Kirthan fol­lows in fa­ther’s foot­steps

Sunday Tribune - - HERALD - DOREEN PREMDEV

LIKE fa­ther like son. This is def­i­nitely the case with mu­sic great Karth­ie­gasen and his teenage son, Kirthan Pillay.

Fol­low­ing in his fa­ther’s foot­steps, Pillay re­ceived his first stand­ing ova­tion at the age of 3 when he per­formed at his nurs­ery school’s con­cert, singing the late Cape Town singer Ri­cardo Groe­newald’s hit song I Love You Daddy.

Pillay, 19, of Bal­lito, north of Dur­ban, is a mu­sic stu­dent and also teaches mu­sic part-time.

He will per­form in Ger­many to­mor­row at the Just Love Fes­ti­val and will also fea­ture in a mu­sic con­cert at the izulu Theatre, Sibaya Casino, on June 22 and 23.

His mother, Vanessa, said Pillay first showed an in­ter­est in mu­sic when he was in her womb.

“My mother, who is also an ac­com­plished mu­si­cian, said I would move when­ever I heard my fa­ther’s voice,” said Pillay.

“With both par­ents who are artists, I was raised on the stage. I slept in a carry cot while my par­ents per­formed.”

Pillay also plays the th­abla (North In­dian drum), mri­dan­gam (South In­dian drum) and also a bit of the ka­zoo, ca­jun and the pi­ano. He refers to his fa­ther, who trained him mu­si­cally, as a “walk­ing en­cy­clo­pe­dia on mu­sic”. He said his fa­ther was a Car­natic mu­sic spe­cial­ist – which is the high­est genre of mu­sic and is au­then­tic and ed­u­ca­tional.

“I, too, am a stu­dent of Car­natic mu­sic, how­ever,

I have cho­sen to tar­get the youth by revo­lu­tion­is­ing my mu­sic – com­bin­ing dif­fer­ent gen­res, in­tro­duc­ing dif­fer­ent in­stru­ments.”

Stay­ing true to his name, Kirthan, which means de­vo­tional songs, Pillay loves singing kirthans about the life of the Hindu God Kr­ishna. He also en­joys singing Bol­ly­wood and Kol­ly­wood hits.

Pillay has en­ter­tained au­di­ences in South Africa, Botswana, Zam­bia, Kenya, Lon­don, Re­union, Mau­ri­tius, In­dia and Ger­many.

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