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Telugu lad Sashank happy with representing India at Grammys

Hyderabad: In an indication of ever-growing international acceptance of India’s artistic talent, Indian music composer Ricky Kej won his third Grammy at the music award ceremony’s 65th edition. He won his first Grammy in 2015.

Sashank Navaladi too was one of the Indians nominated for the prestigious music awards. He was nominated for his album ‘Shuruaat’ in the Best Global Music Album category.

Berklee Indian Ensemble’s album ‘Shuruaat’ comprises their performances worldwide over ten years. It features greats like Shankar Mahadevan, Zakir Hussain among others.

Though the Andhra Pradesh-born could not win the trophy he is certainly not dejected. “It was overwhelming to see several Indians nominated. Despite not getting an award, representing India on a global platform made me proud,” says Sashank in an exclusive chat with the ‘Deccan Chronicle’.

Sashank has performed with A.R. Rahman live at the United Nations in New York and was also part of  the ‘A.R. Rahman Meets Berklee – Festival of Lights’ concert at Symphony Hall in Boston.

He has composed several original compositions. His song ‘Arz-E-Niyaz’ featuring Vijay Prakash and the Berklee Indian Ensemble was released on Berklee’s main YouTube channel and is a part of Berklee Indian Ensemble’s debut album ‘Shuruaat’.

Last year he performed his original composition ‘Shatabdi’ with Shankar Mahadevan live at the Berklee Performance Center in Boston.

Sashank, a graduate of Berklee College of Music with a bachelor’s degree in Electronic Production and Design, was also associated with several short films, television shows, documentaries and podcasts including ‘Time Machine’ on Epic Channel and Atul Mongia’s (director of Netflix’s ‘Mai’) debut short film ‘Awake’.’  

Recalling his excitement when he was nominated, Sashank said, “I was on a zoom call when the nomination was announced. I still remember I was screaming with joy and my parents who were in the next room ran to me to check what happened. We were filled with joy and celebrated the whole night.

“I feel very proud that several Indians have been nominated for Grammy awards. Despite not getting one, I feel motivated to make it to the global stage and it’s just a stepping stone for my career.”  

Sharing his future plans, he said, “I need to put more effort. I need to practise more to make it to the Grammy or any other international platform.  With the support of fans I am sure we will make India proud one day.”  

So far, Sashank has won the CCRT scholarship by the ministry of culture, government of  India and was part of Top Three of the ‘Pogo Amazing Kids Awards’ reality TV show. He is also a recipient of ‘Samaikhya Bharat Gaurav Satkar Puraskar’ awarded to child prodigies in the field of music by the Madras Telugu Academy and the ‘Kala  Bhushan’ title by Nehru Bal Samiti for excellence in Sarod.

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