Finding harmony – Deccan Chronicle

Thursday, Jan 19, 2023 | Last Update : 08:44 PM IST
Music breaks barriers of language and lives through generations. It soothes the soul and inspires you. It has brought fame to many, but most importantly, it gives those people who are blessed with music the courage to overcome the odds that life brings and find success. Talking about fighting the odds, V.S. Akhil Vinay, a musician, had it in the form of blurred vision. This visually-challenged artist focuses on a capella and his band AcousticA is already a hit.  
A postgraduate student at the Government Music College in Thiruvananthapuram, Akhil started learning Carnatic music at the very early age of three. He was so focused and had the right path in front of him until that misfortunate day when he started having problems in vision. But he never let the disability rule his passion, and came back to the fore, thanks to music.
“I was heartbroken, obviously. It was not easy. But I believed in myself and my family believed in me. I was a hopeful and here I am now,” says Akhil. He was seen lately at a private programme where he featured his band AcousticA along with guest performers. The band performs a cappella versions of popular numbers and also features his works. A mashup cover, 10 Kanakkinu Acapella, was a hit project by the band. Apart from composing and singing, Akhil also acts as the conductor during the performance.
A cappella music is by far the most enjoyable and entertaining activity in which humans can engage with their mouths. Basically, a cappella music involves nothing but the human voice. This makes it quite a different experience. Unlike ‘normal-people music’, a cappella is unshackled from the mechanical restrictions of instruments. “The reason why I love a cappella is the harmony. From a very young age, I used to be part of the church choir and harmony is my forte. Church choir has some wonderful harmonies and that really had a great impact on me. Also, I started listening to maestros like J.S. Bach, the German music composer who did wonders with music chords. So, that inspired me to do a cappella performances and thus the band was formed.”
Akhil loves experimenting and he spends time trying something new always. Recently, he composed a number in which he combined western and classical styles.  Akhil also plays classical guitar, but is yet to do any compositions with it.
In the mashup he did with popular film songs, Akhil evidently shows his skills of the composer and harmoniser in him. “I believe every musical piece has harmony,” he says.  Mundhinam parthene (Vaaranam Aayiram), Alakadaloli… (Urumi), Kolaveri, Dhoom machale, Deerane and Entammede jimikki kammal (Velipadinte Pusthakam) are some of the songs that he harmonised in the cover. Another noted cover was of Kadavathoru thoni from the movie Poomaram. Akhil’s new work Oh Lord is out and he is getting great responses from everyone. He also found A.R. Rahman and Ilaiyaraaja as his inspirations other than Bach.
Setting no boundaries to his passion, he has been training karate which he thinks helps him a lot to focus and shape up his character. His mother and brother have always been supportive of his journey.
Akhil’s life is very inspiring and he believes his hunger for breaking stereotypes and hurdles has kept him going all these years. 
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