Winning Vasantham Star 2023 is the latest step in Navein Gunasekaran’s musical journey. His interest in music started at a very young age; from singing bhajans and hymns in religious classes at age six to Indian classical music classes, choir in secondary school and learning to play instruments, the Singapore-born musician has spent the greater part of his life immersed in the music scene.
“Music is a vast ocean. There is no end to learning, especially in music and exploring its boundless possibilities. I am happy to be able to learn and discover new things every day and to apply the things I have learned in my craft,” Navein told Connected to India.
This year’s competition could have gone very differently, as Navein said he almost passed up the opportunity to participate. He enrolled just days before the deadline for applications and had a series of ups-and-downs during his three-month journey to victory.
“Aside from being crowned as the champion, I will forever fondly remember my first ever performance in the first episode…An experience unlike anything else and I was certainly not expecting it at all,” Navein said.
The Singapore Management University undergraduate student joins a select star-studded list of champions, which includes the likes of Suthasini Rajendran, Vikneshwaran Veeran, and one of his local music heroes, Shabir.
Navein, who posts his compositions and song covers on social media and is studying music production and songwriting, hopes to create music that will leave a positive impact on his listeners.
He also said his family has supported and encouraged him to follow his passion for music, with a special tribute to his late father.
“It wasn't until I saw my friends and family roaring in the audience that it actually struck me that I had won,” Navein said, recalling how he felt when the winner was announced. "I couldn’t help but think of my late dad at that moment as well, particularly all the memories of him tirelessly chauffeuring me around for my music classes when I was younger. I must give a special mention and thank you to my father for recognising my interests and strengths even before I was aware of it.”
The competition victory has brought Navein into the limelight in the Singapore music circuit. Apart from the prize, he also won the chance to sing with Indian film composer and singer, D Imman, who was a guest judge for the finals.
Navein said he can’t wait to get started and go through the experience of singing for
Imman and learning from him; he also intends to work on some independent music and establish himself as a singer-songwriter. It’s clear that he has no intention of resting on his laurels and is fired up for the future.
Navein is also happy at the growth and evolution of the Singaporean-Indian music community, incorporating influences from around the world and adapting to changing times.
“I hope that we, as Singaporeans, will be the first to recognise our own homegrown talents and constantly support them to reach greater heights. There are many other artists who are paving their own path in the music scene and I believe there are many more to come in the future,” Navein said, signing off.