Early Life of Shankar Mahadevan
Shankar Mahadevan was born on 3rd March 1967 in a suburb of Mumbai called Chembur to a Tamil Iyer family hailing from Palakkad, Kerala. Since childhood he has been extensively trained in Hindustani classical as well as Carnatic music and since the age of five he has been playing Veena. He learnt music under the expert tutelage of Shrinivas Khale, a Marathi composer. He did his schooling from Our Lady of Perpetual Succour High School (OLPS) in Chembur and later attended SIES College in Sion. In 1988 he graduated from the Ramrao Adik Institute of Technology in computer science and software engineering. Before venturing into the field of music he worked for Leading Edge Systems.
Career of Shankar Mahadevan
Shankar Mahadevan got noticed in the music industry in 1998 with the release of his first album titled Breathless. The title track of the album was so engineered that it seemed to have been sung in one breath as the name of the album suggests. Later he associated with Ehsaan Noorani and Loy Mendonsa to form the musical trio Shankar Ehsaan Loy and focussed into the arena of music direction for Bollywood. He has worked with a number of prominent music composers of Indian film industry such as A. R. Rahman, Yuvan Shankar Raja, Illayaraja, Vijay Antony, S. Thaman, Harris Jayaraj, Anu Malik, Mani Sharma and many others. His collaboration with A. R. Rahman for a Tamil movie as a playback singer earned him his first National Award. He also played a cameo role in the picturization of the song 'Thaniye' from Rhythm which was voiced by himself. He has done playback singing for all the major actors of Tamil cinema including Kamal Hassan and Rajnikanth. Many of his songs topped the charts rendering him great popularity. He has also sung in Marathi, Kannada, Malayalam and Telugu languages.
In the Hindi film industry Mahadevan sang a number of popular songs under the music direction of eminent composers. He sang 'Kay Sera Sera' from Pukar, 'I Love You' from Auzaar, 'Urvashi Take It Easy' from Humse Hai Muqabla and many more. He composed music for Hindi films mostly as a part of the trio Shankar Ehsaan Loy. He has been a part of the fusion jazz band Silk in which he worked with Sivamani on percussion, Louis Banks on keyboards, Karl Peters on bass and Sridhar Parthasarathy on mridangam. He has also performed in the concert Remember Shakti alongside V. Selvaganesh, U. Srinivas, John McLaughlin, Chandan Sharma and Zakir Hussain. Mahadevan has also composed music for School Chale Hum which was aired on Doordarshan. Shankar Mahadevan also performed at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and PULSE in the years 2008 and 2010. The latter is accredited as the second-largest intercollegiate festival of India. Apart from this, he also appeared as a mentor on the Zee TV musical reality show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge in 2009 and 2012.
In 2009 he was a part of an intercollegiate cultural festival of National Institute of Technology, Calicut, called Ragam 09 while in the following year he performed at the intercollegiate cultural festival of SASTRA University, Thanjavur called Kuruksastra 10. In 2010 he mentored and judged the show Music Ka Maha Muqqabla, aired on Star Plus. In 2011 he established the Shankar Mahadevan Academy for offering tutorials and virtual vocal courses in Hindustani and Carnatic music, Bollywood songs, Indian folk music and religious chants. On 30th April 2012 he was invited by UNESCO and the US State Department for performing at the UN General Assembly hall for the finale of the International Jazz Festival. In 2013 he, as a part of his musical trio, performed at a concert for Lok Biradari Prakalp in Nagpur and also for the intercollegiate cultural festival of VIT University. In the same year Mahadevan performed at Ragam 13.
Personal Life of Shankar Mahadevan
Shankar Mahadevan is married to Sangeeta, a Maharashtrian, and the couple has a son named Siddharth Mahadevan. Siddharth is also a singer by profession who made his debut with the song 'Zinda' from the movie Bhaag Milkha Bhaag in 2013. Shankar Mahadevan is fluent with multiple languages viz. Marathi, Tamil, Malayalam, Urdu, Hindi and English.
Achievements of Shankar Mahadevan