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TRUE SCHOOL FACULTY

Our highly experienced team of Indian and international faculty bring a global perspective and influence to the learning experience at True School. Faculty members are encouraged to maintain a good balance between professional practice, academia and mentorship, which equips them to craft unique pedagogical approaches that nurture creativity, innovation and enterprise in learners.

Odysseas Toumazou
( Guitar )

Odysseas Toumazou is a multifaceted guitarist, prolific composer and experienced educator, originally from Nicosia, Cyprus. He began his guitar studies at the age of six, and developed a strong musical conception and sensitivity from his early years, learning the instrument by ear. Shortly afterwards, began to perform for audiences. He studied with renowned musicians both in Cyprus and abroad, before completing his musical studies in 2015 at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. During his time in Amsterdam he attended masterclasses and was given private lessons from innovative players such as Scott Henderson, Lage Lund, Peter Bernstein, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Gilad Hekselman and Brad Mehldau and toured in Europe with many different bands. He then moved to Mumbai, India where he collaborated with outstanding artists and appeared on world-class stages as Goa and the Utsav jazz festivals. He subsequently taught at the True School of Music as head of the guitar Department. Overall, Odysseas has contributed to more than 10 records as a sideman and performed in a number of different countries. His move back to Cyprus in 2018 motivated him to create his own projects and with his Trio recorded his debut album “Ensticto”. Its release obtained favourable reviews, ranging from “truly authentic and strong”, to an emphasis on the “personal sound” that is endorsed within the guitar trio genre. The Trio toured the album extensively by performing at all the major music festivals on the island. He is currently composing music for his 2nd personal Album and writing a guitar method.

Raghuraman Ramasubramanian
( Theory & Ear Training )

Raghuraman Ramasubramanian is a guitarist and bassist Based Currently in Bangalore. He has studied independently under the likes of Aman Mahajan, Amit Heri, Lew Hilt, Sid Jacobs which has helped in a career as an educator and performer with a healthy sense of musical definitions. Having a performance background with people like Sid Jacobs, Rotem Sivan, Fabio Bergamini, Pedro Carnero Silva, Luiza Sales, Karina Collis, Sanjeev Thomas, Esther Rojas, Michael Veerapan, Ganesh Bala, GV Prakash, Alap Raju, Suchitra, Ranjit Barot, Lucky Ali, Purbhayan Chaterjee, Taufeeq Qureshi, Fasal Qureshi, Raghu is also well versed in production, arranging and playing in different genres ranging from Jazz to Pop, Fusion To Progressive Metal, Carnatic to Blues. Raghu also comes with experience in a vast array of experience working as Both in the Studio and as backstage and stage crew for bands like Metallica, Mosko, Asian Dub Foundation, Dunklebunt, The Blind Suns. With 14 years experience in performing and teaching including being Guitar & Bass faculty at Swarnabhoomi Academy Of Music to performing at venues with crowds many a thousand strong to Organising festivals and precession backstage work with equal passion in each.

Ujjayinee Roy
( Hindustani Ensembles )

Known for her versatility in various forms of performing arts, Ujjayinee Roy is a singer-songwriter, actor, dancer, columnist and poet. She has been the voice behind numerous songs in mainstream Indian music and sung in Tamil, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Telegu and Assamese films and has worked with various Indian music directors like A R Rahman, Illayaraja, Sajid –Wajid, Harris Jayaraj, Devi Shree Prasad, Yuvan Shankar Raja, M G Sreekumar and many more. She has also lent her voice for numerous jingles, ad-films and voice-overs. She is also a popular actor for television and the silver screen.
Ujjayinee started performing for All India Radio and Doordarshan Kendra from the age of seven. By the time she was eighteen, she was already a graded artist and composer with All India Radio. In the meanwhile, she also started performing in classical and light classical concerts, her debut being facilitated by her guru, late Pt. Ramendranath Dey, as per traditions of Indian Classical Music.
During the early days of her musical career she had also been the founder member of bands like Tribe and Aurko. She has also been a participant in popular reality shows likes SaReGaMa (Zee Television) and Pop Stars (Channel V). She has also hosted an entire season of Zee Tamil’s Sa Re Ga Ma Pa. For many years Ujjayinee has been working and experimenting with various genres of music like opera, rock, Indian and Western classical, blues, jazz, folk music etc., and this versatility is visible in her voice as well as her compositions.
Ujjayinee was also jointly nominated for Global Indian Music Academy (GIMA) Awards along with guitar player Sanjeev Thomas for their single “Tanha – Alone” of which she was the vocalist and lyricist. Some of her original compositions like Kalighata – Rain Clouds” and “This Feels Right” have been rated amongst the top chartbusters in independent music. Recently she went on a European tour of twenty-nine concerts with the Sailing Conductors wherein she performed her original compositions with other artists from Germany, South Africa, Australia and Brazil. Apart from music Ujjayinee is an extremely popular actor on two TV series on Sun Television produced by SaReGaMa. She started acting in theatre as a child and through the years moved to a larger medium of television and films. She has worked in numerous feature films and web series. She is currently teaching the Pro Hindustani Playback Vocals course at The True School of Music.

