Peter Gladson is a Musician, a Singer, and a Song Writer But his versatility truly inspires us When you look at Peter Gladson on stage. He is One Man Band introduced new concept to India balances 13 Instruments weighing around 20 kg on his back and plays them all at once by the same person
In an interview with The Hindu, He revealed everything about his Musical Journey.
Although he has been playing various instruments since the age of three, he was a regular guy in school. Back then, he gave more importance to physical activities, taking part in various state-level competitions. When he was in Class XI, he started facing physical problems. The doctors told Gladson he was suffering from tuberculosis, brought on by passive smoking. “My friends were heavy smokers and though I never took a puff, my immunity was low. The after-effect of heavy treatment was that I developed two holes in my lungs,” says Gladson.
“All this was taking a toll on me emotionally and physically. I was feeling lost and couldn’t chalk out a future plan. It was then that I remembered a drawing I had made in Class VIII during a camp,” he says.
During the camp, the children were asked to paint their future goal. While some sketched pictures of Bollywood heroes or cricketers, Gladson drew a picture of a man playing a guitar with a number of other instruments surrounding him.
“That picture cleared my confusion and I instantly knew what I had to do in future,” he says.
With the motto, ‘Never give up’ imprinted firmly in his mind, Gladson again appeared for his Board exam in 2012 and this time, managed to clear it. “I decided to become an inspiring musician and do something novel. This prompted me to start my own band,” he says. Gladson’s mother, however, was against his decision to start a band due to his medical condition. The doctors had warned against strenuous exercise, and playing musical instruments fell into that category.
However, Gladson was determined. Although he was a good drummer, drum kits were expensive. So he decided to play the ukulele, a Hawaiian instrument. Back then, not many people had heard of the ukulele. But to Gladson, it was ‘God’s gift’. Besides, he had his fluency in playing instruments to fall back on – he says he can learn any instrument within an hour.
Starting off with NSPA (Natural Streets for Performing Arts), Gladson started performing publicly on the ukulele in 2014. Soon, he was playing the bass drum, snare drum, hi-hat, cymbals, acoustic guitar, pianica/melodica, harmonica, kazoo, slide whistle, tambourine and ghungroos. He even participated in TV shows and on February 22, 2016, started his ‘One Man Band’. He began with 11 instruments initially and gradually started playing 13 at a time.
Till date, Gladson has performed more than 40 shows in Maharashtra and in other parts of the country. His first corporate show was held on May 12, 2016.
“I don’t perform for entertainment. I want to motivate youngsters and tell them about the harmful effects of tobacco through my story. It is heartening when I see many putting down their cigarettes after hearing me,” says Gladson.
Gladson is also a singer and songwriter and is at ease with various genres of music. “I basically write on positivity, thankfulness, a few love songs and worship songs. I have been largely influenced by bands like Switch Foot, Sounds of the Nation, Skillet.”
Source of Inspiration
But his greatest source of inspiration has been his father. “Dad is a hardworking person. From him, I have inherited the attitude of ‘never give up’. When he was in Class II, he used to walk 7 km barefoot in his village to earn for his family. And from his workplace, he would go to school. This inspires me a lot. If such a young child could think of supporting a family and work so hard, why can’t I?”