'Acting is not my cup of tea'

Fast fingers

Piano maestro Stephen Devassy had no inkling he had music in him. A keyboard that his father gifted him when he was in fifth grade, literally awakened the musician in him.

The lad who began experimenting with the keyboard and composed music even before he was in his teens, says he never thought that he would work in Bollywood someday.

Although, Stephen has been inspired by the AR Rahman’s music, he always sought to have his own identity. This is exactly why Stephen introduced what he has called ‘retro remixes’ which is contemporary performance, inspired by classics.

“Today’s generation must get a feel of old classics not only in terms of its composing style but how such pieces can be preserved and taken forward,” explains Stephen, who was in the City recently. 

Stephen’s experiment with musical notes has brought out the best in him because he doesn’t believe in following a predictable path.

He has worked on the ‘sanskrit slokas’, ‘mantras’ and verses from the Upanishads, with the background of western music released an album called ‘Sacred Chants’ which sold more than a million copies across the globe.

“The basic framework is Indian but the mould is western. This is the only way to get the young to understand the diversity of Indian music,” he states.   

His performance style took him to the Bollywood scene, where he worked as a programmer for music directors like Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Anu Malik and AR Rahman.

 He has worked with more than 50 music directors in a number of languages such as Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Bengali, Kannada and programmed over 2000 songs. He believes that there’s no shortcut to success.

 “I grew up in an ordinary household but I was fortunate to get the right opportunities at the right time,”he adds.

Like a few other singers who have appeared in their own music videos or have strayed into acting, does Stephen also intend to do something similar, “No, acting is not my cup of tea. I’ve made a brief appearance in one of my music videos but nothing more. I would rather concentrate on doing what I am best at — music,” he concludes. 

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