Ashutosh Phatak
( Founder - True School )

Ashu, as he is better known, is an award-winning multi-instrumental music composer and producer, who has released over 15 contemporary music albums in the past two decades. He is one of the most sought-after composers in advertising and films, having composed music for over 3,000 television commercials and the soundtracks for 10 feature films. He recently composed the music for the acclaimed documentary, Fire in the Blood, released in the US in 2012, and nominated in the World Cinema category at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival 2013. Besides being a popular live musician and a regular on the festival circuit, Ashu is also one of the co-founders of India’s premier live music venue chain, Blue Frog.

Anand Masrani
( Bass )

Anand, 26 is a Mumbai based musician and has actively been in the city's performing space since the last 7 years. Before finishing his civil engineering in 2017, Anand performed extensively at local college competitions with his very first band and since then, he's toured and performed with several other bands across India at high-profile venues like The Humming Tree in Bangalore, IIT Delhi, The Quarter in Mumbai and the Orange Festival in Arunachal Pradesh. Along with doing live shows, Anand has also been a session bass player for multiple artists. He’s currently an active member of 4 different independent bands. He credits his early desire to learn the bass to the legendary music of bands like The Beatles and Led Zeppelin. While bands from the Indian independent scene like Blackstratblues, Indus Creed and Soulmate remain his local idols. Under the amazing tutelage of Marios Menelaou, he’s recently completed his 3 years, Pro Course in bass at The True School of Music in Mumbai and continues to be a teacher at the same facility.

Ruhika Rao
( Western Vocals )

Ruhika is a western singer-songwriter from Mumbai. She received her formal vocal training from the True school itself. She has been part of and is a part of multiple projects. Currently, She trains in Carnatic singing.She has been teaching for the past 3 years. She teaches at various private schools and has now joined the True school of music as a teacher. Besides music, She has a bachelor's degree in Psychology and aspires to study music therapy.

Veer Karer
( Drums )

Veer, a drummer and educator, from Mumbai, has been playing live shows for 4 years. Having studied drum performance at the True School of Music, he has a keen interest in playing various styles of music - jazz, latin, funk, electronic music, etc. Veer has played at several venues like the NCPA and the Quarter, to name a few, as well as sessions for various acts in the live scene.

Javed Khan
( Hindustani Vocals )

 

At a very early age, he was initiated into Classical Music by his late father Ustaad Alauddin Khan Saheb who was a fine Ghazal Singer and Tabla Player. A little later, he began receiving formal Classical Music training under his maternal grandfather Ustaad Munir Khan Saheb, the great Sarangi Player-Classical Vocalist and a beacon of the “Indore Gharana” and under Ustaad Bashir Khan Saheb of “Delhi Agra Gharana”. Ustaad Munir Khan was, in turn, a disciple of the legendary Ustaad Amir Khan Saheb – one of the greatest Classical Vocalists ever.

Coming from such a distinguished background, Javed Khan went on to acquire Graduation, Post Graduation and M.Phil Degrees in Classical Music (all from Delhi University), topping the results at each level, and winning a Gold Medal at the Master’s stage. Javed Khan has to his credit over a hundred performances including those on Television (in the ‘Indian Idol’ show where he was one of the finalists). He is versatile and performs as per the full range of his group’s repertoire.

EDUCATION:

  • Graduate in Hindustani Music (Vocal) with First Division from Hindu College, University of Delhi.
  • Masters in Hindustani Music (Vocal) with First Division from Ramjas College, University of Delhi.
  • Gold Medalist in M.A. Hindustani Music (Vocal) from University of Delhi.
  • M.Phil. in Hindustani Music (Vocal) with First Division from Faculty of Music and Fine Arts, Delhi University.
  • Languages Known – Hindi, English, Punjabi etc.

