This singer overcame voice loss to become a holistic vocal mentor
Mathangi Jagdish focuses on wholesome vocal development and helps others to do the same through her platform Wholistic Vocalist.
With more than 450 playback titles to her credit, Mathangi Jagadish (popularly known as Ma. Ja.) is a playback singer, songwriter, Coke studio artiste, and vocal mentor. She has worked with stalwarts like A. R. Rahman, Harris Jayaraj, Ilayaraja, and others. Her music brings together her ease in multiple Indian languages and her training in Carnatic, Hindustani, and Western music. Her repertoire is replete with bass notes and crooning R&B. Her singing is effortlessly strong.
Mathangi’s musical journey has not been smooth. But, she considers herself lucky for the learning experience.
The end of Coke Studio
In 2011, Mathangi was part of Coke Studio, Season 1. Of the 14 concerts that were held towards the end of that year, she sang in seven. However, by the close of the last concert, she began to feel vocal discomfort. After being misdiagnosed initially, Mathangi found out that she has gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD typically occurs when a backwash of stomach acid and, occasionally, food irritates the lining of the oesophagus. This means that GERD patients suffer from chronic indigestion and often have vomiting spells. Alongside that, there is regular, painful cough, and resultant vocal harm.
An end and a beginning
She recalls, “I spoke about my condition because I was certain plenty of people face GERD but don’t talk about it. If I was going through something, it sure could be of help to others! And, I did extensive research on the disease.” That was the end of her singing career as she had known it and the beginning of one even more enriching.
Around 2013, she was also suffering from muscular problems in her left arm due to postural quirks and vitamin D3 deficiency. But, she continued to train in musical theatre and artist development. With so much going on, Mathangi needed to express herself more.
A holistic vocalist
She understands that singing is not just about making music, it is also about physical and mental wellness. So, she shares insights about medical help, fitness advice, yoga lessons, voice coaching, nutrition, adequate rest, and much more in her camps. She believes in being a holistic mentor for those who want to tread their musical way.
Her own journey has made her an advocate of customised mentorship. There is no one-size-fits-all method for her as she finds that each person needs guidance that suits their individual state of life, aspiration, temperament, and health. The most important thing, however, is to nudge someone into seeking help when and where they need it.
I’m Feeling Good
Asked which song inspires her, pat comes the reply – “I’m Feeling Good by Nina Simone. In fact, I have been wanting to sing this song for a long time.”
She talks enthusiastically about freedom. The purpose of technique training is to allow an artiste to be free in her expression through her craft. The focus, then, is freedom of expression – the means and the ways to express. Mathangi’s quest is to expose many more singers and song lovers to this uninhibited joy of musical expression by showing them a way to bring together fitness and tune.