For someone who loves playback singing “with a passion” turning music composer is but a natural progression. Singers Srinivas, MG. Sreekumar…same is the case with Karthik.

The blue-eyed boy of A.R. Rahman and Ilayaraja (and many others in the South Indian music industry too), is all set to compose music for Tamil director Vasanthabalan's upcoming film Aravaan, starring Pasupathy, Aadhi and our own Archana Kavi. The young Chennai-based singer was in the city for a lightning visit and over an early breakfast spoke to Metro Plus about his “exciting” career and how he is “loving” life.

“Singing comes quite naturally to me and is so much a part of me. In fact, I am nothing without that. Meanwhile, music direction has turned out to be a pleasant surprise and I'm adapting to it quite well. I really owe it to all my composers and my industry in general…whomever I have worked with over the past 10 years or so and had the opportunity to watch and learn. I was able to imbibe so much from them all,” says Karthik.

Aravaan, though, isn't Karthik's first attempt at composing. He had already made a mark composing jingles for ad-director/ filmmaker Rajiv Menon. His works include jingles for the Coca Cola ad (starring actor Vijay) and the ad for Prince Jewellery. And knowing the offbeat kind of films that Vasanthabalan is known for ( Veyil, Angadi Theru, and the like), Aravaan is sure to be a different ball game .

Different ball game

“You're right. It's a period film set in the 18th century or thereabouts. So composing for it involves a lot of research on my part. I've just completed one song out of the five or six that I've got to do. It's really too early to give a definite picture of the entire soundtrack. All I can say is that it has got a lot of folk elements to it. The music release is still a long way off, perhaps in six months or so. It's challenging to say the least but I am loving it,” says the young singer as he tucks into the puttu-kadala that the waiter has just placed before him.

“It's a favourite of mine, which I don't get to eat much when I am in Chennai. So I try to have it whenever I come down to Kerala,” says the singer with a twinkle in his still bleary eyes; bleary because he was up till late the previous night after rocking the campus of UST Global in Technopark with a live performance along with his Kerala-based band know as Bennet and the Band.

“I enjoy giving live performances in Kerala. The audiences here are really sporting. Here one can sing Tamil, Malayalam, Hindi, English, Telugu and they'll accept it with gusto. Here you can even do fusion and you'll find them singing along with you. No hassles. You can't often say that of other audiences,” says Karthik, who made his debut in Malayalam with Shyamaprasad's Akale, singing for music composer M. Jayachandran.

“Initially, I had a big problem with Malayalam pronunciation such as variations of na and ra. In fact, I remember it took forever for me to get the correct intonation of the opening line of Akale, Akale… down. But Jayachandran sir was very patient with me until I got it right. Now after 20-odd songs, I can speak and understand Malayalam, like a native if I may say so!” he says with a laugh.

Malayali audiences will get to hear Karthik next in Deepak Dev's latest film. He has also sung for M.Jayachandran in Fazil's untitled new venture. Meanwhile, Hello, Hello…his latest track for Rahman in the Hindi film Jhoota Hi Sahi is already making waves just a couple of days after its music release.

Yes, there a lot to love about life for Karthik.

Recent chartbusters

Hello, Hello… (Jhootha Hi Sahi)

Usure Poguthey… (Ravanan)

Vizhi Moodi… (Ayan)

Vinaythaandi Varuvaaya… (Vinaythaandi Varuvaaya)

Siragadikkum Nilavu… (Sura)

Haasili Fisili… (Aadhavan)