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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.