कोई जो मिला तो मुझे ऐसा लगता था जैसे मेरी सारी दुनिया मैं गीतों की रुत और रंगों की बरखा है खुशबू की आँधी है.. Yes, you guessed it right—these are the opening lines of the mesmerising song “Breathless,” released in 1998. It was sung by the legendary musician Shankar Mahadevan. The software engineer turned musician was drawn into the music field purely because of his love for the art.
However, unlike most of the talented people sitting in their cubicles, Shankar Mahadevan decided to pursue his passion, and as they say, the rest is history. This article specifically delves into the aspect of how an advertisement inspired a software engineer who became one of the unique music composers of India, Shankar Mahadevan.
The initial tryst with success
In 1997, Cadbury’s “Dairy Milk” aired a commercial advertisement that made it intensely popular among audiences. The original ad with the catchy tune “Kuch Khaas Hai” featured Indian model Shimona Rashi. This song was sung by Shankar Mahadevan, from which he first rose into the limelight. Surprisingly enough, music was not the first priority for Shankar Mahadevan.
Shankar Mahadevan was born on March 3, 1967, in Chembur, Mumbai, to a Tamil family. Like many Tamil families, he was introduced to classical music at a very early age. At the tender age of five, he gained proficiency in playing the veena. He received musical education from experts like Lalitha Venkataraman, Pandit Srinivas Kale, and TR Balamani.
However, like every middle-class family, Shankar Mahadevan had two options: either become a doctor or an engineer. He took the engineering route and graduated in software engineering from the Ramrao Adik Institute of Technology. Later, he joined Leading Edge Systems [now Trigyn Technologies Limited] as a software engineer.
Soon Shankar decided to come out of his cubicle and pursue his love for music. By 1993, he had become a musician. Meanwhile, an opportunity came his way, and he got the chance to sing an advertisement song, which he grabbed with both hands. It was that famous “Dairy Milk” ad that made Shankar Mahadevan famous overnight.
Shankar Mahadevan became overnight famous because of Cadbury’s “Dairy Milk” commercial. He began to receive proposals to write music, and soon after, in 1998, with the release of the album “Breathless,” he made his Indipop debut.
The album led the music charts for a considerable amount of time and sold over 3 lakh copies. The songs for the album were penned by Javed Akthar and directed by the Akhtar brother-sister duo, Farhan and Zoya Akhtar, and it catapulted their careers as well.
Shankar’s success was greatly aided by his knowledge of classical music and his aptitude for veena playing as a young child. One of the nation’s best-known artists today, Shankar Mahadevan’s musical notes speak volumes about his musical genius.
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