Crown The Brown: Shruti Teeluck
Crown The Brown: Shruti Teeluck shares her musical journey. 21 year old Shruti, has left so many speechless with her amazing musical talent. Her love for bollywood and her parents musical background have inspired most of her work. Shruti started her journey at the age of 3, playing the harmonium and learning to play the Sitar at the age of 6, as well as being a bharatnatyam dancer !
What a beautiful and fulfilling childhood journey leading to the musical talent she is today. We were so excited to know more about Shruti, here is what she had to share with us!
Who is Shruti? Tell us more about yourself
I am a musician/bharatnatyam dancer and about to be a final year pharmacy student at Ukzn. I am 21 years old, from Durban.
At what age did you start playing the violin? What intrigued this love for music?
I started the violin at the age of 8 but I had been playing music and dancing from before I remember. My parents are both hindustani classical musicians and my mother is a bharatnatyam dancer. So I grew up in a home that was always filled with music and dance. My parents influenced me the most. They were very strict and we had to practice everyday.
My first instrument was the harmonium at 3 years old and at 6 I started learning the sitar from my parents. And somewhere along the way i picked up the guitar. However, I started learning western classical violin at the age of 8 and I have had amazing teachers since. I still go for lessons till this day and continue learning all of the instruments that I play. There’s still loads to learn.
You have such a unique way of bringing instrumental and Bollywood together. What motivated this combination?
Actually I am a bollywood fanatic. I love bollywood music from the 1940s till bollywood music today. Doing covers is my way of showing my love towards the music and I love it. My dad is a full time musician and he has always sung golden oldies and ghazals so that’s where it all started. By being on stage with him I was always inspired and he motivated me to play these amazing classics when he sings. So from there, I started doing covers as part of our performance on stage.
What do you enjoy most about being a musician?
The fact that there is sooooooooo much to still learn. No matter how old I get there will be more to learn and so the thrill of learning and practicing music will simply never end.
We are sure you’ve had some amazing highlights! What has been your most memorable moment regarding your beautiful talent?
Well I am very very fortunate to have had many highlights through my music career including performing in and around home in SA with my father as well as the kzn and SA youth orchestras, Germany in the international youth symphony orchestra, New Zealand in the beyond 2020 youth festival, India for the youth leadership program in prashanti nilayam ashram and most recently Mauritius.
I performed for the Global Healing Foundation where I was called as a guest artist in a 6 day program. I performed predominantly Indian classical music there and there were thousands of people who attended. I felt the highest amount of gratitude during these 6 days. I also featured in a recording of an album that will be released next year.
Who is your musical role model and why?
I have 2 role models
My dad. I can brag because he’s my father. But he is my favourite singer and musician. He has molded me to who I am today musically even though he allowed me to find my own sound and my own feel for my instrument. He has guided me and taught me how good morals and values come hand in hand with being a good musician. Along with that, when we perform together his music inspires me to be as good as him to deserve the spot next to him. And I strive to do that at every step in my life.
Deepak pandit is the second. He is a great violinist of India who has most inspired me for performing violin for ghazals. My father is a ghazal singer and I have used many of Deepak pandit’s influences in my own playing when my father sings.
What is your daily mantra?
My Nana always told me…. Don’t wonder how you will do it. Do it. And then wonder how you did it.
What are some stereotypes or generic statements that people make regarding violinists?
People often ask me how long it will take them to “finish learning the violin”. Music comes with lots of dedication and practice. So I cannot give somebody a time frame as it depends on how much effort an individual will put towards their music. And to finish learning is impossible for anyone or any instrument for that matter. There is way too much to learn in one life time.
If you could entertain on stage with one musician, who would it be and why?
Anoushka Shankar. The daughter of pandit Ravi Shankar. She is a mind blowing sitar player who has amalgamated the east with the west in the most creative and exciting ways. Her technique and speed is also remarkable. Her compositions have touched my heart because it is who I am also. I connect because I am also a musician who has studied western and Indian classical.
What are 3 other instruments or talents that you wish you could learn ?
I feel I have enough on my plate for the moment. But for now I wish to learn the talent of music recording and production. And I have a flute and mandolin that I don’t really play so I need to learn how to.
What advice do you have for others who have a passion for instruments?
Learn as much as you can. Never stop learning and do it because it’s the most fulfilling feeling in the world. If you want to seriously get into music, then learn classical music of any sort as it will always be the strongest foundation for any contemporary or modern music.
‘s impeccable talent has brought joy to many! Her fusion of Western and Eastern music has really been showcased on many occasions and her journey is only becoming stronger. Be sure to follow her journey @shrutiteeluck
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