Ashka - an icon of sensational harmony | Sunday Observer

Ashka - an icon of sensational harmony

24 January, 2021
Anushka Deshani Kulathunga
Anushka Deshani Kulathunga

Music is a powerful mantra that touches the hearts and minds of listeners through lyrics and rhythms. The audio cadences go beyond what any other visual image t which could reach the eye as it has the exceptional ability to approach the deepest places of the human senses. A musician is a person who has the extraordinary power to create sensations in one’s mind and heart through rhythmic creations. A composer, a lyricist, and a musician are essential components of the musical and entertainment fields as they add aesthetic value to ordinary lives. Above all, a singer is a person who gives life to the lyrics by combining emotions with rhythmic vocal patterns.

Thus, the absolute beauty of the creation reaches the heart of the listener. Not every singer is gifted. The ones who are totally dedicated and embrace music are the real treasures who empower the art with pure creativity. The bearers of the culture of music are those in the younger generation. It is an inevitable fact which reflects the future of the entertainment field.

Over the past decades, Sri Lanka has unearthed rare gems in the music industry through several platforms. The Voice Sri Lanka is one such platform hosted by Sirasa TV The Voice Sri Lanka is one of the successful reality TV platforms in the world exposed to a global audience. Young and exceptionally talented personalities in Sri Lanka gain the opportunity to perform on this global stage every year.

Anushka Deshani Kulathunga is one such outstanding young musician who recently performed at The Voice Sri Lanka. The sweetness of her voice blended with her unique performance on the guitar made Ashka a show stopper. As as a result, her excellent performance on The Voice Sri Lanka platform went viral on social media. Speaking to the Sunday Observer Youth Magazine, Ashka revealed the story of her journey so far.

Q: How did you get into the music field?

A: My childhood had a great influence on my music. My grandfather and my mother are very much into music. When I was small, they bought me a keyboard piano and I was taught music and songs. When I started school at ‘Girls’ High School’, Kandy, I participated in many music competitions. That is the stepping stone which brought me this far in the field. I’m grateful to all of my music teachers who trained, guided, and encouraged me throughout the past years. Mangala Samarawickrama, Anoma Randunuge, MihinduPerera, Chanaka Tennakoon, Dhanushka Jayamuthuge are the teachers who polished the talent I have for music.

Q: How far have you studied music?

A: I am learning Western Music by practicing the Flamenco guitar and I’m getting ready for the London Western Music exam. Apart from that, I have qualified to sit for the Nipun exams by successfully passing the Vocal Visharadha exams and the Violin Visharadha exams.

To speak about the music competitions that I have taken part in 2016, I won the first place in the ‘All Island Music Competition’ in the category of Ekala Shasthriya Gayana and was able to win the Praveena Sammanaya along with it. In 2017 and 2019 at the ‘Youth Awards’ organised by the National Youth Services Council, I came first in the All Island Classical Guitar Performance and the Ekala Shasthriya Gayana category. Again, in 2019, I won first place in the ‘Individual Violin Performance’ and won the Praveena Sammanaya at the ‘All Island Music Competition’.

Q: What are your current plans?

A: Currently, I’m a first year undergraduate at the University of Kelaniya. I study Psychology, Image Art, and Music. I am also running a YouTube channel and a Facebook page where I upload the cover songs recreated in my own way. Plus, I conduct music classes for those who are interested in learning instruments.

Q: What is your overall idea about being a musician?

A: For me, music is more like the air I breathe, as it keeps me alive and moving forward. Nothing could beat the satisfaction and relief I gain from music. The feedback I receive from the audience points me to where I’m on the journey. I’m really happy and grateful that my work is being enjoyed, embraced, and appreciated by many people. To become a musician is not an easy task.

It takes a lot of effort and endurance. The quality of your work reflects how engaged, absorbed, and sacrificial you are to what you are doing right now. It is all about self-study and learning. Music is an infinite subject. As a young musician, there are many things yet to be learnt. My ultimate goal is to become a heart touching musician in the future.

Ashka’s unique talent shines as she redefines acoustic music to the next level. Her way of adding colour to the songs has brought her a unique fan base which encourages and appreciates her throughout her journey. Her sensational singing while playing the guitar is a rare find among the younger generation. According to her, a musician is supposed to enjoy his work before the audience does.

If he’s not enjoying it, how come the audience does? The essence of being a true musician is to bond the emotions with a sensational artistic performance.