Music

I need to have a connection with the script, says Sushin Shyam

The Mollywood music director opens up on the sounds of success

Sushin Shyam discovered at a tender age that he wanted his life to revolve around music. The passion for music has not lessened and has helped the young music director to make an impression with the well-apppreciated tracks from Kismath, Ezra, Maradona, Varathan, Kumbalangi Nights and Virus. Sushin is also part of the thrash metal band ‘The Down Troddence’. A singer and a part-time actor, Sushin has also been seen on the big screen in films such as Thattathin Marayathu and Honey Bee.

The aggression of metal must be reserved for the stage, as he comes across as a soft-spoken person, more in tune with the soulful melodies that he has created, during an interview with Friday Review. Edited excerpts from a chat.

How did you find out that your vocation was music?

As long as I can remember, music was part of my life. My father was a musician and was the member of a band. I started learning the piano at the age of four. Rock music came in during my early days in school. The liking for metal developed much later. I feel that exploration of various genres of music happened as I grew up.

When did you decide to make music your career?

After school, I joined engineering but was confused about that decision. I couldn’t focus on anything other than music. So I left the course midway and took the plunge into music and pitched in as a programmer with music director Deepak Dev. In between, I was actively involved with The Down Troddence.

Your song ‘Kisa Paathiyil...’ from Kismath was noted and the albums since then have done well. What is the feeling like?

Wonderful. I have enjoyed the process and I am not in any rush. I have been working on genres that I am quite comfortable in.

Is there a certain criteria for you to accept a project as a composer?

Yes there is. For me, the story is important. Also my role in it as a composer and if I am able to do justice to it. Let’s say, I need to have a connection with the script, the director and the crew.

Do you keep a bank of tunes to use according to the situation?

Never. I don’t create music without a purpose. When I am free, I enjoy going for a ride. I try to analyse if a song is needed at a particular situation in a script or how to see if it fits in the film.

Which is your favourite among your own compositions?

I am really attached to the compositions in Kumbalangi Nights. I had gone to the location and the mood of the songs could have been generated from my feeling about the place. When I went to Venice, I found the land and the culture pretty similar to Kumbalangi. That is why I added a tinge of Italian flavour while composing the music for Kumbalangi Nights.

Is there pressure to come up with hit numbers?

Nowadays, most of the promotion for a movie begins with the release of the songs in it. At the end of the day, it is a business and every one is trying to connect with the viewer through the music. Having said that, I must add that I have never faced any pressure as such and all that the teams that I have worked with have looked for is a good track.

For instance, in Kumbalangi Nights, while doing the song ‘Uyiril...’, our intention was to make it commercially successful as it was set with a romantic feel. Varathan was also promoted through some of its tracks.

Did you work with a different plan as Virus was based on a real incident?

The role of music in Virus was to act as a factor in taking the viewer to the zone where the story was set. There were no songs but, at the same time, there were lots of incidents happening in the story. So conveying the right emotions was really important and the effort was to use music for that purpose.

How do you work when filmmakers offer certain numbers as inspiration and references to suit the situations in their films?

I always believe such references make it easier for directors to communicate an idea. A particular situation that they have visualised can be conveyed effectively then. Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to make the same track.

You have appeared as an actor in a few films...

I actually enjoyed it and had a great time playing those characters, though I was pretty tense then.

Which are your future projects?

I am doing Midhun Manuel Thomas’ untitled project with Kunchacko Boban in the lead and then Malik, directed by Mahesh Narayanan with Fahadh Faasil in the lead.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 11:06:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/mollywood-music-director-sushin-shyam-opens-up-on-the-sounds-of-success/article28696035.ece

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