Manu Vijayan made the fret board his dance floor, the strings his costumes; his fingers dance over the guitar, gliding and swaying like a ballerina, he is a wizard who can surprise you with his skill and mesmerise you with his sound. Let us deep dive into this talented young chap’s journey.
How It All Began
He became an enthusiastic music listener in his early teens with artists like Michael Jackson, Westlife, Bryan Adams and the jazz influencing his tastes and thoughts. The major difference came when at 14 he was introduced to metal. His curiosity with the guitar as an instrument was then born. On his fifteenth birthday his sister gifted him an acoustic guitar and the learning phase began. He used to spend all his free time on the internet to learn to play songs and other basics like scales and chords. He did this drill for a year until he joined his eleventh standard, the next two years not much progress happened on the music front, as he had to dedicate more of his time to his academics. The tables turned when he arrived in Pune for his engineering and since the first year of engineering he began to play more of the electric guitar. From 2011 until the mid of 2013 he played with a band he co-founded, Epsilon. They were a metal-core act and played at various college competitions along with three-four other gigs. The band got dissolved in 2013 and Manu has been a solo artist ever since.
Evolution of His Expression
As a part of his expression he had started writing lyrics to his compositions even while he was in the band. But, these compositions were away from the taste and genre of the acts the band was doing. They were more of a personal research on song writing and his evolution as an artist. He started playing his compositions at shows and used to release singles, which garnered response that may have been less in quantity but very rich in quality. This gave him a confidence boost and made him explore more of his inner self that was portraying as a song. When asked how did this song writing happen and his inspiration he had this to say:
“Children of Bodom, a Finnish metal band, along with Metallica, Trivium, Dream Theatre were the driving influences for my guitar playing. Back in 2011, my sister introduced me to few songs of John Mayer. He has been the biggest inspiration till date for me to be a songwriter. Other artists like Ed Sheeran, Queen, MJ have inspired too.”
Every artist has a unique way to connect and indulge with his audience, when it comes to Manu, he is a no floss kind of a performer. He is straightforward and always likes to share something personal with the audience, he believes that this forges a strong bond with his listeners and will go a long way. In every song, he looks to play or extend the parts which appeals to the crowd and which he personally likes to strum.
Music – An Agent of Change
Manu believes that John Lennon’s Imagine can be made a reality. Music can help the world become a better place when likeminded music lovers get together, have a great time, meet new people, stumble upon new exciting songs, when this brotherhood spreads its wings and brings all the mankind under its span, that is when is the beginning of a beginning, a beginning of change. But, he has some despair when he says that only 1% of the grand plan is achieved so far, as people perceive music just as a source of entertainment. Once music gets perceived as an element much higher than just entertainment, then the change will begin.
M.S.O.T.S – Manu’s Brainchild
When we touched upon his brainchild “My Side of The Story (M.S.O.T.S)”, his excitement jumps to an all new level. He has put out only two originals till date but the response has been amazing. He is experimenting with the idea of a genre-free project which will involve something more than just music and words. He has already started writing for this project. The first song in this project is “Way You Felt Inside.” It made the way for more emotion based songs. Within two months, he had written and composed around 8-10 songs.
We prodded him to share few best moments in his journey so far, here is what he said…
“It undoubtedly must be the moments when at a show the crowd sings at the top of their voices. The very fact that they can connect with you and sing with you makes me happy. Two such moments I can recall were: Once at Cafe Toons Pune when while I was playing my instrumental Vande Maataram rendition and the crowd was singing it. The second instance was at a gig when I had to walk away from the mic while doing a rock cover of "Don't You Worry Child" because the crowd was THAT loud! Other moments include when I got my current guitar, ESP H-351 in 2013. I had been performing with borrowed gear for at least a year and when this beast came along I was ecstatic”.
With his signature subtlety and style, Manu signed off saying the kind of encouragement he gets from the crowd in forms of claps and whistles makes his day and pushes him to do more exciting and fun stuff.
Let us all wish this talent to have a very bright future. Let him keep us enthralled for years to come.
Follow and support him here: https://goodclap.com/p/2aA4TtmfWa3prdBMb
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