A Country without Culture is a Country without Identity. – Siri Girish
An aspiring musician, Siri Girish is a 15-year-old student of Carnatic Music from Banglore. She has been learning Carnatic Vocal for the past 8.5 years under the tutelage of Vid. Smt. Shobha Sharma. She is learning Veena and Sugama Sangeetha and has a deep interest in musical instruments such as guitar, keyboard, geoshred, and so on.
Her interest in composing began at the age of 12. She created a new carnatic ragam called, “Namoveenapaani”. Similarly, she has also composed and wrote a krithi called “Devi Saraswathi Roopini” in Sanskrit, in the same ragam.
At the age of 14, Siri was recognized in the India Book of Records as the “youngest to create a Carnatic raga and compose a kriti.” She hopes to compose more and take up Carnatic music professionally. Currently, she is working on more compositions and encourages teenagers to start learning Indian classical music and arts, as well as to support Indian culture and history.
Apart from that, Siri is also a founder and host of her podcast named “Interesting Infinity” which is a source to spread knowledge about various fields and subjects. Her podcast was featured on Oxford Global’s social media pages for the new episode on the Oxford Global Model United Nations and got streamed across many countries. She always inspires Indian youths to believe in action and act for a change.
Her dedication and enthusiasm towards bringing impact in society has recognized her as one of the Top 6 Finalists of Wai Wai Glocal Teen Hero India, 2021. We had a few conversations with her regarding her project and journey. The major highlights of the interview are given below;
How was your experience when you were announced as a Top 6 Finalist of Wai Wai Glocal Teen Hero India, 2021?
I was very happy that I got a huge platform to spread the message of how important it is to protect and nurture a country’s art and culture.
What inspires you to become a Carnatic musician? What kind of challenges did you face on your way?
I was very attracted to carnatic music from a really young age, even though my parents were not into carnatic music. I’m a huge fan of Dr. Jayanthi Kumaresh ma’am and I made a new Carnatic Raga (musical scale) called “Namoveenapaani” and I also composed a Krithi (composition) called Devi Saraswathi Roopini in my Raga and I also wrote its lyrics in Sanskrit. I dedicated both the new Raga and Krithi to Dr. Jayanthi Kumaresh ma’am, as I see her as Goddess Saraswathi herself (hindu goddess of learning). I’m blessed to have wonderful parents and Gurus who always support me, so it is a very fun and knowledge filled journey.
What kind of content do you convey from your own podcast “Interesting Infinity”?
Interesting Infinity is a podcast dedicated to spreading knowledge about various fields and subjects. The project works to give new and interesting topics to the listeners every time. And so it is aptly named as “Interesting Infinity.” It doesn’t focus on just one topic like many traditional podcasts, but every episode, a unique topic is discussed. Soon, we will be releasing many episodes regarding Indian arts and culture. Recently our Podcast and I were featured on Oxford Global’s Instagram and Facebook pages for the podcast’s new episode on the Oxford Global Model United Nations. You can listen to the podcast on all major platforms like iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Overcast, YouTube, Breaker, PocketCasts, RadioPublic.
How are you supporting and encouraging teenagers to learn Indian classical music to support Indian culture?
My India Book of Records – “Youngest to compose a Carnatic Raga and Krithi” would motivate many teenagers and kids of my age group to take up Indian classical Music and Arts and explore and experiment it. I also play Indian Classical music on Indian Instruments like Veena and Vocal as well as on Western Instruments like Guitar and Keyboard, and Digital Instruments like Geoshred. This will help kids to relate and connect easily, through different instruments of their choice to Indian Classical Music. I also want people to know about one of the major benefits of Indian Classical Music, i.e Music Therapy which is scientifically proven, where certain ragas (musical scales) are used to cure certain ailments and issues. I really want kids of my age to know how cool Indian Art forms are, and also realized that “A Country without Culture is a Country without Identity”. Therefore, Cultural ambassadors are equally important as Doctors, Engineers or Lawyers for a country. Culture is what that unites us. Culture is what that represents our country on the Global Front.
Who was the inspiration behind making Siri the way she is today?
It is very difficult to name one single person as each and every person in our life influences and inspires us always. I’m very blessed to have wonderful Gurus like Vid. Smt. Shobha Sharma ma’am (Carnatic Vocal guru) & Smt. Aarati Anand ma’am (Carnatic Veena Mentor) and My greatest inspiration Dr. Jayanthi Kumaresh ma’am, I was deeply inspired by her divine music.
What are your plans further? What will you be working on?
I want to study Music theoretically. I’m currently working on making a few compositions.
What message would you like to deliver to the teenagers?
“A Country without Culture is a Country without Identity”. Therefore, Cultural ambassadors are equally important as Doctors, Engineers or Lawyers for a country. Culture is what that unites us. Culture is what that represents our country on the Global Front. Support and learn Indian Arts, it’ll be one of the most coolest things you’ve explored.
Glocal Teen Hero is a platform for teenagers to identify and honor outstanding teenagers whose creativity, commitment, experience, and strong leadership have helped them achieve success in an increasingly challenging environment. This award recognizes and honors the exceptional teen whose work is sustainable and who can think out of the box addressing the issues and creating an impact in society. Fostering a collaborative community among recipients and strengthening the recognition of today’s young leaders is a primary goal of the Glocal Teen Hero Award.