In 2011, Sid Sriram worked on an independent song titled ‘ Entropy’ , available on his YouTube channel since 2012. The seed for the idea of an album, sowed back then, has now developed into a whole new entity. Sid Sriram’s new album titled Entropy is poised to release in January 2019. The first song ‘ It Isn’t True’ will be out on October 18 as a Saavn Artist Original and the second song is expected in November.
A lot has changed since 2012. Sid Sriram made his debut as a playback singer in Tamil and Telugu cinema in 2013 with Mani Ratnam’s Kadal and since then has stacked up multiple chartbusters to his credit. Away from his immensely popular film numbers, Sid Sriram has also been performing Carnatic classical concerts and pursuing independent music where he blends in his influences of jazz, blues and hip-hop.
Speaking to us ahead of unveiling ‘ It Isn’t True’ , Sid Sriram goes back in time, to the Entropy song of 2011, “That song dealt with nostalgia and letting go. As a concept, I had just touched the tip of the iceberg. Now with an album of 12 songs, I dig beneath the surface and explore the different layers.” For a year, he’s been working with the Saavn team and is appreciative of their understanding of his diverse musical influences.
- Sid Sriram’s YouTube channel has a “stripped down” unplugged version of the chartbuster song Thallipogathey ( Vellipomakey in Telugu). Karthick Devaraj’s minimalistic use of keyboard and Sid Sriram’s vocals re-imagine the song. “I’ve been performing that version in live shows. I liked the way AR sir (Rahman) used the melody — it moved differently,” he says. Will there be more unplugged versions? “Sure, as and when I feel that way about other songs and have the creative streak to do it,” the singer signs off.
The album, he assures, will explore different conceptual and sonic spaces, reflecting his influences in Carnatic classical music, western music, and his admiration for A R Rahman’s music, “The 12 songs will explore all these different territories of music that have defined me. Entropy will be a kaleidoscope of thought processes and my identity as an Indian who grew up in California.” Sid Sriram learnt Carnatic music and later graduated in music production and engineering from Berklee College of Music in Boston.
The lyrics of ‘It Isn’t True’ stems from a personal space and its underlying pathos indicates a closure of an emotional upheaval. Ask him what triggered the song and he reveals, “I wrote this is 2015 when I was at the tail-end of a relationship. The song is like a conversation between me and my significant other half at that time. The lyrics reflect the coming to terms and realisation that the bond isn’t meant to be.” Sid Sriram gives listeners “a snapshot” of his thoughts, letting them know what he feels and understands that these emotions could resonate with millions of others.
Entropy will mark another phase in his independent music journey. Having written, composed and produced the album, he states that it’s an attempt to use the bandwidth of his popularity earned through film music to explore newer spheres of independent music. “Film music has given me everything — career and popularity. People were at first fans of the songs and then became my fans. I’d like to introduce them to different streams of artistic expressions,” he says.
When he performs Carnatic classical concerts in Chennai, several youngsters troop in thanks to his playback singing and get introduced to Carnatic classical renditions. “The youth is hungry for good music; I feel responsible and glad that I can be an agent who can mentally, emotionally stimulate them to listen to music outside of cinema,” says Sid.
While working on Entropy , Sid was careful since he’s aware of catering to musically-conscious listeners. “I have huge respect for the musical aptitude and intellect of listeners in India. They appreciate genuine, quality music,” he says. He intends to have live performances for Entropy and eventually bring out more independent albums.
(The first song of Entropy, titled It Isn’t True, will be available on Saavn - Artist Originals)