EpisodeI Am An AmericanImmigrantIndiaMusicianPortland

A Different Kind of Inner Calling

Sankar Raman
Sankar Raman / The Immigrant Story

Balamurali Balu, who goes by Bala, immigrated to the United States from Southern India. He completed his PhD at Georgia Tech.  Landed his dream job at Intel in Portland, Oregon. Married the woman he loved. And had two young daughters.

He was what his family called “settled”, living the life his parents had always wanted for him.

But six years into his career, he was burnt out and he missed doing the thing he loved most in this world. So, he quit.  

Today, Bala pursues music full-time where he scores large Tamil film industry projects and presents his new work at The Immigrant Story live storytelling events, constantly innovating new songs, new sounds, and new music. 

Many Roads to Here is a production of The Immigrant Story. This episode was produced by Emily Denny. Our audio editing and music was done by Bala. Post production was done by Gregg Palmer. The original interview was conducted in the summer of 2022 by our executive producer Sankar Raman.

Music that is featured in this episode was composed and arranged by Bala. His original album composed for I Am An American Live can be downloaded for free from here: https://theimmigrantstory.org/the-album/ and can be listened to from all major streaming services.

Listen to the piece used in this episode, Hit the Strings, performed live at I Am An American Live last Spring, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRMkLEqAeKM

Bala’s music will be featured again this year with his original music especially produced for our second edition of I Am American Live next spring. We invite you to join us on April 15th at the Patricia Reser Center for the Arts in Beaverton. Tickets go on sale on February 15, 2023. Please stay tuned. 

Thanks to our partner, St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Beaverton for the use of their space to record the interview. This episode is made possible by a generous contribution by Oregon Cultural Trust.

For more stories, visit theimmigrantstory.org/manyroads, listen live at prp.fm, or stream us wherever you get your podcasts.