Tejomayananda: Guruji, as he is lovingly called by the Chinmaya Mission family, is a perfect blend of spirituality, mu­sic and love. He has been a guide and mentor to me in every stage of my life and I believe that his presence has shaped my music to what it is today. My father, Commander Ram Mohan Rao: His mother was an exponent of Carnatic classical music and this meant that he be­came passionate about music too. He constantly encouraged me to learn and practice against all odds over the years, and is the main reason why I am in music today. My first album titled Khyal is dedicated to my dad as I couldn’t have done it without him. My mother, Mrs Sarala Rao: She worked hard all her life and achieved great success in her career. Everything she did was to only support my growth in life and if I am able to sit on stage and inspire a group of people in the audience today, it is because of her efforts while I was growing up. My Guru, Smt Chandrima Misra: I am the luckiest student to have a Guru who is dedicated and tradi­tional in her approach, yet open-minded. She has taught me a lot over the last 12 years and I owe every single performance of mine to her efforts. I am blessed to have her as my musical mother. I can talk to her about pretty much anything in my life! Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan: He is the doyen of the Patiala Gharana, the lineage of musicians that I belong to. His life will always be remembered as a key mile­stone in the development of Indi­an classical music. His voice and compositions will ring in people’s ears for generations to come – his ‘khyal’ is eternal. Ganasaraswati Kishori Amonkar: I attended a concert of hers as a child not knowing what I was about to experience. At that age, I didn’t really understand the tech­nicalities of the music she presented. But her aura, stage presence and divinity in music is something that I can never erase from my memory. MS Subbulakshmi: Having lived in Chennai as a child, I was sur­rounded by her voice. We woke up to her recordings every morn­ing and even heard them in shops and restaurants. She is my favourite Carnatic classical vocalist. Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar: His name is probably one of the most frequently searched artists in my YouTube and Spotify accounts! The purity in his voice and ap­proach to improvisation is some­thing I am inspired by. He truly is a musician’s musician. All my students: I teach a group of students at various levels and abilities. Each one is musical in their own way, but also have are­as that they need to further devel­op. They are pretty much my blank canvas. I try out different techniques of teaching and see how they respond. What I learn through the process is invaluable. My musical family: There are so many others who have impacted my life. My family, many teachers who taught me music over the years, artists I have heard, accom­panists I have performed with, friends who have encouraged me, friends who have questioned my passion in music, and every audi­ence member who has given me feedback. I believe every human interaction has an impact on us and I am grateful to have chosen music to make a difference to people’s lives. Prabhat Rao, of the Patiala Gharana, is a Hindustani classic-al vocalist and teacher based in London, who has performed glob­ally. Visit www.prabhatrao.com and www.Facebook.com/prabhatraolondon for more.