Composer G.V. Prakash Kumar wowed young fans with words and music

A minute before the audience sat absolutely still. Then the hoots and wolf whistles began. Music composer-singer G.V. Prakash Kumar tends to bring on such reactions. As the happening young musician got on stage for a Face-to-Face organised by the GRD School of Commerce and International Business, he seemed overwhelmed by the reception.

“The one big regret in my life is that I never went to college. I’m jealous of you all. Enjoy these days. This phase will never come back,” he said. The questions soon began. What motivates you? What advice would you give people? “Advice kudutha kaduppaagum! We have to learn to look at ourselves from outside, and judge ourselves. Analyse our actions and take remedial steps. Motivate yourself,” he said.

Prakash recently got married to his childhood sweetheart, singer Saindhavi, and questions about her never stopped coming. His reply? “I love her nature. We’ve known each other for so long. She’s my friend first. And no, we don’t interfere in each other’s careers. We give each other space,” he said.

Any thing he’d like to do again? “Yeah, probably go back to college, just for a couple of years,” he said. He even went on to dedicate a song for the college: ‘Bambara Kannalae’ from the award-winning Aadukalam.

When a student asked if it was true that Mayakkam Enna’s ‘Oda Oda Thaan’ was composed and recorded in less than an hour, Prakash went on to speak about magical moments while composing. “It just happened. Selva (director Selvaraghavan), Dhanush and I were jamming, the words came up, and the tune fell in place,” he said.

Another such song he said was Madrasapattannam’s ‘Pookal Pookum Tharunam’. “I was riding a bike when the song came to mind. When you wait for the moment, the music flows through you.”

No interaction with Prakash is complete without mention of his uncle A.R. Rahman. “Which song of yours does he like best?” someone asked. “He’s very quiet. And, I’ve never really asked him that,” he said. How was it singing for him (Chikku Bukku) as a child? “I hardly remember those days. That was so long ago,” he smiled.

What is easier? Composing or singing? “Singing. You merely carry out the composer’s orders, add your touches and you’re done. But, composing involves a lot of research and thrashing of ideas with the director.” His favourite song? “Right now, it’s Thalaivaa’s ‘Vaanganna Vanakkanganna’. “Actor Vijay practised for a week before he rendered it,” he recalled.

“Since he comes from a musical background, will his kids follow his footsteps?” someone asked. “I don’t know. I was very fond of cricket, and would always walk around with a bat. I’ve even got beaten because of my cricket obsession. Today, it’s something I play when I find time in the evenings. I will teach my kids the basics of music, but give them the freedom to choose,” Prakash said.

Soon, it was time for an activity where he had to sing a song for the personality shown on screen. ‘Angelina Jolie’ got the number ‘Maalai neram mazhai thoorum’, while for ‘Power Star’ Srinivasan, it was ‘Unnai Arindhaal’. Sania Mirza got the lilting ‘Yaathe Yaathe’ while Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was dedicated ‘Nenjam Undu Nermai Undu’. What followed was a rapid fire round, where Prakash came up with snappy answers. What does music mean to him? “My life,” he said, to applause.