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Fascination for BGM Karthik Raja
Fascination for BGM Karthik Raja

Composer Karthik Raja on how music drives his world

The burden of expectation is not exactly conducive to a budding composer. But, that's what Karthik Raja had to go through. As heir apparent to Ilaiyaraaja, the world waited to see what the son would come up with. He did not disappoint. His work was original, and you could see the genes at work in the background music (BGM) and the interludes. He recently scored for Rettachchuzhi, and before that for Achamundu Achamundu, which had critics raving about its BGM. “ The music seems to have been received well, and I am happy,” says a content Karthik, whose next score is for Anand Azhagappan's Anything For You.

“I'm happy about what I've done. Of course, people expect a lot; that gets a bit difficult. But, for me, music, composing or listening, is everything. I want to come up with ‘perfect' music that will hold good theoretically too,” smiles the shy composer. Giving an example, he says that his dad crossed established boundaries, but knew how to break the rules. “I would like to do that too.”

Open to criticism

And, the composer is open to criticism. “I love all my songs. But, some experiments work, some don't. I learn from what critics and fans say is wrong with my music.”

While Karthik loves composing songs, even as he speaks, you know BGM fascinates him. “Play any music for a silent movie, and the audience will not know anything is amiss unless the music is really bad. That's where your ability comes in. I've been with dad for a long time and seen how he works on the BGM; even small details such as the sound of a bell add value to the film. I want to emulate that.”

SHUBHA J. RAO

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