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Saili Oak Kalyanpur - From Sa to SaReGaMaPa

Monica Vyavahare, an enthusiastic young contributor at Indya Unlimited, recently had the opportunity to chat with Saili Oak-Kalyanpur, a rising singer from Mumbai, India.

Saili owns her fame and glory to SaReGaMaPa, a popular Marathi music competition on Zee Marathi channel. She was amongst the four finalists on the show. She established her own identity with enriched talent in classical as well as light music. Her performances have been appreciated by the audience and judges speak highly about her. She is receiving her formal training of Hindustani Classical Music from Guru Smt. Ashwini Bhide-Deshpande, a leading vocalist of Jaipur Atrauli Tradition. She completed Sangeet Visharad from Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalay in 2007 with First Class.  

Some of Saili's memorable performances include Youth Festivals like 'Ankur' by Omkarnath Foundation-Thane, ITC-SRA Youth Festival in Mumbai, Dadar Matunga Cultural Centre Youth Festival, and Swarankit-Mumbai. Saili has also shown her intelligence and dedication in her academics securing topmost position in school for SSC and also first in the district for HSC. Perhaps her love and passion for music resulted into a vocalist and still she is endeavoring to march ahead for reaching higher and higher levels of her musical performances.

Here is the interview by Monica Vyavahare at Memphis Marathi Mandal Diwali celebration: 

Monica: You are an accomplished singer and have made a mark in academics too. What is the secret of your success?

Saili: First and foremost, Almighty’s blessings, of course! My parents and guru Dr. Ashwini Bhide Deshpande are my biggest source of inspiration. I cannot say enough about the support my parents have provided. And the guidance from Ashwini tai has been really invaluable. My love and passion for both music and academics has helped me stay focused. I very much believe in hard work….so I have always followed a structured and disciplined approach in both the fields.


Monica: How did you take up singing? When did your journey as a singer start?

Saili: I started learning Music when I was 3 years old. It was my parents’ initiative that got me into music and their continuous encouragement that made me go deeper into it. I am really fortunate to have found a life partner who motivates me to take it forward and do better!

Monica: They say perfection is 90% perspiration and 10% inspiration. What is your daily riyaz schedule?

Saili: Riyaz is a way of life. Ashwini tai always emphasizes on Quality Riyaz. I make it a point to riyaz for at least a couple of hours a day. Consistent Riyaz is the key.

Monica: You have been judged and appreciated by talented masters of Indian music in SaReGaMaPa. What did you learn from them? Can you share a memorable incident from that show?

Saili: The entire SaReGaMaPa schedule was a learning experience. I was very fortunate to have met and performed for some of the maestros in Indian music.Their words of appreciation definitely motivated me. To have actually spent some time with my sources of inspiration and learn about their insights first hand was quite an experience.

Monica: What advice would you give to youngsters...especially those who are interested in a future in music?

Saili: I would urge the aspiring young musicians to keep working hard, there being no short-cut to success. I sincerely encourage my students at the New England School of Music in Massachusetts, where I am the head of the vocal faculty.

Saili's Special Achievements include:


  • Secured Silver medal at the 'Aakashwani Sangeet Spardha' for Classical Vocal in 2004 and felicitated at the hands of Pt. Jasraj.
  • Recipient of the prestigious Paingankar- Pt.Jasraj Award by Pt. Jasraj Mitra Mandal Trust, Pune.
  • Recipient of the Prestigious Pt. Vasantrao Deshpande Yuva Puraskar.
  • Secured first prize at the Vedic Heritage Competition November 2009, New York.
  • Was amongst  the four finalists in Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Marathi on Zee TV
  • Secured Gold Medal at the Mumbai University Youth Festival in 2004 and a Silver Medal in 2006.
  • Secured the First prize at the Gaanavardhan, Pune in 2007.
  • Awarded Scholarship for Classical Vocal by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. 

We wish Saili the very best in her musical journey and may her sweet voice keep ringing in her fans' ears for decades to come!!

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