MILESTONES:

  • Empanelled in the ICCR’s (Indian Council for Cultural Relations) Reference Panel of Artists.
  • “B High Grade” artist of Ghazals from All India Radio, regularly broadcasting programmes.
  • Got the prestigious Scholarship for 2 years from Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India, in the field of Hindustani Vocal (Classical Music) in 2007.
  • Finalist in Indian Idol – 2, Popular Show on Sony T.V.
  • Won the first Prize in Mega Final of “Hero Honda Surtarang - National Singing Talent Hunt” held at Talkatora Indoor Stadium in Feb. 2003.
  • Performed in “Crescendo Festival” held at Kamani Auditorium, Delhi in 2004.
  • Performed in many prestigious programmes held in venues such as Talkatora Indoor Stadium – Delhi, Ravindra Natya Mandir – Mumbai, Kamani Auditorium – Delhi, Soochna Bhavan – Jodhpur etc.
  • Performed at the Dainik Jagran Film Festival at Meerut, in 2010.
  • Performing Artist for over 10 years.
  • Worked as Music Director on DD NATIONAL’S Drama Series, ‘Lakeerein Qismat Ki ‘and also sang the title track of the same.
  • Worked as Music Director on DD URDU’S Docu-Drama Series, Parwaaz-e-Niswaan and also sang the title track of the same.
  • Recorded “Kurbaan” song with famous singer Sonu Nigam for the movie “Waar Chhodna Yaar” (2013).

WORK EXPERIENCE:

  • Worked as a Music Teacher for three years in Vidya Shree School of Music, Kailash Colony, New Delhi. (2005-2008) .
  • Worked as Head of the Department (Music) in Indian Film & Television Institute, Meerut from September 2009 - February 2013.
  • Worked as a visiting Music Instructor in Gragi College, Delhi University for 9 months in 2010-2011.
  • Worked as Indian Music Teacher in G.D.Goenka Public School, Gurgaon, from July 2013 – July 2015.
  • Worked as Music Teacher in Pathways School (IB Board), Gurgaon, from July 2015 – May 2016.

Vatsal Bakhda
( Keyboard )

Classically trained pianist, studied under Roshen Gazder, LRSM for over 10 years,  and Suddhaseel Sen (Ph.D. in Musicology) for 2 years. Studied under Pedro  Carneiro Silva and Gabriel Geszti at Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music, and placed first in academics in all three semesters of study. Is currently working with  Bangalore based pianist and composer, Aman Mahajan. Has been playing various styles such as Jazz, Funk, Latin, Brazilian, RnB/Soul, Pop,  Fusion, Blues, which also was a means to becoming a regular performing and a versatile pianist. Is also part of a number of projects, such as Submarine in Space, Toto Tribute Band  and Soliluquy to name a few. Has also had the opportunity to work with musicians across the world and play in festivals such as the NH7 Weekender and Magnetic  Fields to name a few. Is currently working on an album with Submarine in Space, and Soliluquy, his Piano trio. He was a standing teacher at Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music and has been a part of  Theme Music Institute for over three years.

Mallika Barot
( Western Vocals )

Mallika Barot is a vocalist based in Bombay. Born and brought up in a musical family, with her father, Ranjit Barot, and her grandmother Sitara Devi, her exposure to music from around the world began at an early age. After high-school, Mallika studied vocals at The True School of Music. She then began teaching vocals at The True School and was the full-time vocal faculty there for three years. Simultaneously, Mallika has also been pursuing live performance and has done so at several venues and music festivals across Bombay and India. She is currently a part of an electronic band called Superphonic along with her father Ranjit Barot and keyboardist Gulraj Singh, a backing vocalist in AR Rahman's band, as well as a member of the indie-alternative band The Koniac Net.

Dhir Mody
( Drums )

Dhir Mody is a drummer/producer/educator based out of Mumbai. He discovered a strong affinity toward percussion and sound while attending regular community drum circles curated by Varun Venkit; this inspired him to learn Djembe and traditional West African Music with Varun. Consequently being exposed to a whole new world of sound and percussion, he began collaborating with various artists; creating soundscapes and rhythms for dancers, theatre, and puppetry groups in live settings. Seeking to satisfy a strong urge to explore the drum set, he went on to study at the True School of Music in Mumbai. With R&B, Funk, and Soul music being his main inspirations, he formed a band with the faculty members of True School, and soon enough was playing R&B, Hip-Hop, and Jazz music at various venues across the city. An excellent performer in both live and studio settings, Dhir has been playing and collaborating with various artists of different genres ranging from Funk, Jazz, and Rock to Pop to Electronic music. He has been extremely active in the independent scene, touring and performing with popular acts like Drum Ani Bass, Sandunes Live, Ape Echoes, Azamaan, Hipnotribe, Tribalflora, Taal inc. Rhythm Ensemble, Brighu Sahni, Zoya Mohan, Randolph Correia, Madfingers Duo, Ron Cha Trio, Lydia Hendrikdje, Stitch in Nine, Adil Manuel Collective, Sharvi Yadav, Suman Sridar, and the Black Mamba, Isheeta Chakravarty, and many more. Being a superbly versatile drummer, Dhir has also played sessions with eminent Bollywood artistes such as Kailash Kher, Clinton Cerejo, Suman Sridhar, and Ayushmann Khurana. Currently, his musical style is headed in a new direction inspired by electronic beats/sounds. His new duo outfit Drum ani Bass with Nathan Thomas is set to release their first album soon. Dhir endorses Zildjian cymbals.

