GIJU JOHN – AN INTEL ENGINEER FINDS HIS “DANCING” SHOES!!!
Posted by Shyla Lopez on November 4, 2009 | 9 Comment
1. Latin –Indian pop a genre not many have ventured into. What inspired you?
I’ve been a performing artist for many years and I always wanted to do “my own thing”, if you will, in the music and entertainment field. Although my basic training has been in Carnatic music and Bharat Natyam (a popular south Indian classical dance), I was always inclined towards doing something in the pop music genre. After I moved to US, in 1998, I
2.Do u have a formal training in singing?
Yes, I was trained in Carnatic music (classical music branch in the southern part of india) from the age of 9 through 15. In the recent times, I’ve restarted my training – this time in Hindustani music (classical music branch in the northern part of india) from a highly accomplished master – Sri Mahesh Kale.
3. You are a world ranked salsa dancer. What attracted an Intel engineer to this form of dancing?
Flavor ( ‘sabor’ as they call it in Spanish). Just like millions of salseros and salseras out there, I got attracted or rather addicted J to its wonderfully infectious flavor. As a trained dancer I also appreciated the good balance between the difficulty in techniques and the creative freedom it allows.
4. It sure must have been one challenging and difficult journey. What keeps Giju ticking?
5. Salsa is catching up in India too. What is your take on it?
Salsa, along with the other Latin dance forms like Cha Cha, Bachata and Meringue, are getting hugely popular in India. As a matter of fact, for my cha cha cha music video – Dhoondun Tujhe – I’d roped in some of the best dancers from different cities to be the main as well as supporting cast. There are numerous schools across the country with hundreds of thousands of students and I’ve worked with two of the original dance schools over there – LVDS (Banglore) and Salsa-India (Mumbai). They are doing a spectacular job with the spreading of this wonderful dance form. Actually two of my good friends – Richard and Sneha – got to the finals of India’s got Talent and almost clinched the title with their salsa shows. From what I’ve seen so far, the dancers over there are progressing at a really high pace towards the world class level. And I’m very much looking forward to working with them on more projects.
6. The music video ‘dil ko kiya’ is very beautifully shot. Tell us about its making?
Yes, it came out great. ‘Dil Ko Kiya’ was the first song that was composed and it has been very close to my heart. When my CD was released, along with the latin fusion tracks – rang rangeeli yeh duniya and dhoondun tujhe – this song also became very popular. So I started thinking about some ideas. The initial one was to go an exotic location like Brazil (the director of my first video had close ties with some technicians over there). But then budget became a major constraint. Couple of my other ideas also didn’t pan out and so I started focusing more on ‘Dhoondun Tujhe’. During one of my trips to india, my good old friend Sandeep Mohan – who is a noted writer and upcoming director in Mumbai – floated (no pun intended ) the idea of making a music video for Dil Ko Kiya with the backwaters of kerala as the backdrop. He was also very confident of doing it within a limited budget that I had in mind, which he ended up fulfilling as well. We started brainstorming for the story line and he started coming up with these wonderfully crazy ideas like floating bathtub, wearing suit in rain, musical chess board etc. So I pretty much went along with complete trust in his
I was also very lucky to have another great director on board – Pradipto Nandi – for my cha cha cha music video Dhoondun Tujhe. From the concept to the final product, he had clear artistic as well as directorial vision for every single detail. It was his idea to do an Indian take on the classic ‘Dirty Dancing’. Showcasing the dance form without losing the grip on storytelling was a major feat accomplished in this video. Much props to you, Prody.:-)
7. What are your upcoming projects?
I’m currently working on two Bollywood projects. Doing the choreography for one movie and in the second one, I’ll be producing and singing two songs and will be debuting as an actor as well.
With my dance company, I’m preparing the team for the 2009 San Francisco Salsa Congress. I’ve also recently launched “Tiranga Productions” partnering with my friend Kamal Shah from the east coast, with the primary focus of investing in Bollywood projects.
Few other details about me:
My website – www.gijujohn.com
My videos page – www.gijujohn.com/videos
Direct youtube links:
(Dil Ko Kiya)
(Rang Rangeeli Yeh Duniya)
Lyrics page: http://gijujohn.com/Song-Lyrics.html
Facebook musician page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/GIJU/133229957073