"Call me Sound," says Soundraya Jayachandran, 19, who released her debut album in May this year. “I had always looked for a chance to take the songs that I’d written from the walls of my room to the world out there. I’ve always wanted to share my music, and perhaps, even speak for the people out there just like me, through my music,” says Jayachandran.
“The first time I learnt to play the guitar was when I was about 14 or 15. My dad brought home a guitar and I just thought I’d go ahead and learn how to play it. Growing up, I was immersed in many different forms and genres of music all the time. That helped me appreciate the variations. Nevertheless, I found myself in western music and in some way, it found me.”
Her big break came at one of Bangalore’s popular karaoke spots. “My first 'big move' was Opus' Kroaking competition, where I was a finalist in 2011. When I moved to Bangalore from Muscat (where I spent 14 years of my life),everything was brought to perspective with respect to competition and diversity. It felt exhilarating to be part of the arena and to sing with people like me. I felt like I belonged.
That was the beginning. “A year later, I landed myself with a record contract with Amaranta Entertainment, Chennai. Funny story actually. The owner of Amaranta Entertainment, Geoffrey Thomas, happens to be my cousin’s ex-boss. He happened to ask my cousin if she knew anybody and she recommended me.”
After giving her music a listen, Thomas offered Jayachandran an opportunity to record an album.
“I was thrilled. So, I headed to Chennai to record with some of the most talented musicians out there and it was such a blessing to work and learn from experienced musicians like them. The fact that they weren't very much older than me made things a whole lot easier,” says Jayachandran.
Fifteen-hour days in the studio didn’t tire Jayachandran. “I wouldn't even feel the stress of things or time passing by. I guess the music took all of that away. And being able to hear my music finally take form was all I could ask for. I used to head back to the hotel at around 1 am and not be able to sleep because I was exhilarated looking forward to heading to the studio again the next morning.”
The album is an EP that has 5 tracks on it. An extended play (EP) is a recording that contains more music than a single, but is too short to qualify as a full studio album.
The 19-year old musician goes on “My music borders around pop, rock and blues, but soft. I decided to name it Shades of Revival. That reflected a shade of emotion that is described by each song. A lot of work went into the album. It was launched on May 5, 2013 in Chennai. The album is being distributed in Muscat, Chennai and Bangalore as well as on the iTunes store.”
About a couple of months ago, Jayachandran teamed up with Qyuki to record an original called ‘I Don't Need Nobody.’ She says, “They helped make a simple music video to promote the album. I got to meet Shekhar Kapoor who co-founded Qyuki along with AR Rahman. The highlight of that experience was when Rahman shared ‘I Don't Need Nobody’ on his website. That was so unexpected and it felt absolutely wonderful.”
Summing it up Jayachandran says, “I don't think a lot of people at the age of 19 get an opportunity like this very often. I’m very grateful to God for it. I am grateful to my parents for letting me do what I think I should and not what they think I should. I can’t be thankful enough for the music. I’ve always made it a point to go with the flow of things and not over-think things. Do your bit and put the best version of yourself out there and let time do the rest. Always dream with passion, direction and intuition. Things will fall into place. I feel like I have I a long way to go as an artist and as a person. But it’s a good start and I have faith that music will help guide the way.”