Posted by Shyla Lopez on November 4, 2009 View Original
When people descend on a city to make their life, whether it is coming to Mumbai to eke out a living or to Silicon Valley in the US, most come with some dreams and aspirations, then life takes over. The day to day battle of making a living consumes and becomes all important. It is very few, very determined, very passionate individuals who are able to strike a balance between their job and their passion. It takes a lot out of one and it asks for some supreme sacrifices. Giju John is one such individual, who while becoming a successful engineer in Intel, has also, along the way, managed to keep that flame of Salsa burning within and then taken that flame and given it a concrete form, to become a full fledged artist. Here is more about this talented artist.
- Latin–Indian pop a genre not many have ventured into. What inspired you?
I’ve been a performing artist for many years and I always wanted to do “my own thing”, if you will, in the music and entertainment field. Although my basic training has been in Carnatic music and Bharat Natyam (a popular south Indian classical dance), I was always inclined towards doing something in the pop music genre. After I moved to US, in 1998, Ifast payday loans took upon salsa dancing. Few months into the learning phase, I was completely hooked to the flavor of Latin music and dances, as a dancer as well as a musician. I was also part of an Indian music band at that time. Singing Indian songs and dancing salsa and cha cha cha – it didn’t take long for my creative side to kick in and explore the possibility of combining the two. That’s how this new genre got conceptualized; it was back in 2004. Since then I’ve released my first Latin Indian cross over album – Rang Rangeeli Yeh Duniya, launched Beyond Dreamz Entertainment, produced three music videos including the very first Indian-salsa and Indian-Cha-Cha-Cha videos, and done numerous dance productions in the Latin-Indian genre.
- Do you have a formal training in singing?
Yes, I was trained in Carnatic music (classical music branch in the southern part of india) from the age of 9 through 15. In the recent times, I’ve restarted my training – this time in Hindustani music (classical music branch in the northern part of india) from a highly accomplished master – Sri Mahesh Kale.
- You are a world ranked salsa dancer. What attracted an Intel engineer to this form of dancing?
- It sure must have been one challenging and difficult journey. What keeps Giju ticking?
What keeps me ticking is my passion towards music and dance. Also the prospect of popularizing this unique, vibrant music genre of Latin-Indian fusion, as well as the highly encouraging responses I’ve been getting from my listeners and audience.
- Salsa is catching up in India too. What is your take on it?
Salsa, along with the other Latin dance forms like Cha Cha, Bachata and Meringue, are getting hugely popular in India. As a matter of fact, for my cha cha cha music video – Dhoondun Tujhe – I’d roped in some of the best dancers from different cities to be the main as well as supporting cast. There are numerous schools across the country with hundreds of thousands of students and I’ve worked with two of the original dance schools over there – LVDS (Banglore) and Salsa-India (Mumbai). They are doing a spectacular job with the spreading of this wonderful dance form. Actually two of my good friends – Richard and Sneha – got to the finals of India’s got Talent and almost clinched the title with their salsa shows. From what I’ve seen so far, the dancers over there are progressing at a really high pace towards the world class level. And I’m very much looking forward to working with them on more projects.
- The music video ‘dil ko kiya’ is very beautifully shot. Tell us about its making?
- What are your upcoming projects?