To learn a string instrument and play it with clarity requires years of dedication and regular practice. To learn violin means one has decided to consign a few years of his or her lifetime, to align the mind and soul with the four strings and a bow.
Everybody who learned to play it doesn’t become great violinists. A few get hooked to its beauty and soulful music. A less than a few gets to become a music pedagogy. The most beautiful romance I have had ever seen is between a bow and the four strings in the hands of a brilliant violinist. Sandeep Thakur is one of those violinists who created romantic saga with his bow and violin. A straightforward, friendly, passionate, philosophical, wannabe blogger and an amazing human being that he is, I felt fantastic after interviewing him. Here is a snippet of what we had in our conversation.
Sandeep hated his violin when introduced it to him at a young age by his renowned violinist father. Seldom did he know, years later he would become part of major hits like Mohabbatein, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Chak De, 3 Idiots and Dangal. Well, he should thank his dad for recognizing his talent and for keeping the music in his veins at high note.
Define Violin in your own terms.
A Violin to me is an extension of my being. Its a source of my inner voice.
When was the first time you got fascinated by this magical four stringed instrument?
I started learning it at the age of 7 years under the guidance of my father Mr. Suraj Singh Thakur. But got fascinated with it only during my late teens and early 20s. That is when I decided to take it as a full-time profession and make it a part of my life.
What do you love to play the most?
I love playing intense, passionate and romantic music.
Do you enjoy playing a specific genre? If Yes, why?
My discipline is more Western Classical, because I was introduced to it at an early age and also I have a flair for the orchestral works. The harmony and orchestration of the music are something that gives me goosebumps.
How was the experience speaking on a TEDx platform. How was the response?
Anything that has a batch of TEDx definitely beefs up ones profile. Yes, it was exciting, I was pretty nervous while I was doing that. Unfortunately, there is a technical problem on the TEDx channel with my video and we are in the process of rectifying it.
You have collaborated with many YouTube musicians and music directors. Who is your favorite? Narrate the best memory working with him or her.
Studio Unplugged back in 2012 was the first YouTube channel ever I had a chance to collaborate with. Its then until this day we are a family and I can’t imagine myself without them. Aakash Gandhi’s 88 Keys to Euphoria has featured me quite a few times and it was always a pleasure to play with this amazing musician. Collaboration with SANAM the band was a jolly good experience. Every Video, every shoot has its own distinct experience. A lot of it usually is fun.The atmosphere is pretty lively, and I usually keep it peppy for everyone with my poor jokes. By the way I am quite hated for my poor jokes.
Did Internet help new faces in instrumental music become popular than before. What is your take on it?
Certainly Internet has been the medium for a lot of new faces not just for music but even in other fields. Instrumental music is still fighting its battle against the mainstream music channels or so to say singing based channels in comparison. But awareness has definitely widened now and people are more open to newer exposures. Someone like me, who always did shows standing as one of the musicians on the stage behind a main act or a singer, is getting his fair share today when invited to perform for a show of his own branding. Thanks to the advent of social media. It gave me a face.
Tell us more about your upcoming projects
As a YouTuber, doing covers is becoming increasingly difficult due to a lot of restrictions with music labels. Doing original music is always on cards but to make a big fortune out of it is not that easy. But yes I would be doing a lot of experimental music in the time to come for my audience.
Do you have a lucky bow, or a lucky violin that you use for performances?
There isn’t any lucky instrument as such, but I do feel privileged to play on my Grandfather’s violin that I got in the legacy. A premium heritage Italian violin named ‘Gasparo da Salò’.
Sandeep’s dream setup is to conduct a 100 piece orchestra that would play his original compositions. He looks forward to reach music lovers world over and for an opportunity to play on the stage of Tommorowland someday. I am sure we are going to listen to him on the world’s best music platforms soon. Meanwhile, I am glad to interview a great musician and a man with great, positive vibes. He hates being called humble and says he is just being himself. A true star grounded by the force of gravity and someone who inspires others too to stay in his magnetic field. You are fabulous Sandeep.
Thank you for this wonderful interview.