As a toddler, Devdutt Joshi (Dev) began playing a range of musical instruments. Now at 45, Dev, who will be performing at the Harrow Arts Centre, talks about how music has always been at the centre of his life.

What instruments do you play? Did you have any musical instruments growing up at home?

I play harmonium, piano, tabla and most rhythmic instruments. When I was growing up we used to have a keyboard, harmonium, Naal (an Indian drum), tabla and tambourine. So my first instrument, at three-years-old was a tambourine and then I moved onto bongos followed by tabla/Naal and western percussion.

What music did your parents listen to when you were growing up and has this affected your style or inspired your music?

My parents listened to mainly Indian music and I think if my parents and extended family had not listened to Indian music, then I would not have eventually made a career of it. So actually it’s all thanks to them.

Who were your music teachers and did they have any influence on your style?

My father was my first music teacher as he guided me and encouraged me. From the age of 22, I have been fortunate to have taken blessings and guidance from prominent gurus, ustads and maestros.

While guidance from teachers is important and does improve your singing, I think it’s very important to create your own style of singing as the quality and sound of your voice is individual to you.

Is there a musician who inspired you to become a musician?

My father was in a band and attending music parties with him inspired me to play rhythmic instruments, accompany him and join the percussion section in the orchestra. Later on from the age of 12, listening to artists such Pankaj Udhas, Jagjit Singh, Ghulam Ali, Mehdi Hassan and Anup Jalota inspired me to take up singing. My grandfather was a recording artist for HMV in the 1940s so stories about him from my childhood also inspired me and still do today.

What have you learnt most about being a musician?

I have learnt that it’s important to follow your passion and to really enjoy what you do. If you want to be performer, then sing and perform songs and music, which you absolutely love and enjoy. Also being a musician gives you a lot of satisfaction especially when you make other people happy and uplift them when you are performing.

When you were starting out what kind of job did you have to do to make ends meet in realising your dream?

As a teenager, I would support my music by working over the summer holidays in a bakery and part-time during the week for Cancer Research.n.

Where do you like to 'hang out' and why?

I like to hang out at places that have live music, art, concerts - I also attend local Flamenco shows and enjoy travelling abroad for music where you really do learn about cultures, food, etc.

Harrow Arts Centre, Uxbridge Road, February 5, 7.30pm. Details: 0208 9070116.