Shilpa Anantha Narayanan
My childhood was about Indian music, dance and culture. About conforming to the mold that every Indian girl is made to go through, by the high expectations of society, grandparents, and of course parents.
Whether it be going to classical music lessons and trying to belt high ‘aalaps’ at the age of 3, singing religious ‘bhajans’ at the Spiritual Community Center, or being able to cook the core dishes of South Indian cooking by age 9, I had done it all. At least I thought I did.
By the time I turned 13, and was made aware of music outside my world by my older brother, I realized that I had fallen in love, with a different world of music! One that was simple, yet challenging, lyrical and passionate, and all I wanted was to sing my heart out, in English, to the bemusement of those around me.
Slowly I began singing in school choirs, musicals, competitions and every time I won a prize, I dreamed how wonderful it would be if I could just sing for a living, and sing until I could no more.
Getting into music school was not easy, I had to carefully orchestrate my plan like a seasoned conductor, and get myself a degree in a field that was deemed “valid” by my society first. I also wanted to test my seriousness and maturity in my dream career, so I decided to study Media, Communications and Psychology and within 3 years after high school, got my degree.
Within this time, I grew as a person and musician, competing in all Singing competitions at college, National and State level, while also managing the school choir and girls a capella team, “Number 332”.
So when it was finally time, there was no doubt on my mind what my next step was going to be.
Of course the path to success is never easy, and such was mine (almost fairytale like) with arguments, sacrifices, an almost arranged marriage proposal, and many many tears. One of the reasons I was able to convince my family of this big decision to move, was because of the scholarship letter in my mailbox, without which I would have had to postpone my dream at least by a year to try and save some money first.
My father’s last words as we said our goodbyes – “Are you sure you want to stay at Berklee? You can still come back home..” – haunts me to this day, when I ask myself whether it was all worth it. And I know it is.
I am finally here, in America, at Berklee, doing what I love, still close to my family, and just about ready to make what I dreamed come true.
A child’s wish, a teenager’s secret hobby, and now an adult’s reality.
This. Is. It.
IM Screen Names
Experience & Education
Peer Advisor for Berklee College of MusicAugust 2012 to Present (over 7 years)
•Managing, advising, and socializing with the assigned group of entering students. •Acting as their best resource, guiding them through the transition of their previous world into this new one. •Making sure they are well adjusted and happy to continue staying at Berklee.
Admissions Student Recruiter for Berklee AdmissionsApril 2012 to Present (over 7 years)
•Working with prospective students and parents. •Managing large groups by taking them on campus tours, as well as leading information presentations. •Answering questions and doubts pertaining to all aspects of the school. •Working the admissions front desk, calls, emails, and media content.
DJ/ Music Review Journalist for The Berklee Internet Radio Network (BIRN)June 2011 to Present (over 8 years)
Tune in to "The Awesomniac Show" - Crazy late night, sleepless radio every Friday from 11 pm to 1 am on www.thebirn.com. Read the show reviews on http://birnblog.tumblr.com.
Writer / Blogger / Photographer for Berklee High School Festival Jazz BlogNovember 2011 to April 2012 (5 months)
Covering new shows, music releases, and jazz musicians on the block. Read the blog on http://berkleejazz.org.
Student Events Planner for Berklee Student Activities CenterOctober 2011 to April 2012 (6 months)
Plan fun events- movie night, open mic, game night, treasure hunt- as well as fun things to do on a regular day. Creating the marketing plan - posters, online social media, video campaign- and getting students to relax and unwind at the SAC Lounge, after a crazy school day.
BM in Professional Music at Berklee College of Music, Boston, MA2011 to 2013 (2 years)
BA in Media, Communications & Psychology at Mount Carmel College, Bangalore, India2007 to 2010 (3 years)