From showbiz to spirituality

Tracing Avril Quadros' journey from being a multi-talented performer to a yoga guru
Last Updated 30 January 2021, 20:07 IST

Avril Quadros is a well-known name in the music industry and in Bollywood. She has multiple hit songs in various languages and has performed all over the world with musicians like A R Rahman, Dana Gillespie, Usha Uthup, Shaan etc. Excerpts from an interview.

Can you tell us a bit about your early influences in music?

My mother says I started singing even before I started talking. She says I used to imitate the sounds of birds, planes and could even hum simple tunes long before I spoke my first word. I trained in both Western and Hindustani classical vocals and also learnt to play the piano and the guitar. In school and college, I used to win most of the cultural competitions...

How did the decision to take up music as a career come about?

I had a state rank in both PUC and my undergraduate degree, and my parents wanted me to do an MBA and take up a corporate job, but my mind was set on pursuing music as a career. My parents were very disappointed, but they ultimately relented. By that time, I had already started getting offers to do concerts and record jingles for ads, etc.

Do tell us a bit about your music career.

My singing career took off almost immediately after I left college, when I was offered a contract to sing at a major company’s worldwide events. I wrote You Make My Knees Go Weak in collaboration with Dr Prakash Sontakke, Grammy award-winning and internationally renowned lap steel guitarist. My debut in Bollywood was in Subhash Ghai’s ‘Kanchi : The Unbreakable’, where I sang the song Adiya, Adiya with Sanchita Bhattacharya in 2014. After that movie, the offers kept coming and I’ve done concerts all over the world.

How and when did the move from being a singer to a sought-after Kundalini yoga guru happen?

My first brush with spirituality was when I came in touch with Buddhist meditation and Kundalini Yoga about 12 years ago. I was also getting a bit disillusioned with the glamour and glitz of show business. Scratch the surface and there was nothing deeper that was of substance there and the endless chase for money and fame seemed so superficial and futile. I was having hormonal issues and had put on a lot of weight, I had no energy and my health was spiralling downwards and that’s when I decided to train in the Kundalini tradition with Gloria Latham and Guru Jagath. Kundalini Yoga transformed my life and I started losing weight, felt more energetic, more calm and focused and a lot of people around me started noticing this. Seeing this transformation happen to me, a few of my friends asked me to take classes for them and I started custom building Kundalini programmes for them that combined Kundalini kriyas, asanas, pranayama and Tibetan meditation into a powerful, compact and concise package that’s perfect for a working professional who doesn’t have the time to spend hours in an ashram, gym or yoga studio.

Tell us about your plans for the future.

I’m working on a new album titled ‘Divinely Derailed’. The songs are autobiographical in nature and they speak of my journey. The unique thing about the album is that it will be accompanied by a book of short stories with the same title. Each chapter of the book will be a real life story that will correspond to one of the songs on the album.

(Published 30 January 2021, 19:45 IST)

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