Mesmerizing the world with her ‘Singing Violin’ - Know the journey of Maestro Kala Ramnath

Music
Kala Ramnath
Mesmerizing the world with her ‘Singing Violin’ - Know the journey of Maestro Kala Ramnath

Kala Ramnath is the contemporary torch-bearer of the Mewati Gharana and stands today among the most outstanding instrumental musicians of North India. Born into a unique musical lineage of seven generations straddling the two classical music systems of India, Kala’s genius with the violin manifested itself from early childhood. A pre-eminent disciple of the legendary vocalist Pandit Jasraj, Kala has completely revolutionized violin technique and produces a sound so evocative of North Indian vocal music that today her violin is called “THE SINGING VIOLIN.” Kala is at the vanguard of the present generation of young Indian super-stars. Let’s know the auspicious journey of Maestro Kala Ramnath.

Quick Facts

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Known As: Kala Ramnath
Birthday 29th May
Father’s Name T.N. Mani
Mother’s Name: Malathy
imd1 for Violinist, Music
Achievements
  • A Top-Grade Artiste in India's Radio and Television
  • Rashtriya Kumar Gandharva Sanman award from Madhya Pradesh Government – 2008
  • Pandit Jasraj Gaurav Puraskar – 1999
  • The first Indian violinist to be featured in the violin Bible ‘The Strad’
  • Sangeet Natak Akademi Award from Govt of India for contributions to the violin in Hindustani Classical Music – 2016
Place from Chennai, Tamil Nadu

We are keen to know; how did your journey begin?

I come from a musical family from Kerala who were court musicians of Travancore. I am the 7th generation.

What’s your success mantra?

Work hard and try to be a perfectionist.

What were the hardships / hurdles your encountered and the way you overcame in your journey?

I did not use my family name to come up in life. Even today not many know from which family I hail. So, I struggled like any upcoming musician, but I worked hard and looked at how I could be unique in my violin playing and worked towards it and the rest is history.

Success is incomplete without its share of failures. How should one overcome them to move on?

Of course, there will be failures. If we see success all the time, wont we think we are invincible? Failures are there to put us in our place and give us the right perspective because if we only saw success, we will not grow and improve as musicians and individuals.

Beyond Singing

Favorite Personalities Pandit Jasraj, Vidushi Kishori Amonkar, Dr. N.Rajam
Inspirations Vidushi Kishori Amonkar and Ustad Zakir Hussain
Food I Love Indian food
Food I Hate: I do not hate anything, but I may like some dishes more than the others
Had I not been playing Violin then… Been a lawyer or working in a corporate firm
Like Vacations at Staying at home!! That’s my vacation
Favorite Past time Keep to myself
Favorite Dialogue: No pain No gain!! So, keep working hard!!
Favorite Movies / Series: A few Good Men, Piku

Do you think Music and its learning’s can be helpful in life even if one does not want to consider it as a career goal?

Definitely. It helps in the overall development of the individual and give him confidence and a well-rounded personality. It acts as a stress buster and helps a person achieve more in life.

Who has been your influencer in this journey & how?

My grandfather. I was born in a musical family and whatever I am today is due to my grandfather.

Did you get any formal training and how was that journey?

I started training from the age of two and a half first from my grandfather – A. Narayan Iyer, then from Pandit Jasraj ji. I started performing from when I was 12 years old first with my aunt Dr. N. Rajam and then on my own from the age of 14. The journey has been pretty good so far.

Could you reflect on the importance of systematic training in Music?

Training in Indian Classical music has given me the vision and quick thinking to formulate my instant musical response when I collaborate with other different genres of music.

What are the pre-coaching essentials e.g. Right age, mindset or any other?

The interest, sincerity shown to practice what is learnt is the most essential.

Technology and scientific training has been changing the way people get trained in Music. What’s your take?

True. Technology has changed how we learn music and music has become more universal and this is all a positive change which I have benefited from immensely.


What according to you, can be a scope for improvement in training for Music in India?

The government can make music compulsory in schools to make every child music literate and give them the love for this art to keep this art alive.

How can one select an ideal ‘Guru’ for getting formal training for Music?

One should first expose oneself to different artistes and understand which style appeals to him or her and then he or she should approach the guru.

What do you suggest for better accessibility of Music in remote parts of India?

Music festivals arranged by the respective state governments, music made compulsory in schools.

In your opinion, what are the basic key traits apart from formal training that make “imd1”?

Hard work and discipline in life.

Your piece of advice to parents and new generation especially when some people are skeptical about career in extra curriculum.

Education is necessary, but sports too is equally important for the development of your child. Being able to play a sport teaches so much more than a book will ever teach. It inculcates values of dedication, being hardworking, being disciplined and most importantly being able to give your best shot always. Precisely I would only request parents to help your child take up a child since his/her tender age because sports are all about leading a healthy lifestyle, with a fit body and mind in coordination.

How can one identify & encourage talent in the family?

I think if the child is responsive to music or any other art as a child it should be encouraged.