Music for a cause: How this wealth management firm promotes Indian culture and supports elder care

The three-day Ekatvam Holi Music Fest this weekend celebrates colours and music – and raises funds for elder care as well.
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With the third wave of the pandemic ebbing in India, the live music industry is showing signs of revival. This weekend, the three-day Ekatvam Holi Music Fest will be held at The Bangalore Gayana Samaja.

Timed with the celebration of colours, the celebration of music will span 12 concerts from upcoming and renowned artists. The performances will be a mix of free and ticketed events.

The Ekatvam Trust is an initiative of the Entrust Family Office. It was launched by Rajmohan Krishnan, Founder, Entrust, and his wife Sreepriya. The platform for aspiring and established musicians also aims to impart values and ethics to children and enhance quality of life for elders.

“As patrons of art, Ekatvam has been deeply involved in encouraging musicians by providing them a platform to exhibit their talent,” Rajmohan explains, in a chat with YourStory.

Rajmohan is himself a devoted art enthusiast and fan of Carnatic classical music. Sreepriya, a banking professional, is also involved in a range of social work initiatives. The Nada Veda Mithram (NVM) Trust was set up in 2015, and later rebranded to Ekatvam.

Rajmohan Krishnan

Music showcase

“After a two-year hiatus, Ekatvam Holi Music is back with a bang,” Rajmohan enthuses. Earlier featured artists include Siddharth Belmannu, Kalyanapuram S. Aravind, Smitha and Akshay Anand, and Mukhtiyar Ali. 

The artist lineup this year spans Hindustani and Carnatic music across 12 concerts. It includes vocalists Bharath Narayan, Abhishek Raghuram, Srirangam V Venkatanagarajan, Girijashankar Sundaresan, Sanjeev Abhyankar and Balamuralikrishna. Other performers will be Anagha Bhat, Priya Purushothaman and Hiranmayee S.

There are instrumentalists as well: Heramb and Hemanth (flute) and Sarfaraaz Khan (sarangi). There will be a Hindustani instrumental fusion lineup with Bharavi Deraje, Ravikiran Manipal, Kiran Hegde and Shashikiran Manipal. Carnatic instrumental fusion will be performed by Shreya Devnath, Mylai M Karthikeyan, Praveen Sparsh, and Adyar G Silambarasan.

For the 2019 edition, the start-studded lineup included Jayanthi Kumaresh (veena) and R Kumaresh (violin), and sister duo of Ranjani and Gayatri. Emerging artistes who performed were Siddhartha Belmannu (vocals), Shadaj Godkhindi (flute), and Sumanth Manjunath (violin).

“Ekatvam has been conducting chamber concerts since 2015, and sponsoring concerts at Unnati. We also hold concerts at Bangalore International Centre,” he adds.

Impact

The Ekatvam Holi Music Festival was launched in the year 2019 to provide a musicians’ platform. “A great many talented musicians languish in the sidelines because they don’t get opportunities to perform on popular platforms,” Rajmohan says.

The annual and quarterly performances help musicians find a path to recognition and sustenance. Performing artists are selected by the Ekatvam committee.

“The proceeds from our upcoming Ekatvam events will also go towards elderly care,” Rajmohan adds. This includes training programmes, counselling and community living initiatives. Work has begun on setting up an elderly care facility in Kerala, and the trust invites donations from the public as well.

Based in Bengaluru, the Entrust Family Office has a presence in Chennai, Kochi, Mumbai, Delhi, and Pune as well. Founded in 2013, it serves around 60 HNI and UHNI clients across the country and handles assets under management (AUM) of INR 12,000 crores.

Music platform

The music platform Ekatvam was launched in 2016 by Rajmohan Krishnan and noted Carnatic vocalist Vidwan Sri Sandeep Narayanan.

Since its inception, more than 100 musicians have performed for Ekatvam, ranging from vocalists to percussionists. “Around 50 artists will be performing for the Holi Music Fest 2022. The three-day event will comprise of 12 concerts,” Rajmohan adds.

Ekatvam is also on the lookout for new premises that can serve as a musicians’ platform around the year. “The quarterly concerts, to be held at these premises, will be finalised once the Holi Fest is over,” he adds.

Pandemic impact

“This is the second edition of the Holi Music Festival. We were not able to hold the 2021 event due to the pandemic. Instead, a stand-alone concert was arranged in November 2021 at the Bangalore International Centre,” Rajmohan describes.

“The pandemic has had an adverse impact on musicians. In the absence of live concerts, there was no opportunity to perform and earn,” he laments.

“Recordings, which are often the bread and butter for musicians, have also come to a virtual stop. With public gatherings now slowly being allowed, Ekatvam is one among the first to organise live concerts, thereby providing our valued musicians with a platform to perform in front of a live audience,” he proudly adds.

The weekend concert will be held with strict adherence to pandemic protocols. The organisers have expressed commitment to safe seating (with one empty seat between every two attendees), temperature checks, and the provision of sanitisers and masks.

The road ahead

Future plans for the trust include adding dance and visual arts, and celebrating the birth anniversary of a violin maestro later this year. The trust, however, does not venture into teaching or mentoring aspiring musicians.

“We have all been under tremendous stress for the past few years. Now it’s time to unwind and listen to pristine music and enrich your soul and mind,” Rajmohan advises audiences.

He also offers tips for aspiring musicians. “An artist’s life is not always easy and it takes tremendous practice to master your art. So, give your blood and sweat to your passion. Over time you will reap the benefit,” Rajmohan signs off.

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