Express news service
CHENNAI: When Lopa Mudra was four years old, her father put her to bed with the kathakali padams. She listened until the end, she said, and that’s how the music bug bit her. “I’ve been training Carnatic vocal music since I was seven and I’m still learning,” she says. She has been studying at the KM Music Conservatory in Chennai for three years. We reunite with the musician from the Land of God, who will perform today at Phoenix MarketCity.
From waking up to MS Subbulakshmi’s Suprabhatam, listening to Celine Dion hits, The Police and Bryan Adams, on the way to school, Lopa was intrigued by the different genres of music and wanted to explore more. “Somewhere in the middle of this chaos was born a child in love with pure South Indian Carnatic and American pop, and my music is a by-product of those genres,” she says. Lopa, who laid the foundation for her music business by learning Carnatic, says she puts in at least one to two hours of practice in addition to working on her opera technique. “I’m also working on writing my songs, and it takes about four hours a day,” she says.
Lopa was 12 when her brother taught her to play four chords on the guitar, which she then used as a medium to further explore and perfect her voice. “I put two and two together and started writing songs, which was really easier for me with the guitar. I think learning an instrument really helps to understand the structure of a song in general. .
Every singer must know how to play at least one instrument, ”she shares. The musician who has also taken mridangam lessons says she would like to continue this as well. “Since Carnatic music is rhythm-centric, I want to know how I can incorporate writing for percussion instruments into my songs. I would also like to be able to play classic Chopin pieces on the piano, but apparently my fingers aren’t that cooperative, ”she jokes.
Lopa rendered the backing vocals for AR Rahman on MTV Unplugged Season 6 and also for Music Mojo Season 5 on Kappa TV. “I learned so much about recording in the studio singing for MTV, and it helped me later when I did Music Mojo,” Lopa recalls. Ask her who inspires her and she hastens to say that these are her friends, who are also fellow musicians. “I see them working hard, waking up at 7 in the morning and training, organizing meetings, organizing video shoots, etc. Not many of them work for Rahman sir, and it is very inspiring to see the dynamism and the passion they have for music, ”she said.
Lopa, who is currently working on releasing her debut album Mudra with 10 original compositions, says she would like to keep the suspense going. Someday Lopa would like to collaborate with Indian singer-songwriters like Mosko’s Kavya Trehan, Easy Wanderlings and Komorebi. “I think it’s time we got behind our fellow singer-songwriters in the independent music scene,” she adds.
Watch Lopa Mudra live today from 7pm at Phoenix MarketCity. For details call 66513007