‘Kanne’, the track from Thaikkudam Bridge’s album, ‘Namah’ brings back Avial-fame Anandraj Benjamin Paul

Anandraj Benjamin Paul

Anandraj Benjamin Paul   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

The song, written by Dhanya Suresh, is about father-daughter bond


Think Avial and one name that was being sorely missed by music lovers is Anandraj Benjamin Paul, the power-packed lead vocalist of the band who moved to the United States prior to the release of the band’s first album in 2008. Last year, Thaikkudam Bridge sprang a surprise by bringing him on board for a track in their multi-artiste album, Namah. The song, ‘Kanne’ was released on YouTube on Thursday (March 12) featuring videos of Anand performing with the band at two shows in the US last year.

“It was a surreal moment for all of us. He joined us for rehearsal on the eve of the show. He hadn’t performed on stage for over a decade. We jammed for sometime and hearing him sing ‘Chekkele’ [the iconic folk track from Avial’s album], was nostalgic. He still sounds the same and is so effortless when he hits those high notes,” says Govind Vasantha, frontman of the band.


Father’s concern

‘Kanne’, written by Dhanya Suresh, Govind’s sister, is crooned by Anand and Vipin Lal. “It is about a father-daughter bond, how he promises to take care of her and raise her without any hatred. The idea was suggested by our guitarist Ashok Betty Nelson,” says Govind. The track that starts out as a melody in Vipin’s voice is taken to a new level in Anand’s high-voltage rendition, backed by engaging orchestration.

Govind says that ever since they decided to bring out the album featuring leading musicians, they had been trying to get in touch with Anand through Facebook and other avenues. It was his wife who replied after six to seven months. In an earlier interview with The Hindu, Anand had said, “My first reaction was to step back. But being a father, I could connect with the song and decided to be part of the project.”

Even though Thaikkudam had wound up their album with nine songs by then, once they got Anand’s reply, ‘Kanne’ was added and the track was sent across to him. “Apparently, he practised the song several times a day for nearly a month because he wanted to ensure that the result did not disappoint. He is a family man and got emotionally attached to the song,” Govind says.

He remembers how excited they were when Anand recorded the track and sent it to him. “I was in the middle of watching a movie with my family in Chennai. The moment I saw his message, I ran out of the theatre because I couldn’t wait to hear his voice,” laughs Govind.

Namah, officially launched in Bengaluru last year, has leading musicians from India and abroad such as Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Umayalpuram Sivaraman, Ustad Rashid Khan, Rakesh Chaurasia, Pandit Ram Narayan, Niladri Kumar, Chris Adler, Guthrie Govan, Marco Minnemann and Jordan Rudess.

The band is planning to bring down Anand for a concert to be held in Bengaluru on June 20.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 7:32:09 PM |

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