“In one word, I would describe my life as madness” - Chinmayi

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In a world fraught with mounting levels of stress and pressure on the personal and professional front, if there is one young lady who seems to truly live by author Ray Bradbury’s famous line – ‘Love what you do and do what you love’ - it is Chinmayi.

With a strong background in Hindustani classical music and a penchant for writing poems, Chinmayi has been composing songs ever since her college days. She subsequently pursued a MBA in marketing and worked with Network 18 for two years. However as they say, once an artist always an artist! The entrepreneurial bug bit this versatile artist early on in life, wherein she quit her job and co-founded Songdew.com.

In addition to channelizing her love for music via this new venture, she also pursues her passion as a singer and songwriter. In a freewheeling chat with Indiantelevision.com’s RITWIKA GUPTA, Chinmayi delves on her success mantra.

Excerpts:

1. How do you juggle your multiple roles as director, singer and co-founder of a company?

Life is nothing but a game of energy. To be successful, one requires to be focused with great persistence towards your goals. Prioritizing time, planning and keeping a disciplined lifestyle is imperative. If you miss singing practice for a day, you go back seven years! Without dedicating a specific time in the day for practice daily, it is impossible to sustain it. A business start-up takes enormous amount of time, focus and determination in order to see the growth curve. No matter what the time frame is, it takes a lot of blood and toil. However, if you really enjoy doing what you are doing or feel strongly about something, then it’s always worth it.

2. What is that one valuable lesson you have learnt through the years?

Follow your instinct. It rarely goes wrong and the more you nurture it, the stronger it gets. My instinct is my biggest anchor in life. Reason, logic and emotions can all fail but your instinct won’t.

3. Which part of your job do you enjoy the most and why?

Listening to music and watching good artists gain benefit out of Songdew is something that really gives me a kick. With Songdew, our goal was to create a platform offering the largest number of opportunities to independent musicians and a place where listeners could discover independent music and seeing that happen gives me immense job satisfaction. Another part of my job that I really enjoy is being part of my fusion band - Spice Route, in which I am the singer-songwriter.

4. What kind of changes have you seen in the industry over the past decade?

There has been a complete paradigm shift in the independent music scene. In the 1990s, a large number of artists became big through the support of record labels along with TV and radio platforms. However, due to piracy and rise of the Internet, that changed quickly and CD sales stared dipping. However, in the last three-four years, there’s been a lot of development. Music venues are on the rise across all major cities and a whole lot of music festivals have mushroomed. Brands have also shown a keen interest to support independent music, which is leading to momentum.

5. How do you get inspired?

Life keeps throwing a lot of instances for inspiration. I learn by observing and reading people. If I find something fascinating in someone, I pick it up instinctively. Being an introvert, I get the greatest inspiration from contemplating and all great ideas, songs and thoughts come from there.

6. Apart from music, what else do you love?

Food is the other love of my life. You can call me a foodie! I love all kinds of cuisines and food. One of the quirks I have is that I absolutely have to try the food at any restaurant that opens. I am spoilt for choice as Delhi and Gurgaon have some amazing eating joints and street food. Moreover, I also love cooking and trying out new recipes at home.

7. How do you relax?

Meditation, writing poems and reading books are my idea of relaxation. I don’t read too much but poetry and biographies are something that I do enjoy. I like to listen to a lot of classical, folk and Sufi music as well as old Hindi songs. Personally, melody is very important to me. If there are words, they have to be meaningful. I cannot stand crappy lyrics and noisy music.

8. Are you a movie buff?

I like to watch movies but given a choice, I would any day prefer to do a marathon of animation movies.

9. Do you like traveling?

I’m a complete nature freak. I love the hills as well beaches and Goa is one of my favourite places. I love traveling to London and Thailand as well. A few countries that are on my radar currently are Greece, South America and Switzerland.

10. At this stage, if you had to describe your life in one word, what would it be & why?

Madness! There is too much pace and too many things happening simultaneously, which is great but there is no time to sit back and think. Phew!

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