Pritesh Visave
( Guitar )

Born and brought up in Alibaug, Pritesh found his passion for music during his CA  course which led him to quit CA and pursue his career as a musician. He learned guitar under the tutelage of Mr. Abhishek Shah in his initial years and is currently learning jazz guitar with Sanjay Divecha. He has completed the Trinity Rock and  Pop Grade 8 Exam in 4 years. Pritesh has worked in FSM for more than 4 years where he started as a student.  His love, dedication, and passion for music and music education helped him work his way up in a short period to become the Academic Guitar Coach PAN India.  During this period, he taught more than 170 students in schools and centers and trained over 70 teachers in classroom teaching techniques, lesson planning, and pedagogy, and conducting musical recitals across schools. Though a fan of all kinds of music, his major influences have been instrumentalists like Jimmy Page, Joe Satriani, Plini, Tosin Abasi, and a lot more. He is mainly into  instrumental solo guitar. Currently, he is learning Indian Classical flute under the tutelage of Suchismita Chatterjee from the famous flute sisters. Pritesh is a state and national level badminton player who learned the sport under the guidance of Leroy D’Sa. On a personal level, Pritesh has many interests, he is spiritual who meditates, a  nature lover, adventurer & traveler and he loves beaches.

Joel Hamilton

Joel Hamilton is a Grammy and Latin Grammy-nominated Brooklyn-based record producer, engineer, musician, and co-owner of Studio G Brooklyn with partners Tony Maimone and Chris Cubeta. Joel Has worked with Aaron Neville, Lettuce, Highly Suspect, Norah Jones and Puss-n- Boots, and many more this year. In the summer of 2014, Hamilton appeared as the host of a web series produced by Spotify and Bose named "Art of Sound", which focuses on the connection between the physical, technical and emotional sides of music and sound. He hosted many musicians and sound engineers to conduct experiments on a wide variety of sound-related topics. Hamilton has been a guest speaker and, panelist at: Nordic Music Week, Norway (2012 and 2013), Pot Luck Con., Tucson (2012), AES Latin America (2011,2019), Tape Op Con., Tucson (2006), And Many more all over the world (2001-present)

Ranjit Barot

Ranjit Barot is today at the forefront of both worlds, the mainstream popular Indian / World music, and Jazz Fusion genres. He is the Musical Director for all of the Oscar-winning composer A.R.Rahman’s Live Concerts and holds the coveted ‘throne’ as Drummer for world-renowned Guitar legend John Mclaughlin  & The 4th Dimension band. Born into a family steeped in Indian classical music and dance, melody and rhythm have always been an integral part of Ranjit’s life, and he started playing at the age of 12, encouraged by his mother, the legendary Kathak dancer, Sitara Devi. His early career saw performances with Louis Banks & the Jazz Yatra Sextet, the great Pandit Ravi Shankar, the maestros, (late) Don Cherry & (late) Charlie Mariano.  His unique approach to drumming has seen collaborations with Maestro Zakir Hussain, including a ‘Masters of Percussion’ US Tour in 2004., Carnatic classical legends, Maestro U. Srinivas and Guru L. Subramaniam, Hindustani slide guitar master exponent, Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, sarangi legend Ustad Sultan Khan Sahab, ghattam maestro Pandit ‘Vikku’ Vinayakaram, Khanjira exponent Selva Ganesh, among many other noted artists. His work/performances with the Western greats have included unique collaborations with renowned artists such as Bill Evans, Scott Kinsey, Jonas Helborg, Ayden Esen, and Tim Garland. Ranjit has also had a long career in composition and music production, working out of his own state-of-the-art studio facility, in Mumbai, India. Combined with his strong roots in the Indian classical tradition and his world-view of music gave him a unique perspective on the Indian Film genre.  His career spans projects over the last almost 4 decades as a featured drummer and arranger for Indian Film Industry erstwhile giants such as R.D. Burman, Lakshmikant - Pyaarelal right up to A.R. Rahman’s greatest work through the years, including the Grammy & Oscar-nominated ‘127 Hours’  and continues to bring his unique personality to this genre of music. His recognition as a Music Composer and Arranger for Album Projects and Feature Films has earned him the Filmfare Award for his score in ‘Aks’ (2001) and more recently his work in ‘Shaitan’ swept all 3 major Indian awards, in the year 2011. Ranjit was Music Composer and Sound Designer for the entire Opening and Closing Ceremonies of mega-events, the Commonwealth Games Delhi 2010, Hockey World Cup 2019 Opening, Music Producer for MTV Unplugged (Season 1 & 2), Jammin' (Season 2).

