'Even the songs of today are really nice'

'Even the songs of today are really nice'

One look at him and you wouldn’t think he is an octogenarian. When you hear him sing, you are forced all the more to believe the same.

But the legendary Carnatic vocalist Dr Balamuralikrishna, who is 83 years old, has the energy and charm that could give the singers of today a run for their money. In the City recently to perform at the classical music festival Manodharma, the veteran singer spoke to Metrolife about his journey and what he thinks of the current music. 

Though he is a man of few words, Dr Balamuralikrishna is an extremely optimistic person by nature. He has a positive answer to every question that one asks him. In his long career spanning over seven decades, he has come to Bangalore many times.

“I have been coming here before you were born,” jokes the ‘Padma Vibhushan’ awardee with a twinkle in his eyes. “I love the City and enjoy performing here. What’s there to not like about it,” he asks. 

Ask him how about the planning that goes behind each of his show and he says, “There is absolutely no planning. I just see the audience and decide which songs to perform for them.” The same goes for his fitness regimen as well. He laughs when asked about the secret behind his energy.

“I think I have a sound health because of music. I don’t exercise or have any other fitness routine to stay fit,” he reveals. In fact, the maestro even says he doesn’t practise a lot and that all his performances are spontaneous. 

From acting as Narada in AVM Productions’ 1967 release Bhakta Prahalada to composing music in various languages to teaching high profile students like Kamal Hassan, Dr Balamuralikrishna has seen it all. Yet, he says that he has no favourite student or artiste.

“All my students are like my own children,” he says. But of course when it comes to his favourite form of music, Carnatic holds a special place in his heart. “Though I believe that all forms of music are the same, there is nothing like Carnatic music. It is derived from karna meaning ‘ears’ and atati meaning ‘he pleases’. So Carnatic music is the one that pleases the ears,” he explains. 

But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t like film music. “I love film music. Even the songs of today are really nice. But I don’t sing in movies anymore because no one calls me to sing,” he laughs. “With music, all one needs to do is enjoy. I see the term enjoy as ‘my joy’ as ‘en’ means ‘my’ in Tamil,” he adds. 

One thing he feels that the young artistes of today have is opportunity. “When I was a child, we hardly had any opportunities to showcase our talent. But now there are so many platforms like reality shows,” he sums up.

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