Kollywood music composer K opens his account in Malayalam with Annayum Rasoolum, which releases today
Be it the folksy numbers ‘Kaayalinarike…’ and ‘Kandu randu kannu’, sung by ghazal artiste-composer Shahbaz Aman; the bluesy beats of Tamil singer-actor Andrea Jeremiah’s ‘Kando, kando…’; the acoustic rock of ‘Yaaname…’, crooned by young Tamil-Malayali singer Anand Aravindakshan; or ‘Vazhivakkil…’, the mellifluous duet by Anand and Swetha Mohan, all the songs of Annayum Rasoolum sound quintessentially, rustically Malayali. These old-world, ‘Mehboob-esque’ songs from cinematographer-turned-director Rajeev Ravi’s new film, which stars Fahadh Faasil and Andrea in the lead, are currently on top of the music charts. Surprisingly, the songs were composed by young music composer K, a “complete city boy” who says that he has “very little knowledge of Malayalam language or films”!
Annayum Rasoolum is the Chennai-based K’s debut soundtrack in Malayalam, after wowing Kollywood with his scores for Yuddham Sei and Mugamoodi, both directed by his “mentor” Mysskin, and also with Aarohanam, directed by Lakshmy Ramakrishnan.
“It’s been a fantastic experience working in Malayalam. I have never felt that language is a barrier when it comes to music. Yes, I don’t know much about Malayalam films but I understand the universality of music. Annayum Rasoolum is not a regular film; it’s a beautiful film that has an interesting narrative, one that requires a different style of music. All aspects of Annayum Rasoolum are very honest and so is its music,” says K.
The 26-year-old, whose real name is Krishna Kumar, seems thoroughly delighted to hear that the soundtrack is doing well. “Really? They are hits? Wow! There are no dance sequences in the film and so we recorded the songs only after Rajeev had finished the shoot. When I went for the audio launch, Fahadh had told me that he really liked the songs. I’m simply thrilled that the audience likes them too!” he adds.
K came on board for Annayum Rasoolum via Tapas Nayak, the sound engineer of the film, with whom he had worked with in Mugamoodi. “I was finishing up on Mugamoodi when Rajeev asked me if I was interested in working on his film. I was a little apprehensive at first but somehow it all just worked out,” says K.
One of the highlights of Annayum Rasoolum’s soundtrack is ‘Kaayalinarike…’ – the film’s earthy ode to Kochi that includes a guitar-backed humour-filled verse on the companies and the traditional trades that shaped the character of the city. “It has lyrics by Mepalli Balan. We actually had Anand, a Chennai-based Malayali who has sung backing vocals for a few Tamil films, to sing the number first. But somehow his rather sweet voice didn’t suit the earthy mood the song required. We then struck gold with Shahbaz,” says K.
The young composer has also come up with a reworked version of ‘Kandu randu kannu…’, late composer M.S. Baburaj’s eponymous song from the film 1973 film Chuzhi. “I’ve kept Baburaj’s tune intact but changed the arrangements completely,” says K. The song doesn’t appear in the official soundtrack of the film but it’s being used in the film and for promotion purposes. Also, K credits the number ‘Zammiluni…’, again sung by Shahbaz, to composer Bijibal and the singer himself.
“Throughout the soundtrack of the film, the notes that stand out are of the guitar, a deliberate choice to complement the coastal mood of the storyline. Vikram Vivekanand, a Chennai-based rocker who plays for a band called Greyshack has played the guitar. It’s his feature film debut too. He actually plays the electric guitar in his band but here we’ve used more of the acoustic one,” says K, who himself was part of a band, Panatella, during his school days in Chennai.
K, who completed his graduation in genetic engineering from SRM University, says he has always wanted to be a part of the music industry. “After college, I even got placed at TCS. But I knew that music was my destiny and held out with a few jingles till Mysskin, who I’ve known since I was a child – he’s a friend and library-buddy of my father, offered me the chance of a lifetime to score music for Yuddham Sei,” says K.
Up next for the youngster who classifies his style as “world music”, is the Tamil comedy Onbadhula Guru, written and directed by newcomer P. T. Selvakumar, former manager of stars such as Vijay and Jeeva. “The soundtrack is completely different from Annayum Rasoolum and my earlier works. If I get the opportunity I’d love to compose for a Malayalam movie again.”