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Indie singer Vinod Venugopal says digital platforms are opening up a world of possibilities

Vinod Venugopal is a self-made musician. In the past six years, the 28-year-old from Kochi has brought out a number of singles, six of them for Kappa TV alone. The independent musician says he enjoys the creative freedom he has.

After completing his sound engineering from SAE College, Chennai, in 2010, Vinod was sure about what he wanted to do. The fame of films did not entice him. “I wanted to make a mark on my own as a musician,” he says. He has just tied up with Zee Music for a new Hindi single, ‘Sathiya’.

Vinod does not restrict himself to Malayalam, he feels equally at home in Hindi and Tamil. (One of his popular Tamil tracks is ‘Malare...Malare’.)

He calls his brand of music indie pop, with mixed influences. A pianist with a degree from the Trinity College of Music, Vinod is also trained in Hindusthani classical.

He composes, programmes and sings his songs. However, he has a team working for him for lyrics and other logistics and has a production house based in Kochi, Studio V Productions.

“There was a time in India when independent musicians were celebrated. Think Adnan Sami, Phalguni Pathak and singers like that…however, the phase came to an end and we started focussing more on film music. It was almost like music did not have a platform outside of cinema. Of course, classical music and rock bands always had their niche, but other than that, for a musician to survive, cinema was the only platform,” says Vinod.

He adds that he wanted to challenge this notion when he started out on his own, making simple, yet heartfelt numbers with videos that complemented the music. When he found that he got takers — he has tied up with itunes, Gaana, Saavn, Hungama and Wynk — he felt encouraged to pursue his dreams. His work in Malayalam includes ‘Mazhavillu Pole’, ‘Neeharam’ and ‘Njan Vanne’, to name a few.

“It is a great time for independent musicians in India now. Digital platforms have opened up a world of possibilities.”

A fan of pop legend Michael Jackson, Vinod believes making music is his way of expressing himself. “Performing in my own videos is important for me, as it helps me reach out with my music. It is like creating and selling my own brand. It also keeps me more committed, as I need to mind my appearance and keep up the standard of my work.”

He is inspired by all kinds of music and his own songs are a result of his varied interests.

Vinod can also play the harmonium. Being a programmer gives him an edge, as he believes it gives one an insight into the world of sounds and helps one understand the mechanics of music making.

Vinod is currently working on Sinhala and English tracks for an upcoming project. “It all depends on your belief in your own music,” he concludes. “A good song does not need a film and a good film does not need good songs.”

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Printable version | Nov 22, 2019 12:40:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/independent-musician-vinod-venugopal-to-release-a-sinhala-single/article29593110.ece

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