PEOPLE Reboot, an audio film by Sunil Koshy, is interesting as an experiment
From the word go, everything about this album is different. Different perhaps means ambitious. It has the best of musicians – Keith Peters, Alwyn Fernandes, Faiyaz Khan, Arun Kumar and more; the best lyricist of our times – Jayant Kaikini; and it has a very innovative and lively illustration for its jacket – the protagonist of the album Suko driving a scooty, with a tanpura perched on his legs and modern gizmos peeping from his backpack. The back cover with a comic strip of the storyline, also talks of high spirituality – about finding “inner peace” in a world filled with mundane activities. And how is that achieved – for Suko, it’s through music. Reboot is the story of Suko, it’s also a musical narrative, and it’s singer Sunil Koshy’s musical journey. It comes with a nostalgic experience – as you listen to Reboot , you are reminded of the soundtrack of films, that used to be so popular in the 80s.
The album has six songs, and most of them are in a mixed musical idiom. While some are lively, and some plaintaive, one finds that it is overloaded with “contemporariness”. It’s a laudable experiment, but it could have done with a bit more “feel” and less sound.
Excerpts of a conversation with Sunil Koshy, the brain behind Reboot .
What are your musical inspirations?
I am inspired by any piece of music which takes me to a different world, be it traditional Indian or Western Classical, lilting melodies from Indian film music, ranging from Salil Choudhary, Jaidev, Naushad and R.D. Burman to Ilaiyaraja, Raveendran, A.R. Rahman, Vidyasagar and others.
My inspirations to sing have been mainly from Yesudas, Rafi, Kishore, SPB and Hariharan, and many others from the international music scene.
What led to the making of this CD?
I wanted to make something that is contemporary and relating to many people. Being a techie myself, I decided to make a musical that would tell the story of a techie. I strongly believe music is a powerful medium of expression, and to me, the most powerful way I can express what I feel.
Through Reboot , India’s first audio film, I wanted to rediscover the power of sound, to prove that a story could be told only through sounds. I also dreamed to work with greats like Keith Peters, Alwyn Fernandes, Maxwell, Ustad Faiyaz Khan, and Jayant Kaikini, which came true through Reboot.
The CD obviously is a mish-mash of several genres. Was it deliberate? Or is that your natural musical idiom?
This CD tells a story, and the songs mark different phases in the life of Suko, the protagonist, and celebrate his distinctly different moods. The opening college song belongs to the 80s pop with electric guitar leads to create that nostalgic effect, and the celebration of landing in the U.S could best be expressed through reggae, with the use of bass guitars and trumpets. Similarly, the other songs were designed to give the listener a new experience. I also wanted the songs to sound different from the contemporary Kannada film music. Hence the use of different instruments and genres to suit the mood.
It has this unusual FM radio format. Were you targeting a specific crowd?
This is an audio film, an attempt to tell a story entirely through sounds, predominantly music interspersed with short dialogues. The radio format came in when we realised we needed a narrator for the whole story. Also, radio stations have not been supporting non-filmi (independent) music, especially in Kannada, hence we thought of our own little show.
(For those who wish to get a copy of the album, write to firstname.lastname@example.org)