} EXCLUSIVE: In Conversation With Veena Maestro- Veena Srivani

Hyderabad-based Musician, Veena Srivani is all about tradition with a twist. She has been playing Veena since she was seven years old and has garnered a wide audience with her fusion covers of popular English songs like Ellie Goulding’s 2015 Love me like you do and, more recently, the theme song of the Game of Thrones series.

ACTFAQS caught up with the maestro for a quick chat about her inspiring journey, future plans and how “Veena” turned her life upside down. 

Q. What has your journey as a Veena player been like? 
It’s been an amazing journey with lots of good memories and amazing experiences which can be cherished for a lifetime.

Q. You have also worked as an anchor in various Telugu TV channels. Tell us more about it.
I started as a child anchor in 1996 and continued that till 2014. I worked with almost all the channels at that time and had the chance to know different walks of life. It was a unique experience.

Q. Over the years of constant rigor with the veena, do you think you, in a sense, own the instrument? What is that feeling of ownership like? Can you describe it?
When I started working with the veena, it was more like a friend to me but after all these years it has become like a baby to me which cannot be separated from my identity. Coming up to owning it, I think the veena owns me.

Q. How has this shaped your thinking and your musical abilities?
Definitely there has been changes in my abilities but as a person I think I have been the same and have the same energy and enthusiasm. My musical abilities changed through all these years and I changed it according to the need of the hour as I wanted to take veena into the common household and the present generation.    

Q. You’ve been doing events for years. Tell us about the best corporate event that you have been a part of?
I have been doing a lot of corporate and private events and have thoroughly enjoyed all of them but one event particularly touched my heart as it was for a traditional pooja event in a house and played it in front of legend like Amitabh Bachchan and many super stars of south cinema. The appreciation that I got from them can be cherished for all my life.

Q. If you weren’t a Veena player, what would you have liked to have been?
If not a veena player I would have continued as an anchor and may be who knows... I would have retired in that profession.

Q. Are you excited about working with BOI EXP once again? 
Working with BOI EXP has always been comfortable and entertaining to me and would love to associate with them in their corporate events. They have always treated me with due respect and the way they are encouraging the classical music is commendable.

Q. Any word of advice you would like to give budding Veena players who are looking to carve their niche in the music space?
My only mantra is to work hard and create your own identity and a unique style of performance. I Would say the same to them and would advise them to create their own style and be creative. No one is perfect, so keep practicing like u have a long way to go.

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