Dhananjay Collur – A Late Blooming Musician from IIT Kharagpur
Today we bring to you an interview with a man of diverse talents. He studied at prestigious IIT Kharahpur and then went on to establish his own ventures in software/hardware field. But the music keeda in him made sure that he switched to pursuing music making at an age of 57. He symbolises that it is never too late to pursue your passion. He is our music loving friend Dhananjay Collur who is also known as DJ.
Tell us about your memories of your first association with music. How did music come in your life?
My mother was learning Carnatic music so I guess my association with music is from her womb. Those days the teacher used to come home and teach so there was music at home all the time.
From where and when did you start formal training?
No formal training. I was at IIT Kharagpur in RK Hostel that had a rich tradition of music. As a part of guru sishya parampara, my seniors and contemporaries taught me how to play guitar and sing. However, at the age of 57, I started attending formal lead guitar classes at TAAQademy. I owe my lead guitar skills to them.
What marked the beginning of a music composer/singer? Was it always on your mind?
I am sort of late bloomer viz composing music. I started when I was thirty and kept performing for my friend. Started serious recording just about a year ago.
What motivates you every day to keep composing/singing?
For one thing, the whole process of writing lyrics, composing music, singing, playing guitar, singing, refining, etc. keeps away negative thoughts. Composing / Singing keeps me positive about life every day.
What is the role of other people in your journey?
My music listening on college was with batch mate Sekar. Once I started working, my friend Moses sort of controlled my music listening. Past few years, youtube, boss, internet radio stations, songdew, radio indigo and 94.3 provide me a variety of music
For my compositions, I work alone. Once the song is ready and internalized, I spend one day with Amrith Raghunathan who is a kick-ass sound engineer and brilliant musician. He provides me with all instrumentation needs and makes me sound better than I actually am.
What type of songs do you like to compose?
Variety across all genres. Post-retirement, I see myself as a Blues guitarist and singer.
How do you balance yourself with these multitasks? Your inspiration in all your works?
Minimal socializing and spending time at home. I sort of compartmentalize my time between work, family, music and socializing.
Inspiration? Many great 70s legends.
What is your take on today’s music scene?
Initially, I used to shy away from current music. I am slowly starting to like EDM, HipHop, Rap, etc. thanks to radio and gym.
Unlike pre 2000, there is tremendous talent thanks to massive opportunities. Software technology in music has democratized recording leading to an explosion of artists all doing original works.
Fond memories you would like to share about your fans or the artists you have worked with or any other.
My friends have always supported my music. Fond memories is when I pick up the guitar when we all get together and they also join me in singing my originals.
Tell us more about the album you have released.
I have selected five songs from my collection with similar styles all about love – discovering love, falling in love, losing love, getting back love and the latest Unrequited Love.
I got the inspiration for Unrequited Love when I was reading the biography of Eric Clapton. He fell in love with Patty already married to his best friend George Harrison. He was after her for a decade before she finally married him. So this song is dedicated to Clapton.
What are your future projects?
I am putting together an album which is more into rock followed by one more Hindi album.
If you could time travel, which era would you like to compose songs for? And for which singers?
70s. Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan
Singers and songs that you would love to listen at any point of time, composed by other music directors/singers?
Mostly I listen to Blues – too many singers to name.
Your msg for our readers.
Music lets you stay positive in life and wards away depression. Playing music and singing will put Alzheimer’s at bay. So make sure that you spend at least two hours on music every day.
Check out his YouTube channel here
Other ways to enjoy music by him