When students enter their teenage years, many of them have fantasies and want to tread the path no one has taken in their family. Carnatic Vocalist Naresh Vishal, who hails from Guntur and has made Hyderabad his home, is no different too. Speaking exclusively to Natyahasini, Carnatic Vocalist Naresh Vishal shares that he began his musical journey when he enrolled for the Intermediate at Sri Chaitanya in Guntur. “I began learning music only after I joined Intermediate and the Music College in Guntur was close to my Junior College. My parents were unaware about my musical journey for a very long time,” he says.
Naresh shares that his elder sister came to know that he was learning Music when he was in Second Year Inter and she tore away his music books. “She assumed that I had stopped learning as there were no books, but I had enrolled for the Certificate course and was madly in love with learning music,” says the vocalist. The singer’s first Guru was Janaki garu in Guntur, who made music very appealing to him and since then he has been high on music.
Things took a turn for teenager Naresh, when he came in contact with lecturer B Narayana from Vijayanagar Music College. “I did my Intermediate from Sri Chaitanya, though I cleared my EAMCET with a good rank, but to pursue Music, I told my parents that my rank wasn’t worth to pursue a professional course. I stayed back in Guntur and took admission in Degree as by then I had completed two years Certificate course. After I met Narayana sir, my plans were in place. I moved to Vijayanagaram to pursue MCA from Maharaja College and also Music,” he says.
Armed with a MCA degree and a job in an IT firm, Naresh moved to Hyderabad. “One evening, while taking a walk, I chanced upon the Music School in Khairtabad being run by Guru Sangeetha Kala. When I stepped into the music school, I had many questions for Guru Sangeetha garu. She answered them very patiently and thus paving my way to become a Carnatic Vocalist,” Naresh says. After he quit his job to pursue his passion, his parents came to know about his music journey.
Taking a trip down memory lane, the vocalist says that he paid for his certificate course from the money his mother gave for commuting to college daily. “I would save the money my mother gave by alternating – going by auto one day and walking another day, just to realise my passion,” the singer says.
Continuing his learning under Guru Sangeetha Kala, Naresh has been teaching music to youngsters since the last nine years, and in schools like Delhi Public School and currently in Sister Nivedita at Ameerpet. “In school, every class section has one music period thus enlightening the students of our rich cultural heritage. I teach music to students from Class I to IX. My job is to prepare students for various competitions and train them on songs as per the requirement,” he says.
Naresh Vishal, who started the Gayatri Institute at Borabanda, and had 60 students, had to shut it down due to the pandemic. “At the Borabanda institute, I had students from all classes. My school was and is open to the less privileged also, as I believe that they lack opportunities. I didn’t go online during the pandemic as I felt holding classes in Zoom for a big group was difficult. Now that I have moved to the Hitec City, I am conducting classes from there and have about 30 students and another 10 from abroad, where classes are online for them.
Thanks to the Almighty, Naresh’s wife is also a musician. “I was very keen to marry a person who had love for music. The wait for the right partner was long, but like all marriages are made in heaven, my wait ended when we came across Surekha, who too was keen to marry a music lover. Surekha is a Veena player and student of Guru Sudhakar garu,” he says, quickly adding that presently, she is working in an IT firm and has done a Certificate course in Veena too.
When questioned on whether they have performed a jugalbandi, Naresh says that the jugalbandi is restricted to the four walls of the home, as the Veena Shruti doesn’t sit will with vocals. “My wife is dedicated and perfectionist. Apart from playing the Veena, she also plays the key board,” he says. On future plans, Naresh who holds a Certificate and Diploma in Music plans to do his Masters and Ph. D. too. Before signing off, Naresh Vishal declares that he and his wife would like to chart a path in music in the years to come.
Naresh Vishal performs along with his students at Shilparamam Madhapur on 19 June 2022 from 5.30pm onwards