR Rehman.
Hemachandra says he has not achieved anything yet. That proves his modesty and humbleness. He is 18 and is known to the entire nation for his voice. We wish that he achieves greater heights. We wish all the best to Hemachandra in his future endeavours.
Here is a short list of his accomplishments:
1) He has sung in the movie 'Alag' under Aadesh Shrivastava's music direction.
2) He has sung under Himesh Reshamiyya's direction in the movie 'Dil Diya Hai'.
3) He is currently recording a song for Subhash Ghai's movie 'Bad Boys Good Boys' under Himesh Reshamiyyas music direction.
4) He has sung the lead introductory song for Tollywood superstar, Nagarjuna of 'Shiva' fame for his recent blockbuster 'Boss'.
5) He has sung three songs for the telugu movie 'Premante Inthe' under Sri Koti's music direction.
6) He has sung for the famous music director 'Mani Sarma' in the movie 'Room Mates'.
7) He has sung for the movie 'aadilakshmi' for hero srikanth under Chakri's music direction
8) He has sung for the movie 'Bhagyalakshmi bumper draw' under Chakri's music direction.
9) He has sung for the movie 'Nikki and Neeraj' for hero sivaji under Vandemataram srinivas's music direction.
10) He has given numerous stage performances in India and abroad. He has just successfully finished a USA and Canada tour. He also performed in Bangkok and Dubai.
11) Hemachandra has sung and performed in the presence of great LEGENDS like BHARAT RATNA Dr. Latha Mangeshkar, PADMASRI Dr. S.P.Bala Subrahmanyam, PADMASRI Dr. Mangalampally Bala Murali Krishna, Smt. S.Janaki, Sri. Koti, Sri. K.Vishwanath, Sri. Jagjit Singh, Smt. Alka Yagnik, Sri. Suresh Wadkar, Smt. Kavitha Krishna Murthy Vaidyanathan, Pt. Sri Jasraj, and Sri Daler Mehendi.
12) He has also won several awards and prizes besides releasing three audio cassettes.
For further information, please go to 'www.hemachandra.in'.
For shows and other enquiries, contact:
Pani - Ph: 098661 59367, email: firstname.lastname@example.org