Bonding musical dreams and medical practices

Saturday, 6 April 2013 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Rashika Fazali

Medicine and music goes hand in hand for Thushini Goonewarde​ne. When she tires herself of medicine, she relieves her stress with music; either way she loves them both with a passion but maybe medicine with a more burning passion I would say.

Having completed her MBBS recently, Thushini is a young lady doctor currently working at the Lady Ridgeway hospital who never abandoned music even while preparing to become a surgeon. Although she has made it clear that music for her is a hobby never to be a profession since treating patients is what she wants to do for a living, she stated that she loves performing.

However, one interesting fact that I found out about Thushini, was that as a kid she hated performing. “I really hated performing. I was so self-conscious and I have never imagined myself as a performer. I was so terrified of it, but now it’s quite the opposite. I love it so much. I don’t get nervous when I am performing and it’s very strange how I’ve changed. It just comes naturally and I really enjoy being on stage,” explained Thushini.

She also recalled that at the age of 10, she dreamt of becoming a scientist, a musician and a surgeon, and today has accomplished two of those three goals although she did mention that being a scientist is completely beyond her goals.

Thushini recently released a single, ‘Burns Of His Dark Words’ for the worldwide campaign, ‘One Billion Rising’ for violence against women, which addresses the pain of a young girl in a turbulent relationship with an abusive man.

At the moment, Thushini is promoting her debut single, ‘Place in my heart’ written and composed in 2011 by Thushini herself on Yes FM, hoping her song will make its way into their rising Sri Lankan chart, ‘Homegrown Top 15.’

‘Place in my heart’ is about a girl who awaits a call from her boyfriend. “It’s a song with a lot of hope,” stated Thushini.

They say curiosity did kill the cat, so nevertheless I asked her if she wrote the song from experience. She stated: “I need inspiration to write a song, but I can’t say I have written it for someone.”

Her song writing and composing skills were brought to the spotlight right after she joined the faculty of medical sciences at the Sri Jayewardenepura University.  One fine day, Thushini revealed that she decided that she needed to get someone to listen to her song. So she recorded the song onto a cassette player and got her mother to listen to it without giving her any details of who sang the song. What happened next? Her mother loved it and encouraged her to go further with her talent.

Thushini then went onto show her songs to her music teacher who later got her to perform her originals, ‘He’ and ‘It’s alright’ at the teacher’s concert in 2007. This led her to participate in the faculty of medical science’s talent competition in 2008 proving again that her singing is exceptional when she won the female competition.

From that point onwards, she has only climbed higher, performing at many events such as at the Melomanic Sessions, Star Studded Rainbow and Alternative Sunday just to name a few.

Thushini was taught the beauty of music from the age of five with piano lessons; passing her London piano exams at the age of nine and studying audio engineering under Diliup Gabadamudalige later on with a goal to record her music from home.   She recalled that from a very early age she was drawn to old records from genres like jazz, pop and country music. Her influences come from the Beatles, Michael Buble, Elton John and great jazz artists like Ella Fitzgerald. But how does Thushini place her music when it comes to genre? “I really can’t place where my music falls into. I think its Thushini style. If we could create a genre, I’ll say it’s Thushini,” she said adding that she believes her music is somewhere in-between blues and alternative music.

Aiming for one thing in music, she said, “What I want to do with each new composition is to create something new and different and not have a monotonous sort of sound. I want to create something new each time I come up with a composition.”

In terms of future plans she mentioned releasing her debut album was one and performing on a larger scale with her own show is another. When it comes to medicine, she plans to do her postgraduate studies sometime next year.

Apart from singing and practicing medicine, she also teaches music and maths for O/Level students since 2006.– Pic by Lasantha Kumara