Q: Tell us about your childhood, where you grew up, what were you like as a child and a bit about your family background.
A: I grew up in Lenasia with my parents and three siblings; there was nothing really in Lenasia except two schools and dust all around, so I lived in my imagination a lot, dreaming of distant lands that I saw in my view-master toy and playing guitars made from oil cans. Radio was the only entertainment, and of course, listening to my older brothers’ LP’s. I was a loner, and did not care much for company. I had a lot of illusionary friends.
Q: When did you decide that you wanted to work in your particular field?
A: I did not decide, but it was kind of decided for me. After my first formal lesson with Jeram Bhana, I did not want to do anything else but play bansuri(flute) and tabla, and listen to whatever LP’s I could lay my hands on. This eventually led to my dis-interest in school, and any other career possibilities.
Q: How did you get your first break in music?
A: My very first public performance was in 1975 for the Nirvana High School Concert, and it grew from there, to my first international break when I performed with my teacher, Pt Hariprasad Chaurasia, in Geneva, Switzerland in 1987.
Q: Tell us more about this genre of music you are involved in.
A: I am primarily an exponent of North Indian Classical Music, and I perform concerts in different cities around the world, but am also involved in Jazz, ( A CD of Jazz standards is about to be released in Feb 2008) ‘World’ Music and Film Scores. As a composer I do not confine myself to one genre, but explore sound more than style.
Q: Tell us about some of your career highlights.
A: Performing with my teacher, in Geneva, Paris and London, recording for my first hollywood movie, recording and performing in India, lecturing and doing workshops in Ireland,England and USA. Performing for President Nelson Mandela at Robben Island. Playing in countries like Lebanon, India and Turkey, every new venture musically is a highlight
! Q: What are you interests and hobbies?
A: Music occupies my mind almost all the time!! I do like reading and writing short stories when I have the time. I am a movie addict for, mostly foreign movies or non-english movies.
Q: Any interesting trivia or tidbits about you that people are not aware of?
A: I love to act and do impersonations, I would like to do stand-up comedy, but probably won’t.
Q: When and why did you leave South Africa?
A: I left South Africa to explore music and to see all the musicians ‘live’ that I grew up listening to. After thirteen years, I feel that I still need to discover and learn more. I still come home every two years, and soon I would like to work there.
Q: What initiatives are you pursuing now in California?
A: California is my home-base, I live with my wife in a beach-town called La Jolla, which is about a two-hour drive to Los Angeles where I do recordings for movies occasionally. I am currently working on some new recordings, and of course practising and studying, which is ongoing. ENTERTAINMENT INDIAN DIASPORA – INTERNATIONAL DEEPAK RAM
Q: Tell us about your lifestyle and family life in California.
A: Nothing special about my lifestyle, except that I often go to bed at 4:00am and wake up to watch a movie. My wife is a hospital Physician and has a very busy schedule.
Q: Will you be returning to South Africa?
A: Besides visiting, I would probably return at some point.
Q: Your biography on your website does not include information after 2000. What have you been busy with during the past 7 years?
A: Since 2000, I have been recording for Goldenhorn Records, and have released five CD’s with them, and am also featured in six movie-soundtracks. I continue to teach and have students from India, USA and Europe. Soon I will start teaching on-line, through the internet. I have been working on compositions for bansuri ISSUE 2 | SUTRA 69 and orchestra.