Sreenidhi Venkatesh, Rahman’s Rockstar Sound Engineer

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As a sound engineer, Sreenidhi’s job profile includes organising a session, getting the right microphones in place and getting singers and directors to liaison to make the song sound better. And when she’s a music supervisor, she primarily acts as a middleman between the composer and the director. It’s a job in which she gets to witness the birth of a song, which might be a super hit a year or so later, from scratch to finish.1_sreenidhi

Born in Indonesia, where she lived for eight years, Sreenidhi’s early association with music involved listening to a generous dose of Michael Jackson songs. When the tunes of Thalapathi and Roja came out and life brought her to Chennai, music got into her life in a bigger way. One of the primary challenges as a female sound engineer was the timing — most music composers preferred working at night. “My working day usually begins in the afternoon when I get to the studios to work on songs. We pack up at sunrise, get home to sleep and have brunch… and then it goes on,” she narrates.2_sreenidhi

Sreenidhi’s uncanny musical talent was discovered at a very young age of 11months. She could identify raagas and could notate any phrase of music, let it be a complex sangathi in carnatic music or a simple keychain tune. Her rare knowledge at such young age astonished both the musicians and common public.

Apart from working with composers, Srinidhi has also dabbled in singing — she made a music video called ‘Lonely Sound’ that she sang and wrote. She’s also the female singer in Anirudh’s latest single ‘Avalukkenna’.3_sreenidhi

She worked as a sound engineer for 8 weeks with A.R.Rahman and then when it was time for her to say a bye, she wanted to stay for a little longer. So, she wrote to the Oscar winner and sought a job opportunity. In a couple of days, she was called in for an “interview” — the first one she’d ever faced. She was prepared, having brushed up on the concepts and latest trends in sound engineering that she might possibly be questioned on.4_sreenidhi

So surprisingly, the interview lasted for only 30 seconds. She laughs and said, “Rahman sir was like, ‘Hey, so you want to work here?’ I meekly nodded, and he said, ‘Ok, go ahead and take up that session.’” And that was it. She was immediately handed over a session for Raavan that required her to tap into her experience as an intern and childhood passion for sound.

She has sung a few songs in Kannada and Telugu and now in OK Jaanu alongside A.R.Rahman.