City music trust honours vocalist Neela Ramgopal

Carnatic singer Neela Ramgopal will be awarded the ‘Kanchana Shree’ title by the Kanchana Shree Lakshminarayana Music Academy Trust at the ‘Kanchanotsava Annual Function’.

“I am happy that musicians are celebrating other musicians; it is rare. I am thrilled that such a big institution is honouring me,” she says about being chosen for the title.

The 83-year-old singer first performed in 1965 and is active in the music world for five decades. She has won many awards and accolades from institutions like Sangeetha Nataka Academy, Madras Music Academy and Bengaluru Gayana Samaja. “My motto is to make a name in the music field, my urge and passion drive me to achieve that,” she says.

She is trained by N M Narayanan in an intensive course, “Nobody could teach me like that,’’ she asserts. She was also taught by T K Rangachary later.

Neela is an admirer of late singer M L Vasanthakumari and started following her style initially. “My colleagues told me to change my way of singing, and I created my own style. I
like to put some mathematical combination of music,” she says about her style of music.

When asked about the current scope of carnatic music, she says that she is glad that more people are getting involved in carnatic music. “Chennai is always the seat of music. The interest and quality are increased here but cannot be compared to the quality of Chennai,” she further adds.

She also feels that all contemporary music trends are to attract people, but carnatic music cannot be destroyed as it is the base. “To be honest, I am not for jugalbandis. How can you eat majjige huli and laddu at the same time,” she opines.

Of recent times, she enjoys the work of singer Sanjay Subrahmanyan.

Apart from singing at kacheris, Neela also conducts music classes at her home throughout the week. She has around 40 students and personally teaches each one of them. She also teaches over Skype to students who reside in other countries.

The ‘Kanchanotsava Annual Function’ is on November 10 and 11 at JSS School auditorium, Banashankari 2nd Stage. The event has a line-up of performances by various artistes.

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City music trust honours vocalist Neela Ramgopal

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