IITian Turned Musician – Saumya Shanker
There cannot be a greater friend than music in one’s life but there are some music lovers who have made this friend their life and soul. Meet Saumya Shanker, the musician extraordinaire, for whom music is not a choice but an identity, a necessity and possibly his life!
Born in Kanpur to a family of litterateurs and philanthropists, Saumya spent his childhood reading books and witnessing music concerts in a city which was a melting pot of culture and fine arts. At the age of five he was gifted a pair of Bongos by his parents Naveen and Govind and that established his first connection with playing music. By the age of ten he started performing on stage and has never got down since! A graduate from IIT Kanpur, Saumya never went out of touch with music even while pursuing his studies. In fact his academic stint at IIT was peppered with his active involvement with the diverse musical societies at the prestigious institute.
Saumya calls himself a multi-instrumentalist by default! He started his musical journey by playing a variety of percussions – Congas, Djembe, Naal, Rotos, Daff, Dholak, etc. and later went on to add melody instruments like Guitar and Accordion. An accomplished song-writer and composer, he is an adept vocalist too, but only when his rhythm instruments are on a break!
A person, who has imbibed music completely in his life, has many interesting stories to tell. Saumya was the one of the founder members of an Indie band called Aurko which was in the Hindi-Rock circuit since the turn of the century. He released three albums with Times Music with the band and his first album ‘Nadiyaa’ received rave reviews from the public and the critics alike. Saumya won nominations and air – time on prominent music channels like MTV, Channel V, B4U, Zoom, SS Music and also in news channels like Star News and Times Now along with the band. Not only this but Saumya also got featured in print media while various Radio stations aired his songs and ran his and the band’s interviews.
Those were the heady days of independent music, he often rues.
Unfortunately, the journey for the band ended in 2008 as it got disbanded but a person like Saumya did not know how to stop. After a small break he came up with the launch of yet another Indie band called Dwi in collaboration with, as he calls them, two supremely gifted musicians of Bangalore, Puneet Joshi and Malvika Nirajan. Dwi took its first stage on October 2010 and from thereon, embarked on a thrilling musical journey which shows no signs of slowing down. In its short tenure, Dwi and its brand of live shows (performed just with an acoustic guitar and percussions) have hit a chord with the listeners of the IT capital. Songs of Dwi have featured on Radio and its stories have made it to the print media as well. Saumya manages the band as well along with being its self – styled PR executive!
The band, which calls itself as Alternative Hindi, has its hands full with new projects like Ik Naya Din Chala – A song on new beginnings, Subah – A chronicle of the underprivileged, an instrumental odyssey, an unnamed sensitive song on mentorship, a Hindustani – Carnatic fusion in collaboration with a few prominent artists and so on!
Saumya interestingly calls himself a greedy listener of music because of the wide range of genres he loves to hear. From Hindustani classical to Sufi, Folk, Bollywood, Ghazals, from Rock to Metal, Pop and even Blues, he loves to listen anything that has a standout melody constituent and a beautiful lyrical element to it. A worshipper of soulful music, Saumya likes to work upon those songs that have a good, sensitive story to tell – songs that touch lives and narrate tales of regular and normal affairs. For him good lyrics are the driver of his songs, any song, while the tune only follows the story.
A true believer in himself, it will be astonishing for one to know that he works with Wipro at Bangalore and is currently heading one of their largest alliances with Microsoft in the India and Middle East geographies along with his passionate involvement with music. Saumya’s decisions and all other aspects of his life revolve around music. According to him he is lucky to be bestowed upon with some wonderful and trusted friends; encouraging parents and his biggest support his soul mate Soma – All of whom help him keep the balance between music, work, and personal life.
A person for whom music is a partner in all stages of life, Saumya lives music in every breath. Such a person is a torch bearer to the people around. His dedication is a matter of motivation and encouragement not only to the music lovers but also to everyone who wishes to venture beyond the obvious trail of life.
We wish Saumya Shanker and his band Dwi all the success in the coming days of their musical journey. We will happily listen.
1) Ek Ajnabi Haseena Se
3) Sound Ok Horn