There was a time when farmers sang their hearts out to boost their own energy to keep working in the fields during scorching summers. Revolutionaries also sang out their agony about the state of affairs of under-privileged societies. This is how folk tradition came to be. And this is why it takes on innumerable moods in what it conveys.
So what happens when a young ValueLabs professional combines his singing talent with tradition? You get a cheerful and immensely gifted colleague called B. Sumanth. Sumanth has been practising this art since he was a child. A folk singer with a natural flair for the genre, his first stage performance was when he was only eight years old when he sang shlokas from the Bhagvad Gita in school. And yet, hehas no formal training in classical music!
Sumanth has been training under guru Dr. Damodara Ganapathi Rao in his folk music group Sri Krishnaveni Janapada Gayaka Brindam for around 10 years now.
In a freewheeling chat, this powerhouse singing talent unwinds by saying: “My favorite folk singers are Suddala Ashok Teja, Goreti Venkanna and Gaddar.” As an NCC cadet, Sumanth has also performed and attended numerous camps across India. In 2009, as an ace cadet, he was selected for the prestigious Republic Day troupe from Andhra Pradesh to perform on Rajpath with the then-president Pratibha Patil in attendance. He was also part of the Prime Minister’s Rally.
The artiste has also performed in Russia as part of a youth exchange program organized by NCC; he was the lead singer and the only cadet from Andhra Pradesh in the participating troupe. But the memory he cherishes the most is that of learning a few numbers, originally sung by revolutionary Telangana balladeer Gaddar, from another folk veteran. Reminiscing about the experience with sparkling excitement in his eyes, Sumanth says: “Gaddar is amazing. He can sing about anything on the spot. I’m privileged to have met the balladeer in person.” He says meeting the revolutionary and poet singer who can move the masses with just a few lyrics has been awe inspiring.
Sumanth enjoys singing at weddings and parties. He says that he is also open to offers for playback singing in movies. In the past, he has sung for regional as well as national media channels such as Doordarshan, HMTV and TV9. Add to being a prolific folk singer, a bright NCC cadet and a talented HR professional, he also has three post graduate degrees in his kitty – a M.Sc. in Mathematics, a MA in English literature and a MBA in Human Resources.
One may find his body of work had to believe considering Sumanth’s humble demeanor. However, one guesses that that’s what brand ValueLabs is all about. It’s about being humble and grounded despite notching up accolades, being successful, and being a name to reckon with. And who can represent our values better than someone from the HR team? So here’s wishing our bright HR manager all the best!