Fame in percussion comes calling young

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Chennai, Apr 18: Here is to a Sivamani in the making. Welcome to the beats &13;of Siddharth Nagarajan, who at a tender age of nine has 'drummed' his way into &13;the Limca Book of World Records for the second time with theme music for Tamil &13;feature 'Nenjil Jil Jil.' He is no Maori War Drummer but this prodigy has been &13;making the beat since nearly three when he first walked into the 'Limca Hall of &13;Fame' for being the youngest in the profession.

This globe-trotting percussionist was born in September 1997 to N Nagarajan, &13;who is a cine rhythmist and Singer Vidya. So, music is in his DNA.

A second standard student of Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan, Siddharth was &13;initiated into drumming by none other than the globally renowned Sivamani who &13;called him 'my heir.' His tryst with fame began when he entered the Limca Book &13;in 2003 for being the youngest to compose 'Bols' or 'Jathis' (rhythmic &13;syllables) on the spot at a tender age. Siddharth held the record for three &13;consecutive years.

Music Director Imam's 'Nenjil Jil Jil' saw him once again entering the Limca &13;Book being the youngest musician to record the theme music for a feature film.

''I had 12 drums and played with confidence without any stress,'' said the &13;little boy who has straddled the globe and is now a stage veteran while &13;recalling his stage performance in 2003.

''I practise three hours a day and aim to create a world class album on &13;rythms.'' His most cherished moment came in October 2004 when he performed &13;before President A PJ Abdul Kalam during the first citizen's birthday &13;celebrations.

''After the function, we were waiting in the queue for tea. The President &13;called me and gave me a plate of snacks and held my hand,'' a proud Siddharth &13;says.

He floored Dr Kalam with his talent and won him over with a handmade birthday &13;greeting card.

Interestingly, his first show was on 16 April, 2000, when he was barely two &13;and half years old. He is now 1,000 performances old.

&13;&13;&13;&13; Sivamani is simply taken over by the lad's talents. ''I am amazed with his &13;talent. He never knows stage fear and has given performances on television, &13;radio and sabhas,'' he said. At school too, his talent is made ample use of as &13;he is often asked to provide rhythm support during musical programmes. His &13;parents are simply elated with their little drummer.

''He can compose 'bols' or 'jathis' in a jiffy and identify all the rhythm and &13;percussion instruments, classifying them instantly.

''He keenly watches drum demonstration videos by leading artistes all over the &13;world,'' Nagarajan said.

''When Siddharth was just one and half years, one afternoon, when everyone in &13;the house was fast asleep, we suddenly heard the Dandia beat from the adjacent &13;room.

''What we saw was truly amazing -- My son Siddharth, who groped his way into &13;his father's music room was playing the on the Dhol,'' said Vidya.

With so much rhythm already in him, the inquisitive Siddharth does not want to &13;lag behind in melody.

''He has started composing pieces of syncopation for his shows and is also &13;trying his hand at singing and playing the piano though he is yet to have any &13;formal training in them as yet,'' his father said.

But take Siddharth away from music and he is one of the brat pack. He is a &13;Spiderman freak, car and bike buff. He watches 'Pogo' and cartoon channels just &13;like others of his age.

However, his heart and soul is in the drums and his heart always beats for &13;them!


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