Music is the destination

2019-05-29 06:02
Nishalin Pillay performing with his tabla at a musical event.PHOTO: facebook

Nishalin Pillay performing with his tabla at a musical event.PHOTO: facebook

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ENGINEERING graduate Nishalin Pillay, better known as Nish, had no idea that once he completed his degree in engineering life would be the way it is now, but after one live musical performance in 2016 with his tabla he knew that music was where his heart lied.

“I had just graduated and was asked by chance to perform at a gig in MiTH. I had never planned on becoming a musician, but once I played in front of that audience, off course after vomiting a few times, it just felt natural and I knew that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” said Nish.

Having learned to play the tabla reluctantly when he was younger, Pillay recently toured a few cities in India where he studied the instrument to hone his skill under world famous tabla player Rahul Poplai, with whom he underwent intense eight-hour a day lessons. “I never really took to the instrument when I was younger and that is why I made sure that now I needed to learn much more about this unique instrument, therefore had gruelling training sessions in India to improve my playing abilities,” said Nish, who hopes to infiltrate the musical industry in South Africa with his tabla sound.

“This is such a versatile instrument which works well with all other instruments and I want it to transcend into other musical genres using the various elements of music it brings and the emotion it carries with it,” he said.

Nish has played at some top venues in SA as well as with some of the top performers in the musical industry such as Jack Mantis, Vusi Mahlasela and the Drakondale Girls Choir. He has also performed at events like Splashy Fen, where he headlined the acoustic stage, as well as at the White Mountain Festival.

“Music has taken me on an incredible journey and I am far from done, in fact I guess I am just starting. Just recently I got back from being on the road for the last seven months and will now be leaving Pietermaritzburg, having spent two days here, for Cape Town,” he said.

Nish said it’s not always an easy ride, as there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes to make music a sustainable career, but added that he wouldn’t trade it for anything else, even though he has an engineering degree.

“Though there are some hard times here and there, I love every moment of it and have had some crazy experiences along the way.”

Nish will be hosting a musical event on June 21 at the UKZN Dive Theatre, including performances by himself and various other artists. More information will be released closer to the date.

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