- Shavindya Kariyawasam on her debut single, new music, and future projects
By Shailendree Wickrama Adittiya
A software quality engineer by profession, Shavindya Kariyawasam has always been passionate about music. She released her debut single Hiru Sanduda Obai in August 2021, and the official release of her acoustic version of Sobani was scheduled for mid-April. However, given the situation in the country, Kariyawasam decided to postpone the official release of the song, saying in an Instagram post that more details would be shared soon.
Shavindya Kariyawasam spoke to Brunch about her plans on the official release as well as her passion for music.
Sharing how she began her journey in music, Kariyawasam said: “It has constantly been my comfort zone since I was a kid, and a few years ago, I started posting home-recorded covers on my YouTube channel.”
She explained that, when she started the channel, she didn’t have proper plans to start a career as a musician. “I just loved making my own versions of old songs I used to enjoy as a kid,” Kariyawasam shared.
Some of her covers include Can’t Help Falling in Love by Elvis Presley, Elastic Heart by Sia, and When I Look at You by Miley Cyrus. Covers of local songs include Sandaganawa by Dhanith Sri, Yali Hamuwenne Kedhinadha Api by Piyath Rajapakse, and Sulanga Se Pawee by Centigradz.
“With time, as I started working on my vocal and performance skills more and more, I felt that I was ready to take it up a notch,” Kariyawasam said, adding that the release of her debut single Hiru Sanduda Obai was a turning point of her journey as a musician. “I grew an interest in putting my own creations out there,” she said, going on to add that she has been working on achieving that dream ever since.
Hiru Sanduda Obai has attached to it an interesting story. Kariyawasam shared that her cousin, Sandani, wrote the song as a wedding surprise for her husband, and asked Kariyawasam to create the melody for it.
“Even though I had no plans to release this as an original initially, when I was done working on it I felt that I should. So I reached out to Sanjula Himala and he did his magic on the melody with his music,” she said.
According to her, releasing the song and receiving positive comments for it set a new goal for her. As such, the song will always hold a special place in her heart.
Kariyawasam considers releasing her debut single as the happiest moment of her career, recalling: “The first time I listened to the track Sanjula composed for it, realising this is my own song that I’m listening to and I’ve actually taken another step forward in my music career, had me in tears.”
She went on to say that she is very happy she met Sanjula, as he not only turned it into a beautiful composition, but also gave her the confidence to create more of her own melodies. “He always encourages me to do more music and provides me insights on areas that I’m unfamiliar with. I’m so grateful for that,” she said.
As for the acoustic version of Sobani, Kariyawasam said they have not discussed a new date for the official release yet, but do plan to release it before the end of June.
“I’m a huge fan of this song, which is originally performed by Chanuka Mora and Chehara Geethma. Getting this opportunity to get in touch with Chanuka and releasing my cover version as the official acoustic version of the song means so much to me,” she said, adding that this project was a team effort by SLW Studios (Audio Production), Pumudu Perera (Videography and Editing), and Aurelian Studios (Video Production).
Talking about where her interest in music comes from, Kariyawasam said she grew up with music and enjoyed singing more than anything else. Growing up, her parents were a great inspiration.
“I got my talent in music from my dad. He made sure that my sisters and I were aware of our talents and encouraged us to make use of them,” she said. “My mom signed us up for piano classes at a very young age and gave us the foundation that we needed to perform confidently out there with a knowledge of music.”
Kariyawasam started posting covers when she got her first guitar. “With the few guitar techniques I knew, I wanted to make my own version of the song Oba Magemai, an original by Ranidu Lankage and Ashanthi de Alwis. That was my first guitar cover and I continued to post more covers after that,” she shared.
Kariyawasam went on to say that the guidance provided by her teachers Ashanthi de Alwis, Dr. Priyeshni Perera, and Wasantha Geekiyanage played a big part in helping her get ready to start a music career professionally.
Talking about her inspirations, Kariyawasam said: “I’m truly inspired by Umaria Sinhawansa, not only because she’s an amazing singer, but also because of her beautiful personality and humility. I’ve always looked up to her.”
In terms of what comes next for this musician, Kariyawasam said she is currently working on a few original projects, one of which is to be released this year.
“The song is already produced and I personally love how it turned out. I believe that it delivers my style perfectly. I can’t wait to hear what everyone thinks about it,” she said.