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Jakes Bejoy to debut in Telugu with ‘Taxiwala’

Jakes Bejoy  

Music director of Taxiwala, Jakes Bejoy, did not spend much time at his native place Pala in Kottayam. He grew up in Tamil Nadu as he was in a boarding school till his XIIth grade. After his graduation in engineering in Kerala, he left for USA to study at the Stanford in music, science and technology. There he learnt orchestration, conducting, arranging and film scoring. “I did train in classical music when I was four or five years old. This continued during my holidays too. I enjoyed the singing part and getting the appreciation when I was a child. I keep telling my cousins to compel their children to take up music, probably they will get a hang of it later. Kids don’t know the value of music till you initiate them into it. Once they get a sense of music, it will stay with them. When you are in 30s it is difficult to learn an instrument, it’s much easier when you are a child.” He remembers his father being strict at that time and he doing a vanishing act when the master came to teach him but now he has made music his career and he is grateful to him.

During his school days, Jakes was told he had the potential and it was the only encouragement. During his engineering days he made an album Malayali Penne and it became popular. Jakes says, in India children with an aptitude for music do not have much of a formal education but in the US it is different, there is a serious career to hone one’s skills. The only option he had was a diploma in sound engineering and he did not take it up as his dad wanted him to have a proper degree. He observes, “I was learning piano as well and, as a composer I needed to be good at music production, so I took up electronics. I thought I could at least be an engineer doing music technology if not a music director. I joined Stanford and in a few semesters I knew I wanted to focus only on music. It was a humbling experience and very overwhelming to be part of that systematic education. It was a great exposure. Going to the roots and finding out about western music helped, it has opened up lot of possibilities.”

Right now, he has just wrapped Rahul Sankrityan’s Taxiwala starring Vijay Deverakonda and Priyanka Jawalkar which marks his debut in Telugu films. He heaps praise on the director and his eclectic taste for music, “Rahul needed a proper blend of electronic, Indian, orchestral music. It is an interesting subject, I can’t believe I am experimenting on Telugu music. Rahul is an expert in music, he is in a different league. I haven’t done this even in Malayalam or Tamil. Rahul saw D16 (Dhutuvangal Pathinaru); it had a supportive score. It was a thriller and so is this and the similarity is that there is a cab here too. Rahul preferred an experimental score than the conventional one.” Most directors have very little knowledge in music and are not sure of what they want. So they refer to some music they’d have heard and request for the same. “True, so most of the time I give options and they pick what they want. Fortunately Rahul had a clear vision, and I was his extended music hand. We used live string orchestra from Budapest; we had great electronic artistes to work for us on experimental sound track. (using real orchestra from abroad, the orchestral music evolved from there). The movie goes to a different tangent in between,” he adds.

Jakes has done around 11 films so far. Ultimately music here is business and people trust you will deliver. His recent work, Queen in Malayalam about women’s rights, did well. This film also gave him confidence.

So how does he de-stress? “People don’t mind new sounds but you will have to give it in a package they understand. I really enjoy listening to music when I go on a long drive and also in the mornings when I go for a jog with my headphones. D16 is my first hit and I am positive about Taxiwala. There is Ranam in Malayalam with Prithiviraj and a silent film by Santosh Sivan. I believe in team work, when you work as a unit it is a different kind of a vibe,” he signs off.

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Printable version | Oct 30, 2020 8:04:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/jakes-bejoy-to-debut-in-telugu-with-taxiwala/article23208338.ece

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