He made his entry into the Indian music industry through ‘B to the A' for the Rajnikanth starrer Baba, and has since been working on many of music legend A. R. Rahman's works. Lakshmi Narasimhan Vijaya Rajagopal Sheshadri Sharma Rajesh Raman, better known as Blaaze on stage, is on fire. Following close on the heels of the success of Hosanna... in Vinnaithandi Varuvaya in Kollywood, the singer is now scorching Mollywood music charts with his Hey Manohara Theerame… from the movie Casanovva.
Hey Manohara…, incidentally, is Blaaze's first song in Malayalam as a solo artiste. The singer will be in Kollam on Sunday for a concert at TKM College of Engineering. Excerpts from an interview...
Gopi Sundar called me one day saying he wanted to try something fresh, so I was quite excited to work on Hey Manohara… I went to the studio and the vibe was great. Gopi played the idea and allowed me to do my thing.
He had the melody ready for me to just improvise and we had fun. I hope the fun element comes through when you hear it. Getting the pronunciation right was a bit of a challenge, but the more we practised, the better it got.
I always write my own lyrics. I think it's important especially for rap, as you are saying what's in your head. I just did my parts in English for Oh Manohara… and they had the Malayalam lyrics ready for me to sing, so that's how it happened. Malayalam is truly a lovely language. In fact, I look forward to singing more tunes in Malayalam.
The credit goes to…
The song is a hit because of Mohanlal himself. He makes magic on screen.
I just performed at an award ceremony in Kochi. It was a turning point for me because I got to play my own compositions and show the audience that rap is not just ‘Yo, Yo Yo,' but that there is variety in rap music. I performed In My Father's Words… and also a Kathak rap fusion. The response for the songs, especially In My Father's Words…, were phenomenal. It is a song that emphasis that all religions preach one God.
At an after party, several people came up to congratulate me. For me, it is a conscious effort to rap about issues that matter to me for rap is known for its power of word.
Right on time
My debut album Time For Gandhi has just been released on EMI Music. An acquaintance of mine sent the song Time For Gandhi to EMI. The producers at EMI felt that the timing for the song was perfect as Anna Haazare was fighting for something similar. They asked me if I had any more songs so that they could come out with a complete album. I sent them a couple more of my songs and that is how Time for Gandhi happened. The album is all about issues and messages ranging from Gandhi to the revolution in Egypt, to a reminder of the Indian Pledge, with a twist in it. It was a long road, 20 years to be precise, to take independent music to the masses, but along with my friends, Paul J., Scratchmaster Kave, Donan, Stephen Devassy and the Thappattam All Stars, we found a way to combine folk and rap, and make it a truly unique sound. My concert at TKM College of Engineering on Sunday will feature a couple of songs from the album. Listeners can pick up the CDs of the album at the venue, get it autographed, and talk to me about the music.