Rekha Pallath – Architect, Coach, Software Professional and Singer Donning multiple hats and truly representing the New Age Woman.
Can you give us an insight to your life&# it’s journey…how and when did you discover the musical side of you?
The first time I performed on stage I was 3 years old, and ever since I have performed in more than 100 shows all over the world. The credit goes to my mom who saw that I had no stage fright and encouraged me to pursue it. Music or singing is a very natural expression of mine, like breathing or talking, and I never considered it separate. In fact, it’s not limited to singing. I enjoy all forms of performing and fine arts – dancing, acting, painting, architecture, speaking. Arts is my oxygen, without it there is no life. In school, I learned Carnatic music and Bharata Natyam but my focus was alwayson Academics. I went to Raheja college of Architecture and became an Architect, always staying intouch with the arts, and continued singing. Even after getting married, moving to the US and having my son, Music always remained an integral part of my life. Speaking of my life journey, a few years ago, I had a distinct revelation that it was not just about living my life, and that my life’s purpose was much bigger. That’s when I took up Coach training and became a certified coach. I have my own coaching practice named Rise2Actualize through which I work with people to help them reach their higher potential.
What is the difference of being a corporate professional and a professional singer?
There are so many similarities between them, actually. Both need professionalism, goals, accountability, vision, values, skills, team spirit – it’s just that the setup and context is different. In my case, I work as a software engineer and also perform as a singer, and both facets of my life complement each other. My corporate life has taught me tact, diplomacy, negotiation skills, the structure which I apply to my music career. And my musical side brings freshness, creativity, ability to ‘think on your feet’, light-heartedness, spirit, and positive energy and many other qualities, which I infuse into my corporate life. Both go hand in hand and balance life.
Who will you attribute your success to?
My mother is my first teacher, mentor, and guide. She noticed my talent, encouraged me, gave me direction, gave me access to tools, training, gave me worldly insight. I am indebted to her for everything I am today. For a girl, once she gets married, a lot is dependent on her husband. In that regard I give full credit to my husband, Krish, who fully backed me, was my sounding board and inspired me to take my musical career to higher levels. His wholehearted support made it very easy to pursue my goals. My son was also very understanding and appreciative of my talent and abilities. In 2015, when I was required to go to India to record my first movie song, he patted my back with his little hand and said,” Mom, go, live your dream!” Both my husband and son, love music and they always give me inputs
that make me want to get better. Thanks to my family, I have sung in 2 movies, toured with legends like Bappi Lahiri, Adnan Sami, and written, sung and created my own original album ‘Nasha’.
You can take oneself out of India …but have you been able to take India out of you?
I am a proud Indian and always will be. I would never change that! Having lived outside India for many years, I am all the more attached to her. I always say “India is my mother, and US is my cool aunt!” I am indebted to Mother India for all that she has given me, and I am always looking for ways to do something for her and her people. I am so proud of our heritage, our culture, our diversity. Such a beautiful country we have – I always looking for the slightest opportunity to tour India. Just recently I was in Rajasthan, and Agra, marveling its beauty. I choked with emotion when I saw the Taj! In everything I believe and do, my Indian-ness is evident. Be in Gandhiji’s values of ‘Be the change’, or leading fearlessly like our freedom fighters, or dancing merrily like Mira, I think I am India, and India is in every cell of me!
What would you advise young aspirants….take up a corporate career or a singing career?
I would say follow your inner voice – it always knows where your true North is! I would further add that one needs to try and experiment to see what works for you, where do you find your peace and ‘flow’. For me, it was a mix of both, that’s how I am wired – I need 2 parts corporate and 2 parts Bollywood! And that I understood after trying things out. So, I would ask them – What does your magic mix look like?
How has life changed for you ..from a school Head girl to now?
I am essentially the same girl – Indian, outspoken, on-stage, fighting for fairness, striving to bring people together, always working hard to be a better version of myself. Like Kamal Hasan said, “I am my worst critic!” and I live by every word of Aamir Khan’s message, “Chase excellence, and success will follow!”
What is your philosophy of life?
God has given each of us unique abilities. Stay true to who you are – get to know who you are! I have learned that your so-called flaw could actually be your best feature, that makes you stand out from the crowd, so never diminish yourself. And, I believe that the key to success is your faith in yourself. If you don’t speak up, the world (family included) won’t know what you want. In the film ‘Khamoshi’ there is a lovely line which says ‘what’s a life without an impossible dream’! Keep asking yourself, who can I be and what more can I do to make it better for me and others? The answer can change the world to be a better place! @rekha.pallath