Dr. Shyamamani Devi, since childhood, had immense love for traditional music and folk songs of Odisha like ‘pala’ and ‘daskathia’. She also had love for modern music. She became successful playback singer for Odiya and Bengali films during 1960 to 1970. Later on, she became the artist for the popular Saturday programme of Ceylon Broadcasting Corporation. She also gave her voice for a number of Bengali songs mostly on “Rabindra Sangeet” & modern songs as well as Guajarati (Garba) and Marathi songs. She was a popular artist in AIR (All India Radio) of Mumbai and Kolkata. Although, she has lent her voice for all type of songs from folk to classical and modern, but she was overwhelmed by “Odishi” music because of its melody and evocative power of being distinct and unique which creates an intense bond between the performer and listener. Due to her immense love for “Odishi” music, she engrossed her entire career to this music by returning to Odisha from Mumbai & Kolkata. Since then she has devoted herself completely to this music for its overall growth, popularity and recognition as a classical music similar to other music in the country.
Dr. Shyamamani Devi initially concentrated on “CHHANDO”, “CHAMPU”, “JANANA” (devotional music on Lord Sri Jagannath) being the integral part of Odishi music. With the extensive research and effort, the audio cassettes for these music forms were released for first time having her own composition, lyrics and popularized further through live performances in every nook and corner of Odisha.
“Odishi” music was in a neglected state in the post-independence era having no uniformity in different parts of Odisha due to the absence of codified “ragas”, “notation”, and “grammar” in written form. As a result, the music was being performed in different manners and styles. Her effort therefore was initially focused for systematic development and evaluation of the music for filling up the gaps with respect to the codification, grammar etc for obtaining the required degree of uniformity being an active member of Odishi syllabus preparation committee of Sangeet Natak Academy and Odishi Grammar preparation committee of Odishi Research Centre, Bhubaneswar. The music has now its own distinct and codified “lyrics”, “ragas”, “”notation” and “grammar” in written form through a series of discussions, deliberations among the exponents of “Odishi” and other musicians. She is one of the leading figure for extensive research work through Odishi Research Centre & Sangeet Natak Academy. With this effort, “Odishi” has been recognized by Government of Odisha as a classical music.