November Fest

Taking the retro route

Shakthisree Gopalan, Karthik and Shweta Mohan promise to take the audience on a journey of film music from the 60s and 70s.  

It’ll be an evening when the young meets the old — musically, we mean. Karthik, Shweta Mohan and Shakthisree Gopalan — three young and popular singers — promise to take the audience on a journey of film music from the 60s and 70s.

With some talented musicians in tow (Keith Peters, Santhosh Chandran, Navneeth Sundar to name a few) and guest performers (Arshad Khan from Delhi), their musical offering on November 22, Three to Jive, is part of The Hindu November Fest. MetroPlus catchesup with them for a quick chat…

Karthik

He’s well-known for chartbusters, something that he delivers quite often, and his easy, free-flowing voice that has many fans. But with Three to Jive, he’s set to take audiences on a trip to the past.

But the energy will be intact, he stresses. “What we’ve planned is a youngsters’ perspective of retro music. So, there’ll be a lot of colour and energy” says an excited Karthik.

The singer will belt out hits from the 60s and 70s, which was a golden era ruled by late composer M.S. Viswanathan. “My father, Kumar, was a huge fan of that music and it was always playing at home. So, it is musically a part of me.”

He plans to present about 25 songs — all of which, he hopes, will appeal to audiences across generations. “A live concert is one space where the surprise element always exists; you just don’t know what’s going to happen. And you get immediate results for your experiments,” he explains.

Shakthisree Gopalan

Growing up in Kochi, young Shakthisree listened to Abba and M.S. Subbulakshmi every Sunday. But, her family was a huge fan of Tamil films; her mother adored Sivaji Ganesan and her father was a Nagesh fan.

They were both fond of music from those times, and it was because of them that Shakthisree was introduced to the songs. “It’s an offshoot of what I grew up listening to; that’s one reason it’s so much fun I’m part of this,” she says.

She’s hoping to sing a few songs made memorable by L.R. Eswari, one of her favourites from that era. “I relate to the texture of her voice,” she explains.

Though Shakthisree’s musical journey in films began in 2008, it was ‘Nenjukulle’ from Kadal that catapulted her to fame. She says that the response to that song was overwhelming and unexpected. “I am happy that I got a chance to sing it,” she recalls. “But I was stunned with the response it got.” The music industry — especially younger composers such as Santhosh Narayanan and Sean Roldan — welcomed her with open arms and good tunes.

She’s been doing live music with bands since her student days. “The back and forth interaction on stage is something I love,” she smiles.

Shweta Mohan

Her mother, Sujatha Mohan, was already a popular singer when she was growing up, and thanks to her, Shweta’s childhood was filled with listening to the music of the 1960s. “P. Susheela was my biggest influence, and just listening to her was a huge learning experience,” she says.

Today, an established singer in her own right — with many hits under her belt — Shweta still makes it a point to travel retro, musically, quite often. “Even in my shows, I always do a retro segment because I feel that it’s my forte. My singing is best showcased in the songs of yore; while in Hindi, I look up to Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle, in Tamil, I look up to P. Susheela (“she simply has the best voice in the world”) and S. Janaki (“oozes bhaava in every line”),” she adds.

With retro songs, Shweta feels that it’s not just about the singing, but also about the beauty of sound that the instruments offer. That’s where the talented posse of musicians that has been put together for Three to Jive will be in action. “That was an era when live instruments were used. It added so much value to the song,” she explains.

While her comfort zone is inside the studios, Shweta is now a regular performer. “Even my husband {Ashwin} says that I’m a different person on stage. I’ve now evolved as a stage performer,” she says.



At a glance



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The Hindu November Fest Schedule

Nov 19 - Shafqat Amanat Ali

Nov 20 - Kaatrinile... Remembering MS — S. Sowmya, Nithyasree, Priya Sisters

Nov 21 - Subramaniams in concert – L. Subramaniam, Kavita Krishnamurti Subramaniam and Family

Nov 22 - Three to Jive – Karthik, accompanied by Shweta Mohan and Shakthisree Gopalan

Venue: Music Academy at 7.30 p.m.

>Tickets available online.

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Hospitality Partner: Hyatt Regency, Chennai

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 2:58:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/november-fest/retro-music-at-the-hindu-november-fest/article7845875.ece

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