Praveen Dutt Stephen, fondly known as Stephen Prayog, is an Indian music composer working primarily in the Kannada Film Industry. Stephen was born on 18 March 1967 to Philip Stephen and S. Pramila, in Bangalore. He inherits his musical talent from his family, once based in Mysore, a city filled with the exuberance of art, music, and culture. His grandfather was a violinist, while his great grandfather was an organist. Thus, music flowed throughthe veins of the Stephen family since generations. His uncles (Mother's brothers) Prasad and Gurumurthy, were trained, Hindustani musicians.

Stephen completed his formal musical training at the Trinity College of Music, London, acquiring an associate diploma in music from the college. He obtained a Master's certificate in "Arranging and Orchestration" from the Berkley College of Music, Boston, U.S.A. He undertook the various other informal training, for instance, learning Western notation from his father, Western Music theory from S.K. Joshi, Piano from Rajagopalan Iyer and Felix Joseph, Hindustani vocals from Pandit Hegde and Carnatic vocals from Vidwan M Harmonium Venkattapa. Stephen started his musical journey in 1986 as a Rhythm guitarist in the Blue Boys Orchestra.

In 1988, just two years later, he joined Jimpet's Orchestra as a keyboard player. He continued with the same orchestra for some time, and soon got featured in Sadhu Kokila's devotional song as a keyboard player. The next year, in 1989, Prayog joined Melody Creators Orchestra, and met eminent personalities from the music industry, while being a part of the same. He considers this to be the turning point in his career. In 1990, his career began when he worked as an assistant music director with Mr. Damodar and Manoranjan Prabhakar. 8 years later, he worked on his first independent album, Premothsava. Prayog's career in music is legendary. He has worked with many great music directors to compose evergreen melodies.

Working with the renowned musical genius C. Ashwath, he has directed tracks like Kotreshia Kanasugalu and Chinnari Mutha. He has also teamed up with V. Manohar for the song Janumada Jodi, and with Mano Murthy, bringing forth hit songs like America America, Nanna Preethiya Hudugi, and much more. Prayog has independently composed various songs as well, for instance, Premothsava (1998), Kadale En Kadali, Breaking News, etc.

For his independent compositions, Stephen has won many awards, like the Karnataka State award for the Best Music Director for his 2002 album Paris Pranaya. He received the Kannadasan award for best debut as a music director in the Tamil film, Karka Kasadar, in 2005. Stephen's work is not limited to Kannada and Tamil films. He has also worked with Jack Jacob Shemech to compose music for an Israeli album, thus marking his presence in the international music industry. He has conducted music for the song Oh Meri Ma, for the Kargil war and the casualties associated with it. Stephen has composed music for television serials like Shubha Lagna, Chakra, etc. as well.

Hamsalekha Kannada Actor

Hamsalekha

He is an instrumentalist, dialogue and screenplay writer, and a composer. He is an Indian, who works in the field of cinema predominantly in the South Indian region. He has contributed through his works in more than 300 movies. He is known for his tremendous work in Kannada films. He has been accorded a National Award and six Filmfare Awards. He is considered one of the vital icons responsible for the change and the craze among fans for the Kannada flicks. He is the pioneer in writing lyrics and composing music which directly appeals to the youth and inspires them. He started to fuse the folk and western music together. He brought them to the mainstream cinema which was loved and appraised by the audiences. He has also given many newcomers an opportunity to show their talent and earn some name in the field of singing and composing. He was born as ‘Govindaraju Gangaraju’ to a middle-class family in the beautiful city of Mysore. His father used to work in a printing press. After finishing his studies, he joined the printing press along with his father but after some time, he moved to his brother’s orchestra group. Here he found out that he had a keen interest in writing poetry and creating music for his lyrics. He used to write his lyrics with a pen which has a swan (‘Hamsa’ for Kannada) made on it. His teacher renamed him as Hamsalekha, which means “the Brahma of Music” i.e. the creator of music. He got his first chance in the mainstream cinema when director M.N. Prasad asked him to write a song for his film ‘Triveni’ in 1973. He wrote “Neena Bhagavantha” in his first movie which was filmed with actor Uday Kumar in the lead role. His debutant movie as a music director was ‘Rahuchandra’ in 1981. Unfortunately, the film couldn’t get on floors, and the flick remained unreleased. His popularity peaked up after his collaboration with action flick director Ravichandran. Their partnership lasted for 12 long years. In his private life, he is a happy to go, zealous family man. He is married to Latha, a playback singer dating back to the 1990’s. They have two children - a boy named Alankar and a daughter named Nandini. Alankar is on his father’s way, and he indulged himself in movies and is working as a musician and actor. Nandini is a playback singer. He is always ready for philanthropic work. He started a free educational institution for SC/ST and underprivileged students where along with studies, they also teach drama, singing and dance. He also opened an Arts College, which provides degree courses.

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Gowtham Srivatsa

Kannada musician and the keyboard programmer Gowtham Srivatsa is the son of well-known music director Mysore Mohan. He is an engineer by education, and he worked as a software engineer in different companies for six years. Later he came to the film industry to fulfill his passion as a musician. But there is no doubt why he wants to become a musician. His family background entirely suggests that he has music in his blood. His grandfather is a sitarist, and his grandmother is a harmonist. His father, Mysore Mohan, is a well-established music director. From his childhood, Gowtham Srivatsa was passionate about music. He used to learn to play the piano from his father at the age of six. He is well-versed with Carnatic music. He also learned Western Classical music from SK Joseph. He is a great enthusiast for music such that he formed a band called Bhoomi in his college days and participated in many inter-collegiate music fests. AR Rahman greatly influenced him as a keyboard programmer. When he was eleven years old, he programmed jingel for theologies ‘Hamsalekha’. He worked with old Kannada music directors like Dr. L. Subramanium, V. Manohar. He was the independent musician for ‘Shukra’. As a keyboard programmer, he composed music for 65 movies and 30 albums. Not just in Kannada films, he entered the Tamil film industry. He extended his work for the Tamil movie ‘Kaanthanam’. He got credit as the background music composer for ‘Yogaraj’. Gowtham Srivatsa composed for the new directors too. Dinesh Babu is his constant supporter. He participated in Vishwa Kannada Sammelanam. In an outstanding interview, he expressed his concerns related to the Kannada music industry. He opined that there is a great difficulty for the newcomers in the industry. He stated that there are unions for each and every department in the film industry but not for the music department. His main contribution to the Kannada music industry is that he is going to give chances to the upcoming music composers.

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Gowtham Srivatsa Kannada Actor