Following her father’s footsteps and successfully carrying on with the musical legacy, Madhuri Murli achieved her dreams with an unyielding spirit. As she calls herself, a dreamer worked to fulfill her dreams and lent a helping hand to the ones in need. She is a marketer, philanthropist, dancer, and songwriter who multitasks her way through life and supports various social causes.
Get to know more about her music composition inspiration, life story, multitasking abilities, and musical experiences as a rookie in this exclusively curated interview with Storiyaan.
Questions and answers
Relate to the events that led you to the composition of your 7 original songs & music videos released on Spotify, Saavn, Gaana, etc.?
My songs are inspired by my life events and experiences. My most recent song “Apnalien Zindagi” was a reflection of finding acceptance in our difficult times. Something the entire world is trying to cope with in the current COVID-19 era. My song Pehchaan was about finding self-worth & identity while Khushi was about finding true internal happiness. There is a part of me and my life in every song.
Flute Theory has been your project for the elevation of the arts of dance and song. How did you formulate a solid and well-drawn-out plan for the propagation of music?
Flute theory came about the time when I launched my first song, ‘Tera Khuda’ which had an inlaid essence of believing in yourself and following your dreams. The motive behind composing this song was honouring my dad’s dream, who wanted to be a singer but left us too soon. His name is Murli, which means- a flute hence I named my platform Flute Theory; as an ode to him.
How did your father mould you and help you teach your love for music, and how does he remain the inspiration behind your creativity?
I think he is the sole inspiration behind my projects, and he continues to inspire me. I recall he had a very classy taste in music, and he never looked at language as a barrier to good music. He has inspired me in every way, he’d try to correct my notes and scale to help me before every performance in college. It is an honour to carry forward his legacy. My songs are my way to stay connected to him. “Your dream, my choice. Your soul, my voice.
You continue to partner with Ariel Dance Productions to conduct workshops, showcases, and prepare teams for competitions. Tell us about the evolution of your bond with Ariel?
Before entering Ariel, I did a few independent projects around the Bay Area silicon valley as part of the local Indian community. I saw Ariel Dance Productions as a unique dance studio with a blend of diversity across various cultures. I knew I had found my fit here. People truly care about each other, celebrate authenticity and diversity. As I got familiar with this studio, my bond with it grew over time, and now I look forward to strengthening my relationship with this beautiful dance community at Ariel, once everything gets back to normal post COVID.
How do you prioritize when you have performance and your work commitments at Adobe? How does this dual life affect you?
Honestly, I’ve always believed that “finding your why” in whatever you do is the secret sauce. Dance, music, or my day job as a Product Marketer is more than work; it’s something that I love doing, making it easy for me to prioritize it.
In Pre-COVID times, during the weekdays, I’m very focused on my day job as a marketer. And over the weekends, I follow my passion which serves as a thread joining my lives in both fields.
What was the stumbling block upon which you've realized your empathy towards the not-so-privileged and thought of employing creativity to support their cause?
When I was grieving the loss of my dad, I realized that the only way to find closure & peace in a meaningful way is to give back. An act of good, in return, will honour his soul which helped me launch Flute Theory with the intent to empower the underprivileged, one dance and one song at a time.
How did you come up with the idea of getting your students to donate to causes in exchange for dance & music classes?
As part of this Flute Theory, I partner with non-profits globally, donate my time teaching dance & in return ask my students to donate to the causes that I support. I’ve tried to support a diverse set of causes ranging from children’s cancer to families of Indian Army Martyr as well as Animal shelters. My hope is that the impact is far-reaching & touches many lives. It has been a very fulfilling experience to spread joy and have fun while doing it.
A lot of parents these days stress their children's formal education and neglect their creative development. Why do you think that is, and how can we change this attitude?
Primarily, my thought is, there are different types of gifts everyone possesses and the idea of “intelligence” is pretty diverse ranging from traditional IQ, creative intelligence to emotional intelligence. With an increase of societal pressure and stereotype, the rat race of education defining intellect does a lot of disservice to people with different gifts. We need to look at success and failures as merely just information about ourselves that can help you align to your true calling.
You have led Flute Theory from concept to launch with a Business model, brand creation, PR/marketing, social media outreach & customer acquisition. What are some of the tips and tactics you learned?
I think one of the biggest tactics is to invest in self-awareness to understand your areas of strength and non-strengths (weakness is such a negative term! ). Whether it’s my work or my passion for dance and music, I operate from the same place of passion. Being an Artist and Creative Director helps me cater to my creative customers at Adobe, while my Business experience through my professional career helped me launch Flute Theory.
You were awarded Cancer Patient Aid Association Award. Could you narrate to us the events that led to your nomination?
There was a musical contest, and I remember someone from the team had reached out to me based on my Instagram profile. At that time, I was looking for an NGO to partner with to raise funds for as part of Flute Theory’s dance for a cause. I’m thankful to the students who supported me immensely and made my efforts fruitful in the end.
a. Favorite form of dance -Flamenco.
b. When not working or dancing, you’d be…- I’d be working on my first book which is currently in the draft mode called, “The prize and price of getting uncomfortable”.
c. Most memorable performance – I’d say it is one of my folk style performances that scaled over 1.6M views on YouTube.
d. When can we expect your next song? – I’m working on a song called “Azadi” which is about the Freedom to live life on your own terms.
e. A person you look up to -Common people who have the courage to live their life authentically.