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Bubbly Sureshni!

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Life is full of pleasant surprises and coincidences. It’s a mix of everything, both pleasant and unpleasant, but now and then we face those rare moments which fills us with joy, and makes us smile. Todays T&C is going to be one of those rare occasions, and interview is going to take a more interesting turn. I’ll tell you why. This is one of those moments when you get to meet another person sharing same name and share your thoughts and views on the same subject! She considered it as an amusing coincidence that we share the same name, and it was pretty interesting! Meet the sweet and bubbly Sureshni Wanigasuriya, whom you already know by now. For those in the music scene, she needs no introduction. Ever since she was a student at Ladies college, music was running in her blood and veins, starting a band called the ‘Junior Chimes’ with her friends and relatives at the age of 10. She was always encouraged by her parents to continue with music, therefore she went on to sing with some of her most highlighted contemporaries including Sohan Weerasinghe. She has toured across the world to show her musical skills to overseas audiences as well, where she received a good response at the same time. Sureshni rocked the music scene ever since she entered it, and she has worked with Bands such as the ‘Golden Chimes’ ‘Fire Stats’/’, ‘People Next Door’, ‘Europa’ ‘Ecstasy’, ‘Benji & Aquarius’ and ‘Sohan and the X’ Periments’, ‘Genesis’ and her own band, ‘Tribe l’. She feels that going solo creates more individuality in her rather than playing with a band. She has performed a large number of songs ranging from ‘Gospel to Pop, and some of them include ‘Amazing love’, ‘Leaving on a Jet plane’, ‘Always somewhere’, ‘Stumbling in (with Tribe)’, ‘Paradise’. So let’s find out what Sureshni has to say about her music journey, latest progress and her future plans.

Q: What are you engaged in these days?

Due to the country situation these days I’m keeping myself occupied singing in private functions such as Weddings, Wedding Anniversaries, Birthday Parties and private functions where the gatherings are limited.

The places where I was having contracts have been to a standstill due to restrictions in the country and I’m been called to start very soon.

Q: How would you recall the beginnings of your music career?

Humble beginnings which started for fun ended as a profession.

Q: hen did u start your music career and what inspired you to become a musician?

I started my career in music when I was 10 years old together with few relations and friends forming a band called “Junior Chimes.” This was purely for fun and for us to enjoy. We did many shows together. What inspired me to become a musician was the band “Golden Chimes” and my uncle and aunty Chanaka and Lankika Perera were the main influencers for my beginning.

Q: What are the genres which you mostly follow?

I sing all types of music according to the function but naming retro, techno, pop, rock, few jazz songs, Sri Lanka baila and slow songs together with songs of other languages such as Spanish, Philippines, Russian, Hindi and few Tamil songs.

Q: Whom do you rather take as an idol in music?

I have many but mostly I’m a fan of Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey.

Q: You also performed in several bands.

Yes. I sarted with Golden Chimes, Fire Stats, People Next Door, Europa (own band, started in abroad), Ecstasy, Benji and Aquarius (toured in Germany and Switzerland), Sohan and Experiments (abroad and Sri Lanka), Tribe (own band trio).

Q: Tell us about Tribe.

I was able to do many songs of my choice with duets reaching to many age groups.

Q: Do you consider yourself as an independent musician?

Now mostly I perform as a solo artist, so yes I’m an independent musician currently. But when a “Trio or a Duo” is been requested, I adjust myself accordingly. Other than this I’m been called as a guest artist/ solo singer to perform with bands.

Q: Do you prefer going solo or to perform with a band?

Now I prefer to be a guest artist so I can reach to many ordinance not restricting myself to one band.

Q : What is the most unforgettable moment of your music career?

There are two unforgettable memories:

1. Achieving the most promising singer’s award and the band Europa achieving the award for most promising band in Observer awards. This is done purely by a judge board and not by any votes.

2. My tour to USA with the band “Sohan and the Experiments” and the trip to Las Vegas with an opportunity to stay in the most luxurious hotel MGM Grand which is over 5,000 rooms. There I was privileged to witness a live show of “Tom Jones” which I believe a once in a life time opportunity.

Q: How would you describe the music scene in Sri Lanka?

Comparing to the standards we had in the country towards musicians, the current standard is a fact to be sad and disappointed due to various incidents happened in the country to effect the field of music.

Q: Have you performed overseas as well?

I’ve stated few above but my overseas tours started in 1989 with my own band Europa to Oman in hotel Muscat Intercontinental and Ruwi Novotel for a two year contract. Thereafter I’ve toured to Doha, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, USA, Maldives and also had the privilege to participate for a live TV/ radio show in Australia.

Q: Do you do music as a hobby or profession?

Profession.

Q: Do you think that music as a profession is ok to survive in a competitive world?

In my early days of the music career, yes music can be done as a profession and I was able to survive as a single parent bringing up my son and building my own house and now living a debt free life without any bank loans. But circumstances have changed in the country, now I do not advice or encourage a junior to do music as a profession but only as a hobby, unless you have a manager or contacts to sponsor to give that initial push to become a star. I truly appreciate Sri Lanka following the reality TV programs done in other countries and implementing them in our country to bring up the young talent faster than we were able to come up in life those days. Because when we were small we didn’t have opportunities such as these.

Q: How did the pandemic situation affect you in general?

I lost my contracts and most of my private bookings along with the tour to Maldives.

Q: Now we see the music scene slowly trying to recover. Do you think that things might get better by next year?

Hoping for the best.

Q: Are you happy with the music journey which you have come so far?

Of course yes, because I never forget my humble beginnings. And that is my advice to all the new junior artists as well, “Never forget your humble beginnings and always remember the ones who paved the way for you to get there.” I specifically want to thank the people who gave me and my band Europa the opportunity to sing in Colombo in “Taj My Kind of Place” when we came back to Sri Lanka after the contract in Oman. Naming, Mr.Jerry, Mr.Imran Saibo and Maritza and Ivan Alwis from Island news papers.Ivan used to be a follower of our band at an era where Instagram, Facebook or Whatsapp was not available but he used to write articles about the band “without our knowledge” and publish in the Island newspapers continuously.

Q: Is there anything more you would like to achieve?

I like to travel the world as a guest artist and there are few opportunities coming up in future where I’m gladly looking forward to.

Q: What are your plans for 2022?

I’m working on my original songs and hoping to continue the same while embracing each moment being thankful for the life God has given me.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021 – 01:00












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