Muso sought no glory for him­self

Post - - News -

“A SU­PER tal­ented mu­sic guru, with vast mu­si­cal knowl­edge, yet so hum­ble.”

That is the com­pos­ite mes­sage I gleaned from the many mes­sages of trib­ute that poured in for South African mu­si­cian Beama Naidoo, who died last week af­ter a short ill­ness.

We have all heard him at some time. We were en­thralled by his mu­si­cal out­put.

How­ever, did we know how this leg­end was cre­ated?

Naidoo was a nat­u­rally ret­i­cent, unas­sum­ing in­di­vid­ual, and so not much has been writ­ten about him.

It is thanks to the other mu­sic mae­stro Ash­ley Kis­ten and an ar­ti­cle by Lurika Chetty, based on an in­ter­view with Naidoo, that I was able to put to­gether a short bi­og­ra­phy of the mu­sic leg­end.

He was born on Novem­ber 14, 1959, the 11th child of Apan­nah and Gegamma Naidoo of New Cot­tage Es­tate in Mount Edge­combe.

Grow­ing up in a big fam­ily cre­ated in­deli­ble mem­o­ries, but one such pos­si­bly paved the way to his later suc­cess­ful mu­si­cal ca­reer.

Naidoo put wa­ter into sev­eral cups, each with dif­fer­ing lev­els, and tapped them with a tea­spoon.

It pro­duced dif­fer­ent sounds, and by ac­ci­dent, he had cre­ated his own ver­sion of a xy­lo­phone.

The ta­lent that was to emerge later, pos­si­bly orig­i­nated with that sim­ple ex­per­i­ment.

By the age of eight, young Naidoo was play­ing the har­mo­nium and had taught him­self to play the tabla.

He per­fected his har­mo­nium skills un­der the tute­lage of Ganas Goven­der of Kalaivani Or­ches­tra.

At the age of 12, to­gether with friends Michael Lach­miah and Lenny Do­rasamy, he formed a mini band called The Blue Lol­lipops.

As he grew he be­came a mem­ber of sev­eral other bands.

These bands gave young tal­ents the chance to show­case their skills and the op­por­tu­nity to play along­side more ex­pe­ri­enced mu­si­cians.

In 1977, Naidoo joined Luxmi En­ter­tain­ers, and re­mained with them un­til 1985 when he then joined Luxmi Stars.

Naidoo launched 10 com­pi­la­tion al­bums.

In 1994, he won the Lo­tusFM song-writ­ing con­test with his Tel­ugu ver­sion of the song, Chinna Raja. He sus­tained this win in 1995 with the song, Chan­drooda.

One of the high­lights of his life as an adult was shar­ing the stage with child­hood he­roes Jack and Valla Kis­ton.

Over the years, Naidoo per­formed with many lo­cal and over­seas stars.

Among the lat­ter were TM Soundarara­jan, P Susheela and Unni Menon.

Another high­light was in 1995, when he per­formed at a wedding in Chen­nai, In­dia, un­der the di­rec­tion of renowned mu­sic com­poser Joshua Ra­jan.

In 2000, his ul­ti­mate mu­si­cal dream was achieved, which was the open­ing of the Beama Naidoo School of Mu­sic.

This fol­lowed years of be­ing a mu­sic teach­ing guru at the Phoenix Tamil In­sti­tute.

At his school, Naidoo gave lessons in play­ing the har­mo­nium as well as de­vel­op­ing singing ta­lent.

He de­voted the school to pro­mot­ing cul­ture and was in­volved in many fund-rais­ing ac­tiv­i­ties for com­mu­nity causes as well as hold­ing eisteddfods.

He opened five mu­sic schools and a Tel­ugu mu­sic in­sti­tute.

Naidoo de­voted the lat­ter part of his life in nur­tur­ing and de­vel­op­ing the tal­ents of young ones in the com­mu­nity.

The trib­utes that met the news of his death is tes­ta­ment to a well beloved man.

A man who sought no glory for him­self, but made the other per­son feel im­por­tant.

One singer said that when she was with Naidoo on stage, even with her lim­ited mu­sic knowl­edge, he made her feel like she was the best.

To say that Beama Naidoo will be missed is an un­der­state­ment. Men of his cal­i­bre are rare. His loss will be felt, but his en­dur­ing mu­sic will be the salve to ease the sad­ness.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.