Music

The melodies keep coming...

Music Director Vidya Sagar Photo: Vipin Chandran  

M aking a single hit itself is a feather in the cap for any composer; creating many super hit songs is indeed a crowning accomplishment! Vidya Sagar, a composer with the Midas touch, believes that there is no secret behind this mass appeal of his songs. “It’s just that I want every song that I compose to strike a chord with the listeners and bear my unique identity!” he says, smiling. The composer loves to experiment and adapt to the changing times. He is the music director of the latest Mammootty-starrer Thoppil Joppan, directed by Johny Antony.

Excerpts from an interview

The title song in Thoppil Joppan ‘Elelankidi’ has a different flavour. Could you elaborate more on this experimental number?

The title song is based on the Western Blues genre and it has been fused with a folk touch. The tune was intended to portray ‘heroism’ in the background score but it was converted into a song at a later stage. I was particular that it should not sound like one of those hackneyed ‘hero-introduction’ tunes and felt it should be treated differently.

An interesting aspect was that although the song’s backing was westernised, the instruments used were all traditional Indian ones, like, for instance, the nadaswaram. Even the laid-back and boozy style of singing was meant to depict the hero’s character. So many traits of the character and the storyline had to be brought together while composing the song, and I am really happy with the outcome of the experiment.

There are a variety of rain songs you have composed for your movies...

I love nature and rain has inspired me more than anything else during my composing and recording sessions. Melodies such as ‘Pranayamani thooval’ ( Azhakiya Ravanan), ‘Dwadashiyil’ ( Madhuranombarakattu), and ‘Ee kadalinu’ ( Mariyam Mukku) were composed with the sounds of the rain to create an atmosphere in the song along with the orchestration to enhance the sensuous feel. The song ‘Chil Chinchilamayi’ in Thoppil Joppan is a breezy romantic rain song sung by Madhu Balakrishnan and Shweta Mohan. The playful nature of the song reflects the heroine’s exuberance while dancing to the rhythm of the rain drops. That sound of the rain was the catch in the songs.

What is the vital part that makes your songs popular?

The whole exercise of filmmaking is commercial. It should not be forgotten that we are catering to the mass audience who might not know the technical aspects of music but only enjoy listening to it. The songs must be presented with catchy ingredients that will get the listeners hooked on to the song instantly. Also, the tunes must be simple and hummable. Even while experimenting with off-beat numbers, I make sure it would be entertaining to all.

I feel that the Malayali audience have always accepted and appreciated melodious songs. Even while I explore possibilities in music and experiment a lot, I take care not to lose my identity.

Among the numerous soulful Christian prayer songs you have composed in your movies, how is ‘Poovithalayi Nadha’ in the film different?

I have been blessed with opportunities to compose some melodious Christian prayer songs such as ‘Anupama Sneha’ in the movie Varnapakkitu and ‘Karunamayane’ in Oru Marvathoor Kanavu. ‘Poovithalayi Nadha,’ although a similar devotional song, has an intense undercurrent of love that lingers until the climax of the movie. As in all traditional Christian devotional songs, there is a harmonised chorus portion that I really enjoyed creating. Also, this song is special to Johny and me, as it was the director’s long time desire to include a Christian devotional in one of his movies.

Your upcoming projects...

Jomonte Suvisheshangal, directed by Sathyan Anthikad, is my next Malayalam movie. I am coming out with a few singles, which will be released as an album soon.


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Printable version | Jan 24, 2022 4:44:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/music/The-melodies-keep-coming.../article16076664.ece

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