Music composer Shaan Rahman strikes a chord with his new-age music.

You cannot help but grin in delight when you hear Shaan Rahman's caller tune: ‘Kaathu Kaathu Vachoru Chembaneer Poovumkondu…’, the rather tipsy number from his latest film ‘Malarvaadi Arts Club’. It’s one of the seven songs that the new kid on the block composed (and in this instance also sang) for Vineeth Sreenivasan’s soon-to-be-released directorial debut, the soundtrack for which was launched recently. And already each of the seven catchy numbers in the album is an out-and-out chartbuster – peppy, soulful, jazzy and all in between. Each number brims with a scintillatingly fresh and youthful energy.

Ode to friendship

“‘Malarvaadi Arts Club is Vineeth’s ode to friendship and as such I've have taken care to ensure that the songs have the right amount of energy so as to appeal to the Malayali youth of today,” says Shaan in a phone interview with Friday Review from Kochi, where he and Vineeth are giving finishing touches to the BGM of the film. “I'm thankful to Vineeth for entrusting me – a relative newcomer – with the soundtrack for his first film. Not many people would do that. In fact, such is his trust in me that he called me up even before he had a script in hand and requested me to work on the film with him!,” adds a jubilant Shaan, who is a self-taught musician and singer — a rarity in the field.

Of course, Shaan is no stranger to capturing the energy of the “new age” Malayali, having already hit the heights of success with the “super cool” album — ‘Coffee@M.G. Road’ (again with Vineeth), which all but defined the music of the hip hop generation in Kerala. Undoubtedly ‘Coffee@M.G. Road’ couldn't have given this former jingle composer from Kozhikode, who was brought up in the Gulf, a bigger platform to kick start his career in filmdom. His debut film was Johny Antony's Mammootty-starrer ‘Ee Pattanathil Bhootam’ (EPB).

“To compose for Mammootty sir was always a dream of mine. Once, while in the Gulf, I attended his stage show and remember wistfully wishing that I could meet him in person. Lucky me. With EPB I got to travel with him in a car!” laughs Shaan, who adds that again it's all because of his friendship with Vineeth.

“I met Vineeth for the first time around four years ago at Nedumbassery airport when I was on my way with my band, Desi Noise, to play at the Gulf Malayali Music Awards. Vineeth and I kept in touch and suddenly one night — close to midnight in fact — I got a call from him. He told me about this ‘fresh’ idea he had for an album and we immediately began jamming. For the next one and a half years it was one crazy jam session after another,” laughs Shaan.

Dynamic duo

“We did a lot of experiments with Vineeth's voice for that album – some songs needed changes in his tone; one needed a comical lilt in his rendition and so on,” adds the 29-year-old, who also sang the English number ‘Let me tell you a story’ in the album.

“I'd much rather compose music than sing; for I feel I am only an average singer,” Shaan is quick to point out when asked which he prefers: singing or composing. “Although if I feel that my voice suits a song then I do sing as I did in ‘Kaathu Kaathu….’ or backing vocals for ‘Lavan Kashmalan’, another number from ‘Malarvaadi…’”

So what does he feel about the ‘dynamic duo’ tag that's doing the rounds about his successful working partnership with Vineeth?

“We are simply doing something that we both love doing. Music is our passion and to make good music is what we strive for,” says Shaan as he signs off.