Madhav Gopi Nair’s latest reel of ‘Ennavale Adi Ennavale’ from ‘Kadhalan’ rakes in 4 lakh views and counting
Madhav Gopi Nair is trending on Instagram for his latest instrumental violin cover reel of Ennavale Adi Ennavale from Kadhalan, but there’s so much more to the musician, as we find out:
If you are a carnatic music fan in India, it’s probably impossible to not come across Madhav Gopi Nair, a popular young Kerala-based violinist. His recent, most viral video on Instagram — a reel featuring a popular instrumental bit from Ennavale Adi Ennavale from Kadhalan (1994) — has already amassed 4,19,000 views. The Kochi-based musician burst into the spotlight when he released an instrumental cover of Darbuka Siva’s Maruvaarthai from Enai Noki Paayum Thota (2019) in August 2018 on YouTube and the song has garnered 8,57,939 views since. Madhav Gopi Nair’s next, a violin cover of Arun Muraleedharan’s Kamini from Anugraheethan Antony (2021) released in March 2020 and has already been viewed 3,23,987 times on YouTube. The talented violinist has many more instrumental covers online to his credit including Inkem Inkem Inkem Kaavaale from Geetha Govindam (2018) with 91,000+ views and Samajavaragamana from Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo (2020) with 99,000+ views. We caught up with Madhav to talk about his musical journey, his latest compositions and lots more.
Tell us a little about your background in music:
I do not come from a musical family, but I was born into a family of music lovers. At the age of eight, I started learning the carnatic violin. My teachers were Abdul Aziz and violin maestro Nedumangad Sivanandan and more recently, Vittal Rangan. My initial journey with music began when I started learning the tabla, which I couldn’t continue due to the non-availability of teachers. This is when my father found out about violin classes in the locality and made me join.
Tell us a little about yourself:
I was born and raised in Kochi, Kerala. I graduated with a computer science and engineering degree from Amrita School of Engineering. I also worked as a software engineer with Robert Bosch for a year before deciding to pursue music full time. Now I compose music, perform live shows and play for recording sessions for movies and music albums. My personal music has been based on fusing other genres with Indian Classical Music. This is not intentional but is a result of the music I’ve grown up listening to. As a teenager, I have extensively listened to pop, rock, metal, EDM and Indian classical. I still get excited when I hear music that I’ve not heard before and try to dig deeper into how they are made. After releasing a couple more singles, I would like to release my debut instrumental album, which will be a mixture of songs from across genres. My first performance on stage was at the age of ten. Since then, I have been fortunate enough to have performed in various parts of India as well as the world, including Malaysia, Kuwait and Qatar. I have also had the opportunity to collaborate with some extraordinary musicians from the Malayalam Film Industry. In 2015, I also performed as the lead violinist of the band Prayaan.
How do you choose your covers and convert them into single instrument pieces?
Usually, I do not jump to do covers of the latest trending songs. I only cover songs that I can connect with, both musically and emotionally. I do the recording, production, editing and mixing of most of the content on Instagram. For other platforms, converting them to instrumental pieces is the result of the fantastic musicians of my band working together.
What genres are your compositions in?
I have released four singles — Above & Beyond (progressive rock + carnatic), Mukti (carnatic acoustic), Rebirth (orchestral) and Limitless (progressive house + carnatic), along with two pure carnatic performances: Sadhinchane and Mallari.
Do you have a favourite genre?
Asking me to pick a favourite would be like asking a parent to pick their favourite child! Each composition was made at different points in my life, as a result of events that happened during the time. I have gotten much love in the form of messages and calls for Mukti, for the peace and happiness it brought to listeners. Nothing feels more special than the audience connecting with the same feelings I had while creating a song. Spotify also featured Mukti on the Indie Instrumental Editorial Playlist. Personally, Limitless holds a special place in my heart, as it was the first single I ever composed. It was more like an experiment to me, simultaneously being on the journey of exploring things and discovering the joy of music production and composition.
Who are your favourite artistes, past and present, across genres?
The list of my favourite artistes from Kerala alone could fill up this entire interview! I’ll quickly say the first names that come to mind — Lalgudi Jayaraman, AR Rahman, Vidyasagar, Hans Zimmer, Avicii, Coldplay and Linkin Park. The list is endless, and new names keep getting added every day.
What can we look forward to from you next?
I want the world to experience the beauty of Indian Classical Music and Instrumental Music. Music has the power to heal and evolve both the body and mind. This is what I aspire to achieve from creating music. Being a musician is a blessing that lets you spread joy, love and peace to the world through music. And I’ll not take that blessing for granted. Apart from regularly creating Instagram reels, we are currently working on some YouTube covers. You can also expect raga-based singles on all audio streaming platforms later this year!
Streaming on YouTube and Spotify.