Like the meaning of his name, Santhosh Chandran's life was filled with joy from 6 strings which still continues in his life. Santhosh began to understand guitar and the melodious sounds it made at the age of 8. Little Santhosh found it exciting and cherished the excitement and passion for learning further. Sri Perinad Krishnankutty Nair, his grandfather was a well known Kadhakali Acharyan and a drama actor. Sri Perinad Krishnankutty Nair associated with many artists like Mr. Augustine Joseph (father of Dr. K J Yesudas) and also promoted it and held yearly "kadhakali yogams" at his house.
Santhosh's father was a great inspiration for him. He guided him to the world of Karnatic music. Both his parents supported and understood him very well which molded him to the person he is now.
Tellicherry (North Kerala) is the place which gave Santhosh a guitar teacher, Badarudheen sir. Santhosh took classes from him at Thirumukham Sangeetha Sabha. Badarudheen sir enriched Santhosh's music by taking him for music shows and performances. At the age of 12, Santhosh was playing with professional artists. Santhosh possessed great talents even at tender ages. This was the period when Santhosh got a chance to play with the playback singer Edava Basheer. Their association persisted and Santhosh was able to support Edava Basheer when Baiju Dharmarajan left him.
Santhosh then got a chance to do music scores for Television serials and Tele films. Director Rajeev Rangan's "Ushus" was the first serial for which Santhosh created music, followed by associating with directors like Swathi Bhaskar.
Albert Vijayan (Rex Vijayan's father) provided Santhosh with opportunities. During this period, he developed interest for Rock music and began to perform music of the genre with the drummer, Mr. Christopher. Guitarist Johny Antony and V J Traven inspired him to explore the world of rock music initially.
Mr. Rony Manappallil (rock singer) helped Santhosh to move to Mangalore in 1993. Rock was his area of interest then. He got an opening in a rock band called 7th Galaxy the following year. 1995 was the year when Mr. Alwyn Fernandes invited Santhosh to Bangalore and the time when he got various good openings to maintain his passion and learn. Later on he shifted to Cochin and formed a band with John Thomas of Motherjane for a short period. This was before Motherjane's formation.
“Learning is the beginning of wealth. Learning is the beginning of health. Learning is the beginning of spirituality. Searching and learning is where the miracle process all begins.” - Jim Rohn
Matha Amruthananthamayi Devi (Spiritual leader) influenced Santhosh's life during his period in cochin and it still continues. He also gained inspiration from Nelson Dias.
Santhosh then joined the band 13AD as the lead guitarist when Mr. Eloy Issac left the band and was able to perform with them in the middle east as well. Santhosh then searched for music and wandered around creating and learning music. During his stay in Muscat, he met with Mr. John Hardie (Jazz pianinst) and an Italian classic guitar player, Mr. Salvatore who mentored him to learn from the world of Jazz. Santhosh found different and versatile music styles in Muscat of which flamenco was the popular one and developed interest and learned it.
Santhosh started a band called Velvetters then with Salha Albusaidy (East African jazz singer) and Mark Gresty (Bass guitarist ). The band performed in Dubai, Lebanon and other middle east countries. Santhosh also associated with Mr. Hratch (French saxophone player) and Mr. Ibrahim Jaber (percussionist from Lebanon). Down Beat Jazz was the trio band which Santhosh joined in 2005 with Sax NIck Foster and Merwyn in Muscat. Along with this, he achieved 8th grade and ATCL Diploma in Classic Guitar from Trinity College of Music, London and began teaching guitar in British School, Harmony institute and Classic Music & Arts institute (Trinity college exam centre). Mr. Gahamme Johns (ABRSM Examiner and Pianist) supported Santhosh very well and helped him to develop his skills.
Khalid Sahab and Tripthi chakraborthy taught him what Hindustani music was all about. He was also privileged to play with Ustad Badde Ghulam Ali Khan Sahib, a renowned Hindustani classical vocalist.
Santhosh Chandran's life till now is enriched with experiences and music from different people from different parts of the world. He still tries to learn from everyone whom he creates music with. His music is a reflection of all these from his soul.