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News |  01 Feb 2016 20:27 |  By RnMTeam

Dearth of refreshing female indie musicians? Soundarya 'Unapologetic'ally proves you wrong

Forget the notion that talent shows have lost their purpose or lead to the usual unfortunate disappearance of the winners post the celebrations and short-term contracts with music labels. Forget the fact these shows gradually fall prey to the TRP game, and ultimately drown in the ocean of 'yet-another-reality-show', these concepts have provided some names and faces and voices and talents that catch your attention at the strangest of times.

The grand finale of the country's first English singing talent show 'The Stage' was aired on Colors Infinity, just over two months after the first episode. Naturally, the final episode of any talent show ends with the announcement of who, according to the judges or fans, showed more quality and promise than any other contestant throughout the competition. And the winner wasn't Soundarya Jayachandran.

The month of January proved very special to Soundarya. She turned 22. But the songwriter probably waited for the arrival of the month for a different reason. On 20 January, Soundarya's single 'Unapologetic' was uploaded on YouTube, and over 14k found a refreshingly new voice to obsess to.

Her latest single 'Unapologetic' opens with an acoustic guitar intro, soon followed by the voice that drove YouTube comments comparing her to Lana Del Rey. That's hardly the truth. 'Unapologetic' has a dark 'vibe' to it, however it is Soundarya's vocals that firmly gets you hooked for the entire composition. Soundarya's vocal timbre distinguishes herself from the musicians that she's drawn parallel to. The outro to the track leaves an impression that lets you asking for more, and on the other side of the track, the intro forces you to regret you hadn't explored the artist before. Soundarya joins the list of female indie musicians setting up benchmarks for themselves as years pass by with unique compositions and musicality that often went unnoticed. Gowri Jayakumar, Vasuda Sharma, Alisha Pais- to name a few- have provided enough reasons to throw the misconception, that shouted 'lack of female talent' in the indie space, out of the window.

Around a decade ago, Soundarya found a passion in the form of music- classical music, to be precise. The then 12-year-old couldn't look beyond the beauty of classical music for a brief period in her life until John Mayer (or his music) was introduced to her. "The family was always involved in music. Dad used to play guitars, brother introduced me to Mayer and the atmosphere always ensured music always remained a priority for me," said Soundarya, Picking up an instrument was inevitable for Soundarya. Composing music was inevitable for Soundarya. And her 2013 released EP 'Shades Of Revival' stand as an example of how well she could translate her knowledge of music into a '5-track' expression of ideas and emotions.

After her education in Muscat, Soundarya returned to India, joined the KM Music Conservatory, earned a degree in western classical vocals, performed at intimate cafes and outdoor festivals and later earned herself an opportunity to be judged by Vishal Dadlani, Monica Dogra and co. The 22-year-old finds comfort with vocals in English and Tamil (in that order), and the comfort zone extends to live performances over TV shows. "The experience of performing at 'The Stage' was obviously immense, but I prefer live performances over TV shows. There is a connect with the audience. I like to be validated," says the songwriter who spent her post-EP release days not worrying about being stuck somewhere low at the aural food chain.

'Quirky' and 'magical' were some of the attributes Dadlani used to describe Soundarya during the show, but the praises did not stop off camera, assures Soundarya. "The beauty of the show relied on the fact that there was no fakeness among anyone involved. Every judge was immensely helpful, and at one point, we became friends," adds Soundarya. Her favourite competitor? "Kamiksha Khanna. I doubt if anyone possessed her understanding of music. Her voice has a global appeal. We are currently working on another single." Sticking to voice with global appeal, Soundarya finds comparisons to Adele and Lana Del Rey flattering, although wastes no time in notifying neither are her biggest inspirations. "Strictly speaking about vocals, I look up to Alanis Morissette and Christina Aguilera," said Soundarya.

Not winning 'The Stage' steered Soundarya to a venture she probably was not expecting. "I was approached by a gentleman from Viacom, who seemed pretty impressed with my voice. He spelled out his ideas for me, and that was the first step towards execution of 'Unapologetic'", fondly remembers Soundarya.

So 'The Stage' is history and Soundarya was a part of it. Soundarya intends to release more singles throughout the calendar year, and also expects to collaborate with fellow competitors from 'The Stage' for the same. Soundarya has taken a major climb in this aural food chain, and the release of more singles would only bring her much-deserved attention.