Rajyotsava award winner learnt singing by listening to folk songs

Keen listener

Noted folk singer Vemagal D Narayanaswamy, who has been selected for the Rajyotsava award this year, attributes his success to the keen interest he had developed towards folk music of the ‘Kelike form,’ right from his childhood.

The artiste works as an assistant commissioner of police in the K R Puram sub-division of Bangalore. While he bagged the Janapada and Yakshagana Academy award in 2000, he bagged the President’s medal for meritorious service in the police department in 2007. Narayanaswamy’s art has also taken him to many countries.

He was awarded a PhD by the Kannada University, Hampi in 2004 for his thesis on the
Kelike form of folk art.

Narayanaswamy told Deccan Herald over phone that listening to folk songs from artistes at Nayakarahatti of his village, Seethihosur near Vemagal, since childhood ignited his interest in them. Listening to songs on cassettes by B K Sumitra, Mysore Anantaswamy and songs by Banandur Kempaiah inspired him.

He thanks the people of Bangalore for the affection they showed to him and also the police department for its encouragement. He has travelled in the villages of Srinivaspur, Bagepalli, Hosur and Dankanakote to meet hundreds of folk artistes and also for his research work.

He has also travelled in the villages of Srinivaspur, upto the border with Andhra Pradesh.
The 57-year-old singer is a ‘B’ high category artiste in Akashvani and Doordarshan. He has performed at prestigious cultural festivals.

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