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Updated: July 8, 2014 16:22 IST

Seen and heard

Y. Sunita Chowdhary
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Music director M. Ghibran
Music director M. Ghibran

Scoring back-to-back music for Kamal Haasan’s films has put Mohammed Ghibran in the reckoning

This chubby and cute youngster is a man to watch out for this year. Mohammed Ghibran (meaning, one who spreads peace) is making his debut as a music director in Telugu. Spotted by Kamal Haasan, he left the actor so impressed with his work that after giving him Vishwaroopam II, he continued to offer him his next two films Uttama Villain and Drishyam (Tamil version). He made his debut in 2011 with Vaagai Sooda Vaa, then worked for Vatthi Kutchi, Kutti Puli, Naayandi. Naayandi did not do well at the box office but producers Vamsi, Pramod loved his music in the film starring Dhanush and offered him his first film in Telugu. Amara Kaviyam produced by Tamil actor Arya is also slated for release.

He talks of his childhood with mixed feelings, interestingly none in the family are connected to music, “I started composing very early, when I was in the VIII standard and was very clear about what I wanted to be in the future. My family was in a financial mess so we relocated from Coimbatore to Chennai. I was teaching music and doing lot of jobs connected with it. At one point we didn’t have a choice, everyone in the family were working, whatever I earned I would give it at home. My people trusted me, never questioned and I focussed on music; When I got my keyboard, they were happy.”

Ghibran composed music for ad films for around 12 years and in this span he worked for around 600 ads. He was under the impression that some day his work would be noticed by a filmmaker and he would get him a break but that was not to be. He realised very late that corporate and film lines hardly meet and one needs to do PR and socialise to be in circulation.

He talks of his debut and Kamal Haasan, “One ad film director Sargunam finally gave me his second film to work on and after that there was no stopping back. Now quite a few people are approaching me, after Vaagai Sooda Va I took a break and was looking for an urban based script. After signing up to work with Kamal sir, I realised that he’s a visionary and his writings are futuristic as well as contemporary. I studied music in Singapore and we could easily speak the language. He knows a lot of classical music composers, the ragas etc. One day he told me that I will be doing Uttama Villain and Drishyam. I assume he liked my work and consider it as a compliment and an honour.”

Vishwaroopam, he avers is a grandiose film and the music had to match its canvas, its action scenes and emotional journey. The duo recorded the musicians work from Europe and Singapore. Uttama Villain is diverse, there is comedy, there are 18th century portions for which they are mixing orchestral and traditional music.

The soft spoken Ghibran opens up about his personal life, “I follow Telugu films keenly and was waiting for someone to call me. I married a Telugu girl from Vijayawada, she is a scientist and we met in Singapore. When I was offered Run Raja Run she was more excited because Telugu is her language. Well, to your question whether I understand Telugu..yes.. but only one word..my wife keeps saying noru muyyi. On a serious note, I must say music is universal; scripts have an element of nativity but music works anywhere. People welcome new music but it is the producers and directors who are apprehensive. Apart from making sure people like the music, I have to be satisfied too… that is the toughest part.”

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