THE RHYTHM OF LIFE

Soumini Sridhara Paul, Vice-President, Artist Aloud, Hungama Digital Media Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. tells us about the role music has played in both her professional and personal life

28 Jan, 2019 by SOUMINI SRIDHARA PAUL

I don’t believe I can define what music is to me except for the fact that without it, I am lost. I can describe this literally by elaborating about my growing-up years. I think the first time I was introduced to music was when I started singing film songs as a five-year-old. Everyone told me that I had a lovely voice. Even at school, I was part of the choir and as part of extracurricular activities, I enrolled for music. This was followed by a five-year course in Hindustani Classical Music. Thus, music was very integral in my life and it continued to be through my college years.

However, interestingly, I never expected to make a career in music until I was introduced to a job consultant in Bengaluru who asked me a simple question, ‘What are your hobbies?’ On responding that I love music and singing, she introduced me to Prasad Bidappa, a fashion choreographer, with whom I performed for numerous shows over a span of two years. It was during this period that I met with a record label executive and signed up a contract to build a pop career. Unfortunately, the contract was called off mutually within two years and I had to figure out what I should do. At that stage in my life, music was all I knew and being a singer was all I wanted. I couldn’t think of anything beyond that.

I was living in Mumbai while I was in a contract with the record label but I could not continue to afford the stay, post the cancellation. So I had to get back to Bengaluru where my family had moved. There, I made a demo once again and tried pursuing other labels back in Mumbai, one more time. However, nothing worked. But back in Mumbai was where I wanted to be and hence I took up a job that had nothing to do with music. It was the most mundane job of working on a software that showed how a shirt would look on a model’s image. While I was grateful to the person who gave me the job that allowed me to come back to Mumbai, I felt like I couldn’t breathe. It was during this low phase that I met a person who was a veteran from the music industry and I expressed my obsession with music to him. It was the simplest line that he said that completely changed the path of my musical career. He said, ‘If you are so much in love with music, there are other parts of the industry you can be involved in, besides being a singer.’

What followed was a completely unplanned, yet absolutely fulfilling journey into the music space with stints in Universal Music, Channel [V] and my own set up with talent management managing artistes like Sowmya Raoh, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Euphoria, etc. The ultimate satisfaction now has been setting up Artist Aloud with a company like Hungama Digital Media where I have been able to not only associate with new and unreleased music but also talent that is unique and free to express their creativity without any restrictions - an opportunity that makes artistes feel emancipated and I feel blessed to be instrumental in making them feel that way.

Feedback: soumini.paul@hungama.com Category: Backbeat Volume No: 15 Issue No: 34

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