I had a happy childhood. My parents took care of all my needs and completely supported me when I started dabbling in music. My parents are not musicians and there was no musical lineage. This helped me in a way as I advanced musically and carried no baggage.I am from a generation where children grew up playing in the outdoors! I consider myself lucky be from an era in Tamil Nadu where television was in its infancy and video games were yet to surface.
Musician with an engineering degree from IIT Chennai
The simple reason I went to IIT, Chennai was because I was able to crack the JEE exams! I have been a musician since I was 12, so music and college were never in conflict with each other. I wouldn't be where I am in music today if it were not for my education in IIT.
Berklee School of Music unlocked my music potential
I am glad I went to Berklee School of Music, Boston. It opened doors and more doors and helped me unlock my musical potential. Berklee is a huge place and it’s easy to get lost and distracted there but thankfully, I was focussed and smart enough of take advantage of all that Berklee had to offer.
The first time I saw a bunch of people enjoying my music was my first moment of professional success. And that is still my barometer for success as a guitarist, as a musician - to be able to truly communicate with my audience. My first personal high point was of course, falling in love with the guitar.
I am at a point in my life where my work and life are interwoven together. To me, all the things that I do today as a performer, music composer, educator, entrepreneur and president of a music college (Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music) are all part of the fabric of my life. Juggling all of them is such fun that I can’t term them as work.
Of course, I have to spend a lot of time away from my wife Shalini and three-year-old daughter Katyayini because of my concerts abroad, recording projects worldwide and also because of the responsibilities I have as the president of the Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music. But Shalini has been an incredible pillar of support in my career. Being an extraordinarily talented singer herself, she understands how it all works.
I am able to find a great balance in life because I have learnt the art of saying ‘no’ to projects I don’t want to do. So I actually manage to take out time to spend with my family and friends, workout in the gym, play chess, take vacations etc.
Say ‘no’ to mediocrity. Go after excellence in whatever you choose to do. It’s not easy but it is definitely worth it.
There is no such thing as failure. Everything is a step forward in life. The key is to try to do your best all the time — every single time!
Everything is a step forward in life. The key is to try to do your best all the time — every single time! —Prasanna - Jazz guitarist