VoxTalks With Yamini Ghantasala : Of Innovations In Art Distribution And Her Gifted Music Band ‘Yatra’

Yatra – A Musical Pilgrimage & The Concept Of Doopaadoo

Music to many is therapeutic and works like magic to lighten moods and better our days it tells stories, inclines to pleasure and emotions, translates pain and talks melodies. It brings acceptance across languages and cultures and moderates diversity through instruments and voices.

Doopaado – a concept that promises to bring opportunities to musicians, acts like a talent management platform for bands, composers, musicians and singers. The idea behind this venture was brought alive by Madhan Karky an ace lyricist from the Tamil film industry with a noble intention of providing a platform that creates opportunities for musicians. It gives an array of options for Producers and directors to experiment with fresh compositions. The beauty of this innovation is the musical content on the website is exclusive, critic- controlled and rendered on the website based on merit alone. Once such presentation is “Sakhiya” by the band “Yatra”

In Conversations with the vocalist Yamini Ghantasala

Her Inspiration & Learnings…

Lata Mangeshkar and Shreya Ghoshal have been my libraries of learning, they are schools by themselves, so as a singer I follow and learn from them as they are full of emotion and have such depth in their singing. Hence, they have been extremely inspirational. Shreya Ghoshal is synonyms to the music that I worship on a day to day basis and there is not a day that goes by, in which I don’t hear her music. and I hear every song of hers that is released and try to learn and see whether I can sing it at her level and communicate the same emotion. I was into this since my school days, I remember practising songs from Jism, Devadas and singing them over and over again.

It has been a journey that finally brought me to where I belong and hail from. I have been blessed to be doing what I love, as it permits me to portray my emotions and expressions in the purest possible form which is music and this is the most inspiring thing about being a singer.

Her Strength and Support System…

Since childhood, my Mother (Savitri Ghantasala, a playback singer) had been continuously feeding me with music, taught me to sing many songs since I was a kid and above all helped me understand that practising is the most important part of singing. I can only remember my brother S.S Thaman as the beats man of our house and he had been playing the drums since I consciously knew him. His rhythm pattern, the beats have inspired me. Since we lost our father at a very early age my brother had become the bread winner of the family at the age of thirteen, he has hence, worked on many pieces of music professionally like jingles, scores for serials and films.

Each day comes with its own challenges and the beauty of it is that you get to deal with things, learn in the process and understand yourself as a musician and you know to deal with situations and opportunities. My brother is definitely proud (but you must ask him that says Yamini with a warm smile).

When a touch by happened, he was unaware that I was coming up with a video of this kind, although I had shown him a snippet of the video and he was glad about the output even before the actual final mix happened. He is happy but wants me to work hard and engage in working with all the amazing music directors before entering the home production. My dream is to sing for my brother some day and I hopes that day is not too far away. As a brother and father to me, he feels I made him proud but he wants me to understand and engage in a lot of independent music, write my own music and create an identity. He is extremely supportive and I would not have come this far without his support.

Musicians and The Constituents Of Band Yatra…

My band consists of amazing people, they are friends to me before being my team. K.P Prateesh (keyboardist) is an amazing keyboard player with great knowledge and fingers that work magic, he is also doing a couple of films as a composer now. Guberan (drummer) on the drums is Shivamani’s nephew as he is, bang on with the drums, as it runs in his family. Akhilesh on the base and Brucelee a crazy guitarist. The four of them and myself on the vocals, we call our band “Yatra” but honestly, we haven’t made enough videos to portray ourselves in the right best way because individually as musicians we are busy in our own ways but whenever we meet we jam to the most entertaining levels so that keeps us going.

The Journey Of Yatra Till Now…

Her eyes light up as she speaks and shows excitement and is glad to share how much her friends mean as a team. As individuals, each of us has our own ways of perceiving music. We get together and jam, understand each other’s musicality. We share a great vibe so off the screen and we are happy inside out as we enjoy what we do and understand perspectives clearly and beautifully. So, this bond translates and reflects on the screen and this is precisely what happened and happens every time we work. Way before the touch by, we used to jam at my place almost every single day to songs from Telugu, Tamil, Hindi and Malayalam films. We had a chance to passionately discuss music in various ways – as to how clean the compositions are, what chords have been used, how the cords have been progressing and get into the nuances of how the composer’s mind had worked on a particular piece of music.

When the interests are the same, the dedication is the same and we are in sync, the beauty of it all replicates when we are on stage or make a video. It is a collaborated effort, initially we used to jam as a bunch of friends and it eventually it got serious with our passion and efforts. My band is now like family and extremely close to me, we respect each other’s interests and music above all.

Promotional Platform – Yatra Getting A Reach Out With Doopaadoo…

Currently, our promotional platform is Doopaadoo, it has been extremely significant in my journey so far, be it independent songs or cover versions that I come with, their team has been extremely supportive. My songs have been trending in Doopadoo and I have always received great appreciation from the team. When I undertake project or a cover song to Madan Karky one of the ace lyricists down in the south, he takes up my project with excitement and embraces it and this is extremely encouraging for me as a musician and I take this moment to thank the entire team of Doopadoo and Madan for promoting music so selflessly.

Yatra – For The Love Of Music…

Well, I have just started presenting my work on an online platform, Doopadoo was right there for me and it is as mentioned earlier an online portal where anything musical can be promoted, but their aim is to focus on the independent scene and their aim is to revolutionize non-film music. So, they support a lot of independent bands, artists and musicians. That’s a platform for people who are trying to make a mark in the music industry. This platform clearly encourages a lot of new talent, groups and independent music.  But in my case both the songs “Atach Bayee” (originally sung by Shreya Ghoshal in the award winning Marathi film Sairat and the other being “Sakhiya” are both commercial songs but the team has been kind enough to accept and promote us, as our presentation had been very new and the treatment given to both the songs is slightly creative as against those in the film. Hence, the moment they saw the effort that has gone into making the video, the band and singing they embraced the song with support and encouragement.

Voxspace wishes Yamini and Yatra a successful Musical journey.