I could emotionally connect with ‘96’: Govind Vasantha

Govind Vasantha   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

It’s official. Govind Menon is now Govind Vasantha. The frontman and violinist of Thaikkudam Bridge, Govind has dropped the ‘Menon’ from his name. “I took ‘Vasantha’ from my mother’s (Vasanthakumari) name. It has been a long-pending wish,” says the musician. And there was no better opportunity to “launch” it than in his new Tamil movie as composer, the Trisha-Vijay Sethupathi starrer, ‘96.

It took some time for people to know that it’s the same Govind, that too after the songs went viral. “[Singer] Chinmayi was instrumental in doing so. She announced it on her Twitter and suddenly the number of followers on my Twitter page just shot up...” says Govind over the phone from Chennai.

‘96, directed by C Prem Kumar, cinematographer of critically-acclaimed Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom and the real-life inspiration of the movie, has been in the works for some time now. The movie is special for Govind for many reasons. “Prem was the cinematographer of my first Tamil movie, Oru Pakka Kathai, which hasn’t released yet. When he narrated the story of ‘96 two-and-half years ago to me, I was so moved by the subject that I was in tears. And wherever he went to narrate the story, I accompanied him. Hence, I am familiar with every aspect of the film,” he says.

Musically yours

Govind calls the movie a musical in that “every emotion is conveyed through music”. The trailer hints at a romantic tale of two characters, Ram (Vijay Sethupathi) and Janu (Trisha).

“Everything revolves around them. There is nothing larger than life about the protagonists, the narrative or the making and therefore the music complements that. There is love, loneliness, melancholy... in the tracks and except for Anthaathi, which is the promo song, the others have a minimalistic nature to them,” he says.

The teaser song that went viral, Kaathale kaathale..., is a portion of Anthaathi. “Anthaathi celebrates love and every emotion you associate with it and it has been arranged in such a way that there is a seamless transition from one mood to the other,” he points out.

Govind says that he didn’t have to go out of his way as a musician for ‘96. “If you look at my violin compositions on SoundCloud, you will find that most of them are melancholic tracks. I had no confusion in executing the songs of ‘96 because I could emotionally connect with the situations,” he says.

Right choice

Moreover, he ensured that he got the right voices for the songs. The main singers are Chinmayi and Pradeep Kumar. “Trisha’s character is musically-inclined and so we wanted an artiste who could dub as well as sing. That’s how Chinmayi came into the picture. In fact, I had zeroed in on another singer since I didn’t know that Chinmayi had dubbed for Trisha in Vinnaithandi Varuvaayaa. She came onboard the project immediately when she listened to the story,” he says. Similarly, young singer Gowri T P has sung and dubbed for the character who plays Trisha’s childhood. Govind has sung in the promo song, so has up-and-coming singer Bhadra Rajin.

Govind debuted as a composer in tinsel town with North 24 Kaatham and among his other films are Vegam, Nagara Varidhi Naduvil Njaan, 100 Days of Love and Haram. His first Tamil movie that was released was Asuravadham. His tunes will be heard in Geethu Mohandas’ Nivin Pauly-starrer Moothon and Vijay Sethupathi’s Seethakathi. Meanwhile, Thaikkudam Bridge is working on their second album, Namah, which features 10 songs by 11 reputed musicians.

So, what’s on his bucket list? “I want A R Rahman to sing for me. I love his voice. I have told that to him several times and his reply has been, ‘Nice’!”

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2022 4:10:24 AM |

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