Karan Verma, born on 5th May, 1995, is a Mumbai based vocalist, composer, and song writer. His myriad achievements at such a young age are commendable. He was amongst the top 50 contenders in ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, Lil Champs’, ZEE tv in 2007. He has worked as a frontman in many popular bands like, ‘Dark Impulse‘ and ‘Swastik‘. He has learned Opera and Western Classical music from KM Music Conservatory, Chennai, founded by A.R. Rehman. Presently, he is a part of ‘Mahadev Vibes‘ and is also learning Indian classical music from Murtaza Khan Tapas, s/o Padma Bhusan, Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan. He has released his first single with Mahadev Vibes, called ‘Jogi‘.
Having shared the stage with many famous artists like, Indian Ocean, Mohit Chauhan and Rabbi Shergill, he took his career to another level in 2015, by giving backing vocals for a Bollywood movie, ‘Neerja’. He already has many feathers attached to his hat and is working really hard to achieve his dreams and create something extraordinary.
We asked him a few questions about his journey so far and here is what he has to say about it.
Q- What influenced the course of your life? How did it all started?
A- Well, it started when I was in my mother’s womb. My dad would listen to ghazals by Ustad Mehdi Hassan. I am not kidding but anyway, like other kids, it all started from the era of cassettes. I sang along the songs that were played in the car. I was in the school choirs. In 2007, I got an opportunity to compete at ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Lil Champs’. Then, in 2011, I formed a band with a friend and a brillant musician, Gaurish Sood. Later that year, I got a call from Swastik. I never thought of music as a profession but after 2011 I haven’t looked back. I think it chooses you!
Q- We have heard you singing ghazals as well as bollywood songs. What kind of music genre do you prefer specifically? And who is your biggest inspiration?
A- I think I am an old soul. I like the music of 60’s to 80’s. Ghazals are really close to my heart. I connect to them. It’s difficult to describe my genre. I think it is spread from Ustaad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan to Led Zeppelin.
Q- Now that people recognise you, how do you feel? And how has in changed your life?
A- They have a weird look on their face maybe because of my long hair (laughs) or they actually know that I sing. It feels good. It has definitely made me humble.
Q- Every person goes through a phase in their life where they cannot really decide if their passion is what they really want to follow or not. Did you ever had such quivering thoughts or were you clear from the beginning about what you wanted to do?
A- I never wanted to be a professional musician. Infact, my dad wanted me to be a charted accountant. But, as soon as I entered 12th grade, I realised that the connection and love that I had for music was much deeper than that I had thought.
Q- Life as a musician is like a free lance career where you cannot survive if you do not meet the expectations of people and if you are not good enough. It requires a lot of support but very often Indian parents pressurize their child to do something more conventional in their life which could become their permanent source of bread. Did your parents support you? What is the most significant difference that you see in them and in their thoughts, now, about their son becoming a musician?
A- I am the first one to take up music as a career in the family. It took time for my family members to accept this lifestyle but they have been very supportive. The only difference that I observe is that the pressure has shifted from getting good marks to making good music.
Q- Artists’ are people driven by some motive. What is your muse? What drove you to be who you are today?
A- I am a very aggressive person and yet an introvert. Things that I don’t say are the things that I sing about. The feeling of expressing myself and taking my listeners to my world is what drives me.
Q- There is a popular belief among people that to become a singer one needs to have a broken heart. What do you have to say about that?
A- I would rather have my music speak for me on that! (laughs)
Q- Tell us something about your experience in KM Music Conservatory? Do you feel any change in yourself?
A- KMMC is altogether a very different world. You get to share music with people from all over the world. Through KMMC I got an opportunity to learn from Mr. Gilles Denizot. He is like a father figure to me. It was only after KMMC that I found my way to learn from Murtaza Khan Tapas s/o Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan. I think KMMC has made me more intense as a person.
Q- What are your future plans?
A- Currently I am working on my original music and performing in and out of town.
Q- Any final message or anything that you’d like to share with the upcoming artists?
A- “Musicians ki khichadi dheemi Anch par pakti hai…jaldi karoge toh khichadi aur muu dono jala bethoge!”
About the Author:
Mahima Chowdhary (MCM DAV 36)