Sivaneswaralingam recently sat down with TC to discuss her rise to stardom, and what it is like to juggle a career in the music industry, while also working as a school teacher in Canada.
1. You’re a viral sensation. Your song Senthoora for the film Bogan has amassed millions of views on YouTube. Tell us about how you got involved with this record.
D. Imman sir came to Toronto back in 2016 for a concert, and I was fortunate to have met him backstage. All I wanted to do was meet him and take a picture, so I was very surprised when he said he recognized me from my Instagram videos. Soon after that he contacted me with a film opportunity and I flew out to Chennai to work with him in his studio. It was the beginning of a dream come true.
2. What was it like working with D. Imman?
It’s been an excellent learning experience so far. It’s a blessing and a great pleasure to work with D. Imman. He’s such a humble and simple individual who is very encouraging and supportive. He knows how to foster a creative and positive environment in the studio, and he helped me feel comfortable in my recording sessions with him. He allowed me to experiment and input my own ideas with his, which I really appreciated. I learned so much while recording with him.
3. The song Senthoora has led to you performing around the world and you have won several awards as a result. What has been the highlight of your music career thus far?
All of these achievements feel so surreal to me and I value them all equally. I feel honoured to have been nominated for all these awards amongst such highly acclaimed singers like Shreya Ghoshal. To have won awards for my work is so unbelievably humbling.
4. You have also done playback singing for the film Tik Tik Tik. Do you have any other Indian film projects in the works?
I sang for the Telugu version of Tik Tik Tik in the song Kannayya Reprise - Mother’s Love which was another great experience. Apart from this, I have recorded vocals for a few other films that are yet to be released. I am also working on projects of my own for YouTube and other platforms which I will be posting about on my social media pages shortly. Stay tuned!
5. In addition to being trained in Carnatic music, you have a degree in Western classical form. Do you have a preference when it comes to singing?
I really enjoy singing in general and am constantly exploring different styles and techniques. Sometimes it’s about the feel of a song that attracts me to it. I love singing in a variety of genres, but especially love singing in other languages, and exploring the music of other cultures. Language should never be a barrier because that is something we can all learn with practice, guidance and exposure. To me, music is all about how it makes both myself and others feel; the various sounds, intricacies, emotions and colours that it brings.
6. Our readers may be surprised to learn that in addition to being a singer you are a school teacher in Canada. How do you manage having two careers? Do you think there will come a day when you will have to choose one over the other? If so, which will you choose?
It’s definitely a challenge to balance both careers, but when you are passionate about something it is possible to make anything work. It is quite rewarding to work with children and share my musical experiences with them. The staff and students at my school are very supportive and love talking about my musical journey and experiences. At the same time, I love being in the studio, making music and meeting new musicians. While I don’t know exactly what my future holds, I do want to give my music career a fair chance and am working towards its success.
7. Who are some of your music inspirations?
Those who are motivated, challenge themselves and are focused on their paths are all inspirations to me. I admire a variety of artists. I think an important thing to understand is that each artist has their own identity, unique qualities and sounds that make us admire them. They all motivate me to explore my voice further and see what I can achieve with it. The most important part about being a singer is having your own unique sound and identity. I use my inspirations and their voices as a guide when practicing and experimenting, and when exploring various techniques and styles with my own voice. There is always something to learn from singers in both Indian and Western industries of music.
Check out her Instagram page at the link below: