Gopi Sundar toots into Bollywood with Chennai Express’ ‘Titli…’
Music composer Gopi Sundar is flying high in tinsel town. From the melodious ‘Ethosayana Theerangalil…’ in 10.30 a.m. Local Call to the powerful ‘Sada Sada..’ in Left Right Left and equally hit numbers in Nee Ko Nja Cha, Kammath and Kammath, Sound Thoma, Mumbai Police, ABCD, and 5 Sundarikal, to name but a few, Gopi’s music has been constantly acing the Mollywood music charts. The tunesmith with the magic touch is now rocking the Bollywood music charts as the playback singer of ‘Titli…’, an engagingly sweet number from the Shah Rukh Khan-Deepika Padukone-starrer Chennai Express. Music director duo Vishal-Shekar has composed the duet, which Gopi has sung with Kollywood singer Chinmayi Sripaada. Gopi takes a few questions about his Hindi debut. Excerpts…
Flying with ‘Titli…’
I have worked with Vishal-Shekar as programmer on many of their films… Bluffmaster, ‘Ankohn Me Teri’ in Om Shanti Om, Taxi 9211, and so on. I am a great fan of theirs – and, apparently, they of mine. When they are in Chennai, they often work in my studio. While they were working on Chennai Express, Shekar had come down to Chennai for three days and asked me to croon the song. Chinmayi and I just sang it on a lark never thinking that it would be approved. Frankly, I am still a bit shell-shocked that it all worked out and that it has become a hit as soon as it was released. It’s almost farcical, really. Imagine me, someone who is not even a professional singer, a Malayali, singing in Hindi for a superstar like Shah Rukh Khan! I somehow can’t relate all that in my head.
I’ve always had a flair for languages; I’m comfortable with Hindi, Tamil, English… apart from Malayalam. Besides, for ad films I’m used to correcting diction in various languages. So for ‘Titli…’ I didn’t face any hurdle with regards to diction. What little issues I had, Shekar corrected it then and there. It’s actually a myth when people say South Indians can’t sing in Hindi properly. Look at SPB sir, [K.S.] Chitra chechi, Shankar Mahadevan… they all have had hits up North.
On his singing career
What career? I’ve never thought of playback singing as a career. Software helps me sing! I’m very happy composing and programming. That’s not to say I won’t sing again. If music directors think my voice suits a composition then I am always happy to sing. I am a free bird. If I feel like singing I will sing; if I feel like flying I will fly! Right now, I am concentrating on composing and programming.
Up at the marquee
I am busy as a bee. I’ve got some 50 films on the anvil this year, of which 14 to 15 have already been released. Some of my forthcoming films are 1983, a Nivin Pauly-starrer directed by newcomer Abrid Shine, Arikil Oraal, directed by Sunil Ibrahim, Vedivazhipadu by Shambu Lekshmi Purushothaman, Koothara by Srinath Rajendran, 100°C… Then there is M. Padmakumar’s untitled film that has a village theme – a theme that I have not really explored. I thrive on being busy. I am a multi-tasker. In fact, the more work I have, the speedier and the better I become. My capacity to work is limitless. I don’t actually think about the song while I am working. I think about it while I am walking, showering, having tea, watching TV and so on, so that when I actually sit down to compose I am just processing my thoughts.