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A dash of music, a dash of attitude

The Singapore twins, Sriram and Ganesh, were surrounded by music from a very young age as their father Bala Narayan was a mridangam player.
Last Updated : 08 June 2024, 23:55 IST
Last Updated : 08 June 2024, 23:55 IST

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Internet sensations and twins Sriram and Ganesh Balasubramanian or the Bala Boys, as they are more popularly known, have built a huge fan base numbering several thousand through their unique singing style. Their video clips of catchy covers of popular Tamil film songs and their medley of Karnatik kritis on social media platforms are a treat to watch and have brought them much adulation among celebrities. Instead of letting the pandemic down their spirits, as they not only missed various scheduled live shows but also had to adapt to virtual music lessons, the twins, like many other young tech-savvy musicians, produced and mixed their own music and uploaded them. These students of Abhishek Raghuram, with their distinctive style, have captured the imagination of a growing Indian diaspora who want to be connected to their cultural roots.

The Singapore twins, Sriram and Ganesh, were surrounded by music from a very young age as their father Bala Narayan was a mridangam player. They were exposed to various genres of music from classical to hip hop and got a chance to perform with the legend Vikku Vinayakram in Singapore when they were just 14. Since then, they have performed with other legends, including Zakir Hussain and the Ganesh and Kumaresh duo.

However, it was not as easy a journey as it appears. Apart from the pandemic being a dampener, needless to say, it is challenging for newbies to establish themselves in the hallowed space of Karnatik music.

Trained in Karnatik and Western vocals, they won scholarships to the prestigious Berklee College of Music, Boston, and even became a part of the Berklee Indian ensemble that was nominated for the Grammys. After graduating from Berklee in 2021, Sriram and Ganesh moved to Los Angeles to pursue their music career. Excerpts from an interview

You have rapidly become huge internet sensations. How did you manage to carve out a niche for yourselves amidst the vast clutter of content on social media platforms?

Our journey was centred on our love for music rather than carving a niche. It’s about expressing our true selves through music that deeply connects with people. The incredible support from our fans, especially the Tamil diaspora worldwide, has been greatly inspiring. Our fans fuel our creativity.

From Singapore to Berklee to LA and soon to embark on a world tour, your journey has been remarkable...

Berklee was a game-changer for us, an experience that truly shifted gears. Being in a collaborative environment with musicians from all over the world was incredible. And it’s great how social media has given us a global connection with our fans in such an organic way. We are hyped for our debut tour, getting to see and perform live for our fans — we can’t wait!

How was your experience playing with the Berklee Indian ensemble and being part of the Grammy nomination?

Being part of the Berklee Indian Ensemble and the Grammy nomination for “Shuruaat” was surreal. Their take on Indian contemporary music resonated with us deeply, and we’re honoured to have contributed to the album.

You both seem to share a warm chemistry. How is it working with a twin?

Twin telepathy might be real! We genuinely enjoy creating music together — it feels natural.

Are there any new projects in the pipeline?

Certainly! We’re diving into original music and exciting collaborations and are planning to bring out our own original album soon. Also, we’re partnering with a new social platform to promote positivity through music. 

Can you share some fan experiences and any memorable moments?

From R Madhavan sharing our Kannathil Muthamittal cover to the encouragement from A R Rahman, it’s been motivating and humbling. The immense love from our fans drives us, and we aim to reciprocate that love through our music.

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Published 08 June 2024, 23:55 IST

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