Born on 16 April, 1969, into a traditional South Indian family, Sowmya was known to recognise ragas even as a toddler. A recording of her identifying ragas at the age of two exists at All India Radio, Kozhikode. A Carnatic music vocalist and vainika, she was initiated into music by her father M. Sreenivasan, a chemical engineer and musician. Sowmya became a disciple of S. Ramanathan when she was barely six and later learnt from T. Muktha.
She has been a frontrunner in the arena of providing unique digital platforms to Carnatic music. In 1998, she, along with her friend and vocalist Shashikiran, established Carnatica, an institution dedicated to music and dance instruction, talent search and archiving. Sowmya has also produced and co-authored ‘Nadanubhava: The Horizons of Carnatic Music,’ which she says is “the world’s first interactive encyclopaedic CD-ROM on Carnatic music” and ‘Nadopasana: My Own Carnatic Tutor’, an educational VCD, which is a self-help tutor with karaoke features.
The numerous honours conferred on her include Sangeetha Kala Sarathy, Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha, 2011, Vidhya Tapasvi, TAPAS Cultural Foundation, Chennai, 2012, Sangeetha Choodamani, Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, Chennai, 2010, Nada Bhushanam, Shanmukhananda Fine Arts, New Delhi, 2002 and Isai Peroli, Karthik Fine Arts, Chennai, 1996 among many others.
She is a an A grade artiste of All India Radio and Doordarshan and visiting professor at the Advanced School of Carnatic Music of the Music Academy Madras.