Before graduating from the Audio Production & Engineering Program at Metalworks Institute, Rahul Sathu was refining his musical connections within his native country India, building the connections that would eventually take him back home to a quickly-developing career in India’s thriving music industry.
Originally from Hyderabad, Rahul moved with his family to Brampton, Ontario at a young age. He began singing and performing as a child alongside his father, a popular performer in the Indian community throughout the Toronto area.“Many concerts take place in Canada during the summer due to the Indian crowd there, and I was part of many big music fests, such as Desifest, Mosaic, and many more. Canada is a multilingual country, and there are a great many Punjabi, Hindi, and Bengali people. So I used to sing in all of these languages.”
While he was in his third semester of studies at Metalworks, Rahul received a call from a friend, suggesting he trek to Malaysia to take part in Astro’s International Superstar TV singing competition. Initially he wasn’t interested, as he didn’t want to jeopardize his final semester of studies at Metalworks. Plus, the competition was in Tamil, and Rahul doesn’t speak Tamil. “Imagine someone who doesn’t speak Tamil competing with good Tamil singers? He later called me again and insisted I audition for this competition, as it involved many big Indian celebrities, and would help me gain contacts.”
Rahul decided to fly to Malaysia for the contest. He and his team Vaanavil promptly won the Viewer’s Choice Award and the $40,000 (U.S.) prize that went with it. The victory also enabled him to connect with notable figures in the Indian film music scene, including Sirpy Narayanan, Mano, and T. Rajendar. Narayanan introduced Rahul to C. Sathya, a well-known south Indian music composer.“C. Sathya immediately called me up and asked me to see him. After showing C. Sathya my work, he was really impressed and asked me to work with him. I went back to Canada to finish my final semester (at Metalworks) and right after my graduation, I moved to Chennai to start working with Sathya.”
Rahul has been busy working with C. Sathya on the music for a number of Indian films, including Unnodu Ka, released in May of this year, and Velainu Vandhutta Vellaikaaran, just released in June of 2016. And there are several more film projects on the go. “I feel really fortunate, because it’s not easy to get work right after graduation, and it’s not easy to step into such a big industry, surrounded with such amazing people. Out of all the people who participated in the contest, I’m the only one who stepped into the industry and made it this far. Being prepared is very important in life.”