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Interviews |  25 Aug 2023 20:33 |  By Namrata Kale

I aim to avoid idleness at all costs, as it contradicts my drive to make most of life: Stephen Devassy

MUMBAI: Stephen Devassy, a well-known name in the Indian music world requires no introduction. This multi-talented musician, who hails from the little Kochi town of Palakkad, has established himself not just as a performer but also as a music director, composer, and arranger. His distinctive style of fusing modern music with Indian classical music has made him a worldwide celebrity, not only in India. The Multi-Talented Musician Making Waves in India's Music Scene is Stephen Devassy.

Stephen got his start in the music industry at a very young age. When he was a little child, he began studying the piano, and by the time he was a teenager, he had established a reputation.

Stephen got his start in the music industry at a very young age. When he was a little child, he began studying the piano, and by the time he was a teenager, he had established a reputation.  

Stephen has gone on to work with some of the biggest names in the Indian music industry, including Ustad Zakir Hussain, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Padmavibhushan Umayalpuram Sivaraman, Padmasri A Hariharan, Oscar winner A.R. Rahman, Padmasri Shankar Mahadevan, Shreya Ghosal, Padmasri Dr L Subramaniam, and Percussion king Padmasri A Shivamani, among many others.

To know more about this multi talented musician we have got his candid responses to some of the interesting aspects of his life. Please have a look at it below.

Could you please introduce yourself. Please tell us who is Stephen Devassy apart from music?

I am Stephen Devassy, singer, songwriter, composer and live performer and I'm thrilled to have this opportunity to share a bit more about myself beyond my music. While many of you might know me as a musician, there's a lot more to me than just the melodies and rhythms. Apart from my musical pursuits, one of my greatest passions is food. I consider myself a foodie, and exploring different cuisines and flavours is something that truly excites me. Whether it's trying out new restaurants or experimenting with cooking in my own kitchen, the culinary world has a special place in my heart. I also cherish the moments I get to spend traveling with my family. There's something magical about exploring new places and experiencing different cultures together. The memories we create during our journeys are priceless, and these adventures bring us closer as a family. Another aspect of my life that brings me immense joy is my love for pets. Animals hold a special place in my heart, and their unconditional love and companionship have enriched my life in countless ways.

Your versatility in music is what you are known for. Could you please tell us how your career began as a musician?

I initially embarked on my musical career as a classical pianist. However, over time, I transitioned into contemporary music, taking on roles such as a keyboard player, music producer, composer, and performer. My journey began at the age of 16 when I decided to pursue music seriously. I underwent about four to five years of training, which eventually led me to establish myself in the professional music and film industries. This path was embarked upon at a very young age, and I've now approximately 25 to 26 years of experience in the music and film domains.

How has the journey been so far? Please tell us about your challenges.

The journey thus far has been marked by challenges, a common aspect of any profession, business, or endeavor. Challenges are the crucible where hard work and determination are tested. Overcoming these hurdles brings a sense of accomplishment, contentment, and encouragement to continue progressing. Challenges strengthen individuals, enhancing their professionalism and confidence. Personally, I've encountered numerous challenges throughout my journey, sometimes on a daily basis. These experiences have contributed to my growth as both a skilled artist and a principled individual. Embracing challenges is an integral part of life, and I've come to appreciate the transformative power they hold.

You have worked with some of the big names in the past, which were some of your best experiences?

In my interactions with renowned personalities, I've always strived to cater to the audience's emotions and preferences. Composers have the ability to evoke happiness, sadness, or gratitude, and my inclination has been to create joy and excitement. Personally, I'm drawn to pioneering concepts, those that are unexplored and unique in sound and presentation. This passion for innovation led me to embrace unconventional instruments like the keyboard, which I view as a dynamic tool rather than a static one – I prefer to walk and play simultaneously. This approach has set me apart and allowed me to offer novel experiences to audiences. My aim has consistently been to deliver fresh encounters and messages that trigger happiness and a diverse range of contemplative thoughts in those who listen.

Who or what has been your inspiration?

I consider myself fortunate to have had unwavering support from my parents, who nurtured my musical inclination during my formative years. Their encouragement has been a driving force in my journey to becoming the musician I am today. Additionally, my wife, my pillar of strength, and my son, my greatest treasure, take immense pride in my achievements and who I've become. They consistently stand by me, reinforcing my efforts. In fact, I'm excited to share that next month, I'll be performing alongside my son, Shawn, in Dubai, a wonderful opportunity that symbolizes our shared love for music.

Your songs carry powerful messages. What impression do you want to make on the audience?

I strive to motivate the global youth to welcome music into their lives. Even dedicating just 15 to 20 minutes to playing an instrument can offer substantial mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits. My aspiration is to serve as an inspiration for budding musicians, illuminating the path to realizing that with genuine dedication, anything is achievable in the realm of music. My ultimate goal is to reach countless fans and listeners worldwide, conveying the ideals of peace and unity. By doing so, I hope to contribute to a more harmonious world for the generations that follow.

What are some aspects of your life that you no longer desire?

I have no desire to remain idle. Idleness leads to unproductive ventures, and I prefer to channel my energy into meaningful pursuits. Whether it's engaging in music or constantly brainstorming and pursuing new projects, I find fulfillment and inspiration in keeping myself occupied. In essence, I aim to avoid idleness at all costs, as it contradicts my drive to make the most of life.

 Please tell us about your future projects.

In the pipeline, I have an exciting project titled "EKTA - For Unity, For Peace." This album is designed to celebrate the spirit of harmony and collaboration, emphasizing the shared values that connect all of humanity. Additionally, I'm orchestrating a concert that promises to be a captivating blend of music and dance. The aim of this event is to advocate for global peace, unity, and combine the richness of diverse cultures through the performing arts. This project is a testament to how art and culture can break down barriers and ignite positive transformations.

 Simultaneously, I'm deeply involved in several other ventures. Firstly, my music album "EKTA" is a personal endeavour that holds great significance. Additionally, I'm engaged in composing the music for a Telugu movie, and there are discussions underway regarding my involvement in the music, as well as scoring the background music for a Bollywood film. Presently, these are the prominent projects on my agenda, spanning across both my independent music and film scoring ventures.

 Message for the audience.

 My Dear and most valued audience, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of you for your unwavering support throughout my musical career. Your presence, your love and appreciation for my music, truly inspire me to delve deeper into the world of music, continuously seeking ways to create and share meaningful melodies. Your encouragement is the driving force behind my artistic endeavours, and I'm truly honoured to have you by my side. My ultimate aim is to bring even more inspiration and joy through my music, touching your hearts and bringing smiles to your faces. So, from the bottom of my heart, I extend my sincere thanks to you, my cherished audience, and to the universal language that binds us all together – music.