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Success Stories

Sreeram - The Singing Sensation
Posted on : 27-10-2010 Source : The Career Guide

 Yes, you guessed it right. I am talking about the mellifluous, velvety voice of Sreeram-the ceaseless wonder! Andhra Pradesh has had a taste of this honeyed voice, but that wasn’t enough for this spirited boy who wanted his voice to echo throughout the nation and cross seven seas too. With this mammoth ambition, he started his practice with ‘austerities’ not very uncommon to someone who adores and worships music. In Sreeram’s own words, “I am blessed to have passion and profession in the same area”.

Coming from a closely-knit Telugu family, strongly rooted in tradition, music, per se wasn’t new to Sreeram. His mother Jayalakshmi fondly recalls the six-month-old infant instantly slipped into blissful quietness upon listening to any music note on the radio. “In those days radio was the only medium we had at home, and I had to attend to my daily chores, so I had no choice but to leave the radio with the boy as a trusted companion”. Sreeram’s grandfather Mr Raghava Sharma was the first one to discover the singer in the boy when the nine-year-old Sreeram hummed Yesudas’s Kadile Kaalama, the perfection of the tune and passion with which the little boy sang urged this grandfather to nurture the talent in him.

His first public performance was at the age of 12, when he was in grade six, organised by his maternal uncle and mentor, Venkatachalamgaru at Ravindrabharati, with his cousin Sailaja. There was a streak of gleeful pride in his voice when he said “This was a proper show with tickets and all!” Singing was an expression of joy at that age and he did it with great passion, but it was only when he was 18, he realised that he needed to have formal training to sing. He then plunged into the endless ocean called music and trained himself with his mentor, philosopher and guide, Mrs. Haripriya in Carnatic music. He mellows down at the mention of her and devotion lit up his eyes at the thought of his teacher.

When such devotion and gratitude seeps into innermost layers, what else could be the output but the serene and genuine music?! Sreeram says without hesitation that he can sing before anyone in this wide universe but when it comes to singing before his Guru, he is extremely anxious! This charming smile shows streak of nervousness mixed with reverence, as he says this. What exactly did he imbibe in her tutelage? Without batting an eyelid, he said: “Worshiping music as a live entity”. This ‘holistic’ learning scaled him to greater heights. Today there is no one, especially in our State who doesn’t know him. He cast a spell over the viewers, judges, at last even the competitors too who were left drooling over his voice after every performance.

Before the Indian Idol popularity brought him laurels, Sreeram had performed at various music shows, and done playback for a couple of Telugu films. He had also participated in many Telugu reality shows like ‘Sye’, ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’. The new Indian Idol 5 winner started playback singing at the age of 17 after winning the Ananda Raagam contest and has 28 devotional albums and many jingles, including Hindi private album (titled Hum) to his credit.

Most touching and unforgettable moments for this ‘Legend in Making’

· The first time he sang ‘Aiye mere pyare vatan’ and got Nightingale of St Andrew School award

· When he was over whelmed with devotion while singing ‘kondalalo nelakonna’

· When he first met his teacher to learn music

· When people actually ‘bought’ ticket for his show in Ravindra Bharati

· When he won Voice of Andhra which Radio FM had organised

· When Sri Veturi Sundara Ramamurthy –the veteran lyricist said Sreeram got the Ganges

down with his rendition

· When he won Sye Singers Challenge

· When he was selected for the initial round of Indian Idol selections at Ahmedabad

· When he shared stage with celebrities and stalwarts like Aamir Khan, Amitabh Bachchan and Anu Malik and many more…

· Last but definitely not the least when he won Indian Idol 5!

Ask him what he values and cherishes the most and what was the impetus in realising his dream, he says freedom and encouragement from his parents. He was never pressurised to yield results, but was asked to do his best, be it academics or co-curricular activities. This was a privilege given to the siblings, which made them confident and self-explorative. They were given the liberty to try their hand at everything, sports, music, fine arts etc which expended his avenues and instilled love for finer things in life.

Did he ever fear ‘losing’? His father intervenes to take on the conversation forward and says, “Sreeram was a perfectionist even as a kid and never compromised about the practice and performance, frankly this persistence irked us but when I came to know it is this doggedness that brought him here today, I am truly proud of that!”

We see parents, who brag about their kids, we see some who don’t speak about the children’s achievements at all, whilst there are very few who highlight children’s assets without exaggerating, yet giving the encouragement to usher them towards realising their dreams.
Your children need your presence more than your presents, goes the famous quote , say Sreeram and his sibling Ashwini, they always felt the need for their dad’s company rather that material comforts, its perhaps this longing which built strong family ties. He has had his share of joys, pains, disappointments and successes, and he is prepared for more to come. He had a terrific bonding and brawls with his sister without whose ‘fights’, he feels incomplete! All in all he feels he is blessed to have wonderful parents, and an amazing platform that got him recognition not just in India but internationally!

His hobbies include sports such as football and basketball, music such as singing and playing guitar.  He has done 80 stage shows till date that includes classical and filmy music under stalwarts like Koti, M Keeravani, Madhavpeti Suresh, Vandemataram Srinivas, Ghantadi Krishna and many others.

Adorning his disarming smile, as he gets ready for the next show, here’s what Sreeram said when I asked him if he knew his humility was the talisman, “ It never occurred to me one has to be arrogant when endowed with talent. In fact, I always thought it’s my skill and I need to hone it further. Many times people come to me and ask this repeatedly, for which I have to say—Always hold your head up, but be careful to keep your nose at a friendly level!”

His house in Bowenpally is agog with visitors, admirers, well-wishers, relatives, friends and celebrities!! We see the glitz and flamboyance around the young singing sensation, but how many of us know the gruelling practice sessions he undergoes or the patience with which he attends to each and every admirer or the arduous, packed schedules? The charming smile sometimes sees traces of weariness, fatigue seems to be bothering him very often, in spite of all this Sreeram looks cheerful and sings joyously-His parents, sister, friends, relatives all trying to manage his tight schedules. Catapulted to stardom in such a short span is not a small thing! When thousands of avenues suddenly opened up it is undoubtedly overwhelming and it comes with a package deal, whether you like it or not, you are now ‘people’s person’! Whatever it is let us all wish —Sreeeramaraksha –to this Andhra’s Amicable Singing Star!!

With that I bade farewell to the zesty family basking in the warmth of success, fame, camaraderie and music!!

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