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The Sitarist From Hyderabad – Swayamsiddha Priyadarshi

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While the commercialization of Bollywood songs has cornered Indian music, people like Swayam are thriving in the shadows and carving a path to represent true Indian traditions. Swayamsiddha Priyadarshi, a graduate from National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad currently working in Microsoft, Hyderabad. He has proven to be one of the few who pursue classical music with conviction and patience.

His journey of playing musical instruments began when he was 12 years old after getting inspired by his cousin sister who played the violin. He started playing keyboard with Bollywood and Western music and gradually inclined towards Indian music. Soon, he started learning Sitar under Guru Shri Ramprapanna Bhattacharya, who belongs to the Imdad Khani Gharana, famous for its gayaki ang, a vocal representation of instrumental music.

Considering the attention required to learn the skill, he focuses on spending 2-3 hours a day for his practice daily. His zeal to pursue music with single-minded devotion eventually grabbed him the opportunity to be a qualified All India Radio artist under the semi-classical genre. In 2014, he played a semi-classical piece based in Raag Jhinjhoti for AIR. In 2016, he provided music for a song written by Rohit Srivastava for MTV Indies. Also, recently, he did a live Sitar session with Jxtapose, Hyderabad as a part of Quarantine Series.

While being disciplined is an important character trait needed, he also strives to be a perfectionist and detail-oriented in his art by being patient and perseverant. On being asked about the role music plays in his life, he responds by saying, “The sensitivity towards the Indian sounds and ragas make me more passionate and allows me to be consistent in playing the Sitar.” His passion for reliving the classical era through the strings of Sitar is evident in his music and echoes of the beautiful tradition we have inherited over centuries.

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