When Sai Teja uploaded the video of the song Thillana thillana on Facebook, it catapulted him into social media stardom. That he would go on to be part of a wildly popular band in the city and play an instrument unlike any other was also something he didn’t dream of. But, it did happen.
Like many children his age, Sai Teja balanced his studies along with his tabla lessons early on. What helped him further was the guidance of his father BV Ramana Murthy, a well-known tabla player who was his first guru. Sai Teja, later, completed his Diploma in music under the tutelage of Ustaad Shabbir Nissarji from Government Music College.
“I started accompanying my father to his programmes when I was 5 or 6 years old and would observe stage behaviour and other aspects. So, I never experienced any stage fright,” says Sai Teja, who is one of the founders of popular Telugu band Capricio.
His affinity to music and likable nature meant he was never short of friends. “I completed my engineering from Bharath Engineering College in Ibrahimpatnam. I used to play in our college fests regularly and also served as the cultural head. After finishing my BTech, I got a job in a software company, but my love for music didn’t diminish. So, I quit and became a full-time musician,” says Sai Teja overcome with emotion and is thankful to his parents for allowing him to follow his heart.
Sai Teja is adept at playing rhythm instruments like tabla, drums, hand percussions, and Cajon. “I first saw the Cajon in an episode of MTV Coke Studio featuring AR Rahman. It took one week for me to identify the instrument. I bought it, and started to play all my tabla beats on the Cajon. I also tried to add a base pedal to it, like we use in drums,” says Sai Teja, who is also a Limca Book of Record holder, for playing 20 instruments in 30 minutes.
There is never a dull moment in his life, as he tends to be occupied with a gig every day. Recently, his band performed internationally for the first time, which fetched them more offers. Sai Teja along with his two-year-old band has given more than 500 performances garnering a loyal fan base which includes celebrities. “Every day is a learning experience for me, and I keep listening to many music albums to improve myself,” signs off Sai Teja.