‘I opted for flat notes’: How Vijay Antony re-created SPB’s ‘Namma Ooru Singari’

Vijay Antony lives in the now. He is currently busy with half-a dozen Tamil projects, all of which are in various stages of production. For the music composer-turned-actor, the last few months have also been hectic. “I have always been occupied with work,” he says matter-of-factly, “I envy audiences for enjoying music; it is difficult for me to do the same because I am always knee-deep into film-related work.”

Vijay, however, has taken a trip to the past, albeit musically. He has given his musical touch to the superhit 70s track ‘Namma Ooru Singari’ (Ninaithaale Inikkum) for Carvaan Lounge Tamil, an initiative that seeks to recreate retro tracks for the modern music lover.

“I wanted it to be a tribute to the late legend SPB,” he recalls, “It’s a fantastic song, and is always part of my memories. In fact, my ‘Banaras Pattu Katti’ track was inspired by it.”

Coming up
  • After Vijay Antony, the season will also see composers Dharan Kumar, Rajhesh Vaidhya, C Sathya, Aruldev, Girishh Gopalakrishnan and ‘Flute’ Navin, among others, trying their hand at re-imagining some hit retro Tamil numbers.
  • These renditions, which will be released in subsequent weeks, will feature singers such as Karthik, Chinmayi, Vijay Prakash, Saindhavi, Tanvi Shah, Sooraj Santhosh, Sathyaprakash and Nithyashree Venkataraman.

Vijay Antony has tried to give his own spin to a song that has charmed Tamil audiences over the years. “I have many limitations as a musician,” he recalls, “Even for my own compositions like ‘Chillax’, I cannot sing the part Charulatha Mani (singer) delivers. For ‘Namma Ooru Singari’, I opted for flat notes. I tried to give it my attitude and a fresh treatment.”

He doesn’t believe that there will be comparisons with the original. “Audiences know my brand of music, having listened to songs like ‘Naka Muka’. This rendition is in the realm of what they expect from me.”

‘Namma Ooru Singari’ is very dear to the 70s generation that grew up on MSV’s magical melodies, but Vijay Antony himself is a self-confessed Ilaiyaraaja fan. “He was ruling the roost when I started watching cinema,” he says, “I have a very personal connection listening to his numbers growing up, and have a lot of memories.”

‘I opted for flat notes’: How Vijay Antony re-created SPB’s ‘Namma Ooru Singari’

One of Vijay Antony’s last big announcements have been about taking a pay cut; in May, the actor voluntarily offered to take a 25 percent pay cut. Was that a thought-out decision to help people affected by the pandemic? “It was very instinctive,” he says, “I have myself produced about ten films, and know the difficulties that one goes through. Even on projects that I only act in, I tend to think and feel like a producer. I believed that taking a pay cut would help ease the burden on the producers of the three films that I was part of.”

Fans can see a lot more of him as an actor-producer rather than as a composer. “I see a bigger role for myself in that space. Since I am acting and editing my work these days, finding time is a big challenge. Once a year, when the right opportunity presents itself, I will compose music,” says Vijay Antony, who has Tamizarasan, Khaki, Agni Siragugal, Kodiyil Oruvan, Pichaikaran 2 and projects with Balaji Kumar and Vijay Milton lined up.

The music videos of Carvaan Lounge Tamil season 1, by Amazon Prime Music and Saregama, are available on YouTube

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Printable version | Oct 24, 2021 12:55:06 PM |

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