Music

Music producer Kumaran Sivamani releases his debut single

For his debut single ‘Teasing Me’, Kumaran, son of Drums Sivamani, lets up heavy rhythm for a smooth pop sound

Kumaran Sivamani has always been fascinated by percussion and rhythm. Given that his father is Drums Sivamani — the iconic percussionist who plays everything from drums and darbuka to ghatam and kanjira — this does not come as a surprise.

However after three years in the Tamil music industry as a producer, for his first single, ‘Teasing Me’, he has let up heavy rhythm for a smooth pop vibe. A song made for the Valentine mood, he explains; the track was released late February.

‘Teasing Me’ employs catchy beats with repeated finger snaps — that blue-eyed boy of global pop music since around 2016. Keeping the intro simple, Kumaran gives plenty of space for Simona Gilbert’s smooth vocals to take centrestage, while AGabus’ rap section bridges the chorus and verses together.

“I met AGabus about four years ago. I graduated from Muzik Lounge (A school for sound engineering and audio technology in Vadapalani) and went back there to meet my teachers. There, during a freshers’ programme, I heard AGabus rapping. I was like, wow this is a new sound, and I asked if he would like to collaborate with me,” recalls Kumaran.

The collab with Simona however is much more recent. About two months ago, as Kumaran was watching his cousin’s Instagram stories, he saw Simona playing at an open mic in the city. Taken by her voice, he dropped her a text on the ‘Gram, and soon enough the trio started jamming regularly. It was during one of these jam sessions, that they came up with this song.

“I had created the beats for ‘Teasing Me’ a while ago, and they were just lying there in my computer. I played it to the two of them, and both of them were interested in making a song out of it,” he says, adding that Simona and AGabus wrote the lyrics for it.

Though he has not been in the music industry for all that long, Kumaran has an impressive track record already. He has worked on movies like Mersal, Bigil, Darbar, Petta, and 2.0 — the latter being his first film. He started out as a rhythm producer, before producing full songs and background scores.

Through these three years, he has worked a lot under AR Rahman who he lists as his main influence. “Working with AR Rahman changed my sound. What I used to produce before was very different. I learned a lot from him about arranging instruments: what tone should I put first, what should be the sub, where to use an echo or reverb, how to keep vocals crystal clear, how to make a song catchy... basically everything about mixing.”

Rahman was the first person to hear his track: “I took it to him after the first master. He said it had an international tone to it.”

Currently in and out of studios working on Vikram’s upcoming Cobra and Ponniyin Selvan, his next single, coming out in two weeks, will be a dance electronica. Producing career aside, he now wants to do more live shows and collaborate with Chennai’s hip hop, trap and rap artistes.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 6:07:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/music-producer-kumaran-sivamani-releases-his-debut-single/article31083299.ece

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