You should always be your own bossNithyashree Venkataramanan
With MELODIOUS being her middle name, Nithyashree Venkataramanan has paved a long way for herself. She is a well-known Musician and Singer from Anna Nagar, Chennai. To know more about her, let’s dive into an intriguing conversation.
How did your journey in music begin?
Music has been in my genes. Interestingly, I am the first one from my family to bring music to the media. And, this wouldn’t have been possible without parental support. From the age of 1-4, I never sang, but my journey began from there.
We have seen you celebrating Pongal – the ‘Thalaivar Way,’ and Vijayadashami to rejoicing ‘Varsha Pratipada.’ Has it been a ritual that you have been practising since childhood or a way to connect with your diversified audience?
Social media is a platform where your following gets to know your personality and character traits. The festivals you celebrate and the culture that one follows showcases the positive outlook of one’s life. It shows people the kind of person I am. From the different hairstyles and accessories to the costumes, people can follow me for any specific style statement. For example, I have a habit of wearing the ‘moringa’ in my hair. This way, these festivals bring a connection with the audience and makes it personal.
What were the kind of responses that you have received from ‘Oru Arai Unadhu?’
So, Amazon Music contacted me to do a female cover of ‘Oru Arai Unadhu.’ They were greatly inclined by my cover in Putham Puthu Kaalai. The idea for ‘Oru Arai Unadhu’ was based upon how the butterfly comes out of the cocoon. The song was programmed and arranged by my best friend, Reshwin Nishith and the track mix was created by M.S. Jones Rupert. Within the period of six days, we recreated the song. Right from the costume and makeup to shooting, everything felt complete. The video was shot by Caveman’s Studio, directed and edited by Bharath Vikram and cinematographed by Subash. As for the costume designer, it was handled by the Indian Actor, Janani Iyer. With their support, this has been one of my special songs and among the ‘best videos’ as people would say.
You have recently received the ‘Silver Play Button’ and ‘Gold Play Button’ from YouTube. Apart from that, what are the other platforms that the audience is likely to see you on?
As for me, Instagram and YouTube are the two main platforms that I am currently using and am a part of. I am on Twitter as well, but not an avid phone user. Apart from that, I do use Facebook, which was the first platform that I showcased my talent on. But I have evolved over time. In Aug 2017, my journey on Instagram begun and in Dec 2019, I started my YouTube journey #Get NithyaFied. This has been possible with the blessings and support of my fan base. Apart from this, I am excited to announce that I will be joining a new platform, called Trell. Here, I will be creating content for the Tamizh fraternity.
Tell us about the remix, ‘Paadatha Pattellam’ and your experience associated with ‘Saregama South,’ ‘Amazon Prime Music India’ and Dharan Kumar.
I never expected this from Saregama South. We had been in touch a couple of times, but this time it became official. With the remix, Dharan Sir wanted me to sing in it particularly. He was impressed with my voice at Audience Mashup. And wanted me to go ahead with following the ‘Nithya style.’ I am thankful to him for space and the jugalbandi that we created towards the end. Right after the creation, it crossed 7 million views across platforms and around 60, 000 reels have been created on the remix. This is all because of Dharan Sir and Saregama + Amazon Prime Music.
Give us an insight on ‘Audience Choice Mashup 1’ that you have been excited about on your Social Media Handle?
Audience Choice Mashup 1 was an idea that brewed during the lockdown. For the respect that I have for every language, I decided to ask the audience for their opinion. They were in all the languages possible (Hindi, Marathi, Spanish, Bengali). For a singer who moved from Tamil to Bollywood, it was very difficult for me to choose amongst many. So, I thought to myself, “Why not put all these songs together?”
I sat down continuously, wrote every song down and made a decision. We had to settle down to 15 songs with a duration exceeding not more than 6 minutes. It was my first attempt and the audio + video was created within 3 months. One language combined with another is difficult, but thanks to Jones, he did an amazing job at it.
Since we weren’t able to shoot due to the lockdown, we came up with the idea of shooting it in the car, adjusted the angle of the camera and made it a proper long drive. Today, it has crossed 75 million (71/2 crore views) with the efforts put in by Bharath Vikram and Subash for the video ideation and creation.
Having received the ‘Pinnacle of Excellence Award,’ ‘Vocational Excellence Award,’ and ‘Innisai Chudaroli,’ what is the mark that you set for yourself in the upcoming years?
I received the ‘Pinnacle of Excellence Award’ in 2018, as they saw me grow as a singer. As a person, I believe that one shouldn’t run behind awards, but look out for their passion. And as for the mark, I keep fighting with myself and develop myself to keep growing. Working consistently and hard are the elements that keep coming along. That itself can be the main reason to create a benchmark for myself.
Being a creator at a young age comes with its own set of responsibilities and difficulties. What was the constant pressure that built up, in terms of your following and harsh comments?
You need to be unique and create amazing content as per your liking. You can develop knowledge of what is happening around the world, but never manipulate yourself on what is going on in the world and let it affect your performance. I always believe in individuality and the content I create should come from the heart. In the case of harsh comments, this is a very subjective element. I am creating it out of my own passion and will. If you don’t like my content, that is your choice. People can easily put forward hate comments. And, I feel really bad for the space they are in.
Most of my hate comments have converted to positive after people got to know more about me. There is also a saying that goes by, ‘Never judge a book by its cover.’ I always take criticism positively. Being in the media, if you take everything seriously, you cannot grow.
How do you strike a balance between your personal and professional life, considering your friendly outings?
To your surprise, as a child, I have never been to parks or spent time with friends as a whole. I was always preoccupied with making my career. It was only in college that I realized that I should go out. People started following me to take pictures. I changed my hairstyle to not expose myself in public. But this wasn’t to avoid people, but just to spend time with my friends. After Indian Idol, I realized that I should give importance to my personal life as well. I am striking a balance now. My idea is to keep work later and keep them (friends) as the priority. Balancing both without giving up on either is an art.
Who was your inspiration and motivation that led you to become a creator at such a young age?
My music journey started when I was 4 years old with me joining an orchestra class at 5. By the age of 9, I was singing on the stage of Airtel Super Singer and completed that journey as a runner-up. And, 4 years after Super Singer, I was a part of various shows starred by Vijay TV. My stage performances helped me gain confidence in my path. The person I will be ever grateful for is my sister, Vhaijaiyanthi Venkataramanan, as she created a voting campaign for me when I was in Indian Idol. I also will give a shoutout to my best friend, Aravindhini Dinakar because of who I learnt to put out content on Instagram. I eventually started creating content on every social media platform, built a team and heading it on my own to be where I am today.