Darshan Doshi

At an age when people learn to walk, he was already on his journey towards music. By the age of 11, he was in the Limca Book of Records (1997) as the ’Youngest Drummer of India’. After which there was no looking back for Drummer, Composer & Educator Darshan Doshi. Based in Mumbai, Darshan Doshi played with various musical groups for numerous concerts and recordings. Along with this, he has worked with various music directors for Bollywood film scores. Over the years he has toured world over with globally known artists and worked with leading musicians of the industry. Also, this drumming maestro performs regularly on MTV India’s live shows like MTV Unplugged and Coke Studio. He started his career in the group ’Little Wonders’ with Kalyanji-Anandji in 1994. Darshan Doshi’s journey in Bollywood began with the movie, Black (2005). He played percussion and drums for ’Paheli’, and Ram Gopal Varma’s ’Sarkar’, apart from movies like ’London Dreams’, ’Tere Sang’, ’Dhoom 2’, ’Johnny Gaddar’, ’Luck By Chance’ and ’My Name is Khan’. Even having so much in his kitty, he is well-known for his work for sound track of the hit rock-musical film, Rock On!! (2008). His recent work includes the hit movies like Secret Superstar, Udta Punjab, Rock On 2, Love You Zindagi, Fitoor, Queen, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Saand ki Aankh & Kai Po Che. Over the years, he worked with the eminent music directors & singers like Shankar–Ehsaan–Loy, A.R.Rahman, Salim-Sulaiman, Adnan Sami, Farhan Akhtar, Amit Trivedi, Pritam, Hariharan, Raghav Sachar, Taufiq Qureshi, Selva Ganesh, Colonial Cousins & Ustad Rashid Khan. Aside from his remarkable work in the Bollywood industry, he has played with fusion bands like The Bombay Project, Sitar Funk, Mumbai Stomp, Aakruti, Defying Gravity, Tapasya, Nakshatra and Fuzonika. Darshan Doshi is a versatile drummer; this trait helps him in getting a chance to perform and record with artists and bands from all types of genres. He received his first lessons in Drums from his father, Shailesh Doshi, which was polished by some great maestros of times, Leicester Gudino, Pankaj Sharma & Ranjit Barot. Darshan has toured with music director duo Salim Sulaiman & recently performed at the WOMAD Festival in UK & the MELA Festival in Norway. He has performed at more than 2500 concerts across the globe. Besides adding wonders to music with his sticks, Darshan Doshi endorses Pearl Drums, Zildjian Cymbals, Evans Drumheads, Vic Firth Sticks, Roland Drums & AKG Mics.

Viveick Rajagopalan

Viveick is a musician and a composer - trained under the Carnatic tradition on the majestic percussive instruments of South India, mridangam and kanjira, Viveick uses his classical roots to compose music that moves between many styles. With his ability to blend the mridangam with various styles of music Viveick has collaborated with international musicians like Richard Bona on his album Ten Shades of Blue, Chinese Man on a track called Malad in Shikantaza, SHRI (UK) , Bugge Wesseltoft, Bauchklang to name a few. Very early in his career, he joined “LUCKY ALI” in his band, and even worked with him on his album SIFAR. With his albums, Dancing with Shiva and Moving Images, released as early as 2007 and 2008 respectively, he presented his unique style of blending Carnatic and modern electronic soundscapes. More recently Viveick’s Ta Dhom Project, for the first time in the history of Indian Music, brings together Carnatic Classical Rhythms, Vocal percussion and street rap in the most unique manner; this project has traveled to prestigious festivals like WOMAD (UK), SHAMBALA (UK), OSLO MELA (NORWAY) in 2019, WOMEX 2018 Edition at Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain. Viveick’s track, India 91 in Zoya Akhtar’s Gully Boy, the track is an offshoot of the Ta Dhom Project and has caught the fancy of young dancers and hip hop artists across the country. The iconic channel id of UTV Motion Pictures and the media giant of Kerala MATHRUBHUMI NEWS were composed and produced by him. Most recently he has also co-founded a festival that celebrates the MRIDANGAM - MridangaMela. He is the only mridangam player who is an endorsee of AKG microphones and Harman Pro India products.

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