"The Bhakthi Movement began over 1000 years ago in Tamilnadu and spread all over the country eventually. The confluence of music and Bhakthi created a huge influence on the people who came in touch with it. It continues to draw the attention and interest of the both musicians and commoners. The soul filling music compositions of Namdev, Guru Nanak, Meera Bai, Amir Khusrau and Kabir are all part of our well known music history. I was simply drawn into it thanks to my association with wonderful musicians like Kumar Gandharwa," stated Vedanth Bharadwaj who is 37 years young right now.
Guitarist Vedanth spoke exclusively to SimpliCity about his family, education and music recently. Born to Sivaswamy and Mahalakshmi at Mumbai, Vedanth began learning music under Ponnu paatti from the age of 4 and he moved over to Chennai at the age of 7 thereafter. He did a stint a Padma Seshadri and moved over to Rishi Valley at Madanapalli in Andhra Pradesh for his plus two. It was here that he met up with Ananth Menon his room mate who got him exposed to the world of the wonderful romantic instrument, the guitar. Vedanth had also learned carnatic music along with his brother Prashanth under Neyveli Santhanagopalan for sometime. At Rishi Valley he was lucky to learn with Seshadri who happened to be another Carnatic exponent. Vedanth is married to Neha, a musician herself who who writes and composes music for her band consisting of her father and sister. The couple are blessed with the lovely Ameya.
The music loving Vedanth added further, "My friend Ananth Menon is a great musician and I collaborate with him even now. It was he who exposed me to Pink Floyd, Beatles, Simon Garfunkle, Eagles, Led Zeppelin etc., Thanks to all this and more now my influences include Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, T.R.Mahalingam, Frank Sinatra, Allman Brothers Pandit Bhimsen Joshi and quite a few note worthies from the world of music."
By the way, Vedanth did his undergrad in economics from the Vivekananda College Chennai, completed his postgrad in psychology from Madras University and qualified as a guitarist from the Trinity College London among other qualifications but his first passion was music. This brought into the world of music at an early age. Vedanth exhibits unlimited enthusiasm while sharing some nuggets from his life and career, "I am grateful to my parents for giving me this opportunity. I would not be here if not for their support and sacrifice. My Guru Ramamurthy Rao has been a great support for me from the year 2003. A lot of me and my music have shaped by him. The strict and result oriented teacher Thangadurai Samuel was my Guitar Guru. He was much sought after by students. Now I work with a number of people who include Bindhu Malini (grand daughter of the noted Jaladarangam player Late Seethalakshmi Duraiswamy) who happens to be an important collaborator. I am fortunate that Anil Srinivasan has adopted me as his little brother. Divakar Subramaniam was another great support. His association did its great bit by getting me into the web called - sound engineering. However my journey into Kabir started due to my association with Kumar Gandharwa and his renditions simply drew me in. I started singing them even without understanding the purport. This made me create my first album "Mati Kahe" in the year 2007. Now I render songs of Soordas, Purandaradas and others along with music from my guitar."
Vedanth has done music for a couple of films too - "Brahmastram" in Telugu (2006) and now for the to be released Tamil movie "Aruvi". In fact the piece "Anbin Kodi" from the movie was released recently. He runs a music recording studio "Sama" from G.N.Chetty Road at T.Nagar in Chennai. Vedanth enriched the conversation with more inputs, "Basically our studio does a lot of music with the world of dance, cinema, theatre etc., Its been a pleasure working with Anitha Rathnam for she is continuously innovative. I have also accompanied artists like Sikkil Gurucharan, Trichur Brothers, Viji Krishnan, Bombay Jayshri, Chithraveena Ravikiran over the years. My travels into the world of music made me perform at Singapore, Bhutan, Ladakh, Kabir Yatra at Bikaner, Storm Festival in Coorg and of course our Coimbatore Vizha. Yes, I am associated with Coimbatore because my parents and paatti Subbulakshmi stay at a retirement home in the suburbs. My dad runs an NGO called "Kalvi Thunai" at Perur Pachapalayam, a free after school for poor kids. Now I am collaborating with Radhika Sood, Ankit Chadda and Padmashri awardee Prahlad Singh Tipanya in order to take subjects like Dastangoi (Persian form of story telling) among other interesting subjects which include Amir Khusrau. Prahlad Singh Tipanya actually made me realise that only when the essence hits the person would he or she understand Kabir. I am lucky for my many influences, mentors, teachers and collaborators who have brought me this far and will make me move further too." Words of humility indeed. The music of Vedanth on his guitar captivates the audience by simple taking over the atmosphere each and every time. The rendition Vittala with Bindhumalini is simply fabulous. Vedanth fits into folk music, Hindusthani, Carnatic, Western and many other types with effortless ease and it becomes quite a task to describe his multi faceted skill set.
The Guitarist Music Director has several collaborations and projects which are sure to add both quality and variety to the world of music.