Music

Standing apart with his poetic lyrics

Kannada film lyricist Kiran Kaverappa brings old-world romantic poetry with a contemporary twist for the new generation

When actor-producer Rakshit Shetty gave lyricist Kiran Kaverappa the brief for the superhit song “Neenire Saniha” in the film Kirik Party, which released in 2016, all he said was how the heroine, who was following the hero around, was the only one who saw him as kind hearted while the entire college dismissed him as a rude senior.

From there stemmed Kiran’s poetry, which coupled with Ajaneesh Loknath’s music has taken the world of Kannada cinema by storm and has been on the lips of most young Kannadigas for months now. The film is still running in theatres.

The 27-year-old Kodava says the greenery of his homeland, the Kodagu district and coffee county of Karnataka, is one of the primary inspirations for his poetry. At the same time he does admit that though Kodagu doesn’t exactly have a great cinema connect, it was where he started learning Carnatic classical music. Later when he moved to Mysuru, where he and his friends formed a band that produced independent music for artistes. Currently, doing his post-graduate research in dentistry, the lyricist likes to call himself Dr KK.

“It was during my graduation days in Mysuru that I fell in love with movies and music and decided to fuse my love for culture and art along with a career in dentistry,” says Kiran.

In 2010, he started collaborating with various bands and started doing jingles and voice overs for Red FM in Mysuru and Radiocity in Bengaluru. Slowly singing took and back seat and writing songs came to the fore.

He made his debut as a lyricist with another number — Rangabhoomiya” — that rose up the charts and into the hearts of young Kannadigas for the film Godhi Banna Sadharana Mykattu. The song was the film’s opener and set the premise of the film and was a rather philosophical number.

Kiran is now being seen as one of the lyricists who is poetic in his approach to lyrics compared to the more nonchalant and ‘tapanguchu’ style of songs that dominate Kannada films. He traces out the path Kannada film lyrics have taken in the recent past. “It is after Mungaru Male (I) that people started observing the lyrics of a song more keenly. I am from the 90s era. I grew up listening to the songs of GK Venkatesh, Hamsalekha, RN Jayagopal, Chi Udayashankar. But later so much English got mixed into Kannada songs... And the audience got used to it. Then again lyricists like Jayanth Kaikini and Kaviraj changed all that,” he muses.

He is inspired by Hindi ghazals and Sufi poetry, the works of Ghalib and Gulzar, says Kiran. “I admire how they have transformed their life journey into poetry and touched people’s soul. Even with Jayanth Kaikini sir, the way he views life and people in inspiring,” he states. He strongly believes that songs go a long way in Indian cinema to make it a hit, and therefore there is so much focus on them. “Songs also help grow a language,” he adds. He’s written almost 25 songs to date for Kannada films, including for films like Pushpaka Vimana (“Jogulave” and “Aralo malligeya”) with music directed by Charan Raj. In fact, Kiran’s maximum collaborations have been with Charan Raj.

What’s worked for him? “Consistency matters. Breaking norms matters. When you stand apart, people notice,” he points out. “I’ve been lucky to write different genres, explore and evolve.”

Kiran has been experimenting with songs and styles quite a bit. In 2015, for Kannada Rajyothsava, he wrote and sang along with vocalist Ashic Arun and Chinmay Nadig a song “Namma karunadu” in collaboration with renowned US-based Indian violinist Jyotsna Srikanth. It was featured on BBC Radio’s Asian Network show hosted by Ashanti Omkar. The show also featured his hit song from Godhi Banna... Last year he composed lyrics for “Neene” a contemporary Kannada dance video, which went viral online, and for which he has been nominated at the Kannada International Music Academy Awards (KiMA 2017) in the best lyricst category non-film music. He has also been nominated in the film music category for “Neenire Saniha”.

Among the upcoming films for which he has penned lyrics are the much-awaited Tagaru starring Shivarajkumar and directed by Duniya Suri, on which he is currently working with Charan Raj again. “We are trying a trance number, using tribal languages. I have done a good deal of research for that,” he says.

Others on the cards are Upendra’s Nagarjuna, directed by Gurudath, Vyangyapura an animated children’s movie where he has also written the screenplay, Pirangipura starring national-award winning actor Sanchari Vijay, Baddi Magann Life, Yedakallu Guddada Mele and more. For another film, Statement, he has penned a patriotic song “Vande Maatharam” sung by popular singer Vijay Prakash.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 6:53:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/standing-apart-with-his-poetic-lyrics/article19179420.ece

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