Even though she is visually impaired, Kruttika Sequeira comes around as a jovial person who is always happy-go lucky. An upcoming singer and songwriter she always dreamt of being a singer from a very early age. Put down by many and refused to be taught by some, she fought every obstacle that came her way and stood her ground firm to pursue her passion ‘Music’. When asked what she has to say about the people who mocked her down and demotivated her, she states “I may not end up being the richest or most successful musician ever! But it doesn’t matter. As long as I reach the goals I have set for myself and not hurt anyone along the way, I will consider that I have lived a good life.” Here are the excerpts from the interview:
1. When did you realize that you wanted to be a singer?
I always knew I wanted to be a singer, but never had any guidance, direction or knowledge about where to start and what to do. I studied fine art and was all set to be a painter, when I found an ad in a weekly catholic journal called the Examiner of Vocal coach Samantha Edwards. After joining her, I attended a song writing workshop by one of her students Natania Lalwani who studied at Musicians Institute L.A., that’s when I knew this is exactly what I want to do in life. And thus my journey towards music began.
2. You also play piano and the keyboard. Have you undergone any professional training?
I learned the keyboard for many years and completed 6 grades in practical and theory from Trinity College London. After which I switched to piano. It was pretty hard at first because the two instruments are completely different from one and other; I kind of struggled to find a good teacher. Firstly I went to Theme Institute of music for three months then after which I joined Faustin Missier at his “Do-Re-Me school of Music”. Haven’t given any exams for piano but I intend on doing it so that I am a professional at it.
3. You have performed for ‘Early Sets’ at Blue Frog, Café Infinito and The Hive. What you have to say about that?
It’s just the start, the very first step of my life as a musician. I have been very fortunate and grateful to have played at these venues. I had the honour of meeting some of the great musicians along the way. I have been doing gigs from the past one year so you see I am an absolute beginner at it. But as an individual I know where I want to go and I will definitely get there one day. Still have a long way to go!
4. What genres of music have influenced you as a singer?
I listen to all kinds of music from Jazz to Pop, from Funk to Blues so no restrictions as such (except death metal and EDM. Those I can’t stand). I especially feel connected to Country, Blues, Jazz (especially instrumental music), Funk, Soul and Pop. All of these have influenced my way of song writing and usually my songs consists a subtle influences of all of the above genres of music.
5. What are you currently doing?
I am currently doing a three-month course in Singing and Song writing in London. I have also performed numerous times at open mics here and met some amazing musicians who have played with Bob Marley, Jamaroquai, Eric Clapton and Phil, Collins.
Besides music I am also doing my TYBA from Mumbai University’s Distance Learning.
6. Do you also teach music to kids?
Yes! I do. I am an assistant teacher with Samantha Edwards. We run programs for kids in vocals and music theory, and I teach along with other assistant teachers. I also give keyboard lessons in private at home.
7. You have performed with Chaittali Shrivastava and Jazz singer Samantha Edwards. Tell us something about that?
To be honest I am very grateful to both of them. It was Chaittali who gave me “my first break” in music, the first ever gig I did was with her at Blue Frog where I was playing the keyboard for her. After which I played with her for a number of times, which made me confident enough to sign up for a gig of my own (with a little push from Samantha and my sister). I was also the backing vocalist for Samantha at her funk n’ soul gig at Wellington Sports Club, it was the best experience ever. I got an opportunity to meet some of the best musicians in Mumbai like Sanjay Divecha, Karl Peters, Vinayak Pol and Karan Joseph. I also performed at The Andrean Fair last year with Samantha and a few other students from our school. It’s a truly great experience to know both of them and having a pleasure of working with them.
8. Your top 5 musicians of all time?
Well this is a tough one; I have a lot of favourite musicians who are my all-time best. Sorry I’m going to list more than five. I guess it would have to be Queen, Ella Fitzgerald, Chick Corea ( and the whole band of Return to Forever), Bonnie Raitt, Adam Lambert, Ed Sheeran, Diana Krall, Adele and Alicia keys. There is no way I can miss out even one of these!
9. 5 songs which are always on your playlist?
Fallin’ – Alicia Keys
Dream a little dream of me – Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong.
Give me Love- Ed Sheeran
Redneck Woman- Gretchen Wilson
And at least one Adam Lambert song.