At BHAV, we believe in empowering women to find unique ways to embrace their cultural heritage. We started 'The Culture Connection' to explore the impact (both good and bad) of heritage on a variety of incredible women, and understand how it continues to play an influential role in their lives. We invite you to join us on this journey, with the hope that you find value in these conversations.
Sruthy (@sruthysasidharanofficial) is a professional Indian singer. Sruthy has a trained education in engineering, but quickly realized that her main passion was singing. Through much hard work and some fortunate events, Sruthy was discovered by a recording company that allowed her to pursue her dream of singing. She has gone on to record songs in her native Indian language for many movies in the Indian film Industry. In her spare time, you can find Sruthy draw, paint, and play the violin.
On Her Mixed Heritage:
I was born and brought up in Kerala. My native place is in Kozhikode but now my parents are settled in Manjeri, Malappuram.
You have an education in engineering and now are full time in the Indian music industry. How did that career change occur and do you have any regrets of doing a career switch? Have you had family support in your decision?
I finished my engineering from Cet,Trivandrum and was all set to go for my masters. But I was working with a start up company back then and it was not giving me any happiness and was exhausted and sad that I couldn't sing like I used to before. Luckily a music director heard a couple of songs I released on SoundCloud and asked me to come do a demo with him. Little did I know that it was the start of my musical journey. After the recording I was approached for a Kannada Movie song and everything started with that. To be honest, that career change was tough. My family, my parents, my boyfriend, all seemed to be sceptical about my choice. But I worked really hard, and somehow pulled through during all those difficult times. I still remember my first song release; I was feeling happy but at the same time I was constantly trying to figure out how I could improve. Over time, my family started believing in me and then they were the biggest support I could possibly imagine, especially my parents. I remember the first day when I took my parents to watch my first song in the movie. All of us were on cloud nine! Everything worked out well with God's grace. I love that I believed in myself and shifted my job. Otherwise all of this wouldn't have been possible nor do I regret it.
You sing in multiple languages (Hindi, Kannada, Telugu, and Marathi)! Out of these, is there a particular one that you like or feel more comfortable singing? Do you have aspirations of possibly crossing over and experimenting in the American/western music industry?
I have sung in Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Marathi, and Hindi. My mother tongue is Malyalam so of course that's my soft corner. I think I have sung more songs in other languages like Kannada , Marathi and Hindi than in Malayalam. I love to sing different languages and in the end it's all music which is universal. I always loved jazz music and I would definitely try out the American/Western music industry when the time is right. Let's hope for the best.
Your primary residence now is the US, but go back and forth to India for artistic projects. How have you assimilated to western culture and have you faced any challenges? If so, how have you handled that and what advice do you have for women who are leaving their homes from different countries to settle here?
My husband Deepak and I live in Arizona now. Before Covid most of us wouldn't work remotely but I think during this difficult time everyone realized that we could record and sing and release things even sitting in different parts of the world. So all my artistic work still goes on and I'm super happy with how things are going. To be honest I'm starting to like it here. The only challenge is I miss my mom's food. I think for people moving to a different country, they should be able to carry on what they are passionate about and also not let your lives be just inside the four walls. Make friends, travel more, explore more etc. Never restrict your soul even if you are in a foreign country.
What's your favorite thing in your closet right now, or the piece that gives you the most confidence (can be South Asian or western)?
I love jackets and coats. Whenever we go out shopping , a jacket or a coat is the first thing I notice. But I love saris too. And the favorite thing in my closet would be a violet kanjeevaram Saree gifted to me by my husband's mom.
What's your go-to cocktail, spirit or drink?
It's either Pina Colada or Harvey Wallbanger
What are you currently watching?
Now watching a series called Fringe (I love crime stories).
Name of the best book you've read in a while?
'The 100' by Kass Morgan.
Morning person or night owl?
Always a night owl.
What's one small thing you couldn't give up (daily ritual, accessory/personal item, etc.)?
Chocolate, I want chocolate all day everyday.