Melody? Check. Kuthu? Check. Dance number? Check. Walking the red carpet in Cannes? Check. Composer G.V. Prakash Kumar has been there and done that, and has a string of hits across genres.
Fan following apart, the award winning singer-composer has also earned the respect of his colleagues with his stand on advance royalty.
Recently, he turned producer with Madha Yaanai Kootam . But, right now, the 26-year-old is revelling in the success of his latest Thalaivaa , and its anthem ‘Vaanganna Vanakkanganna’, which has been topping the popularity charts.
Excerpts from an interview with the composer.
I’ve wanted to do this for a while now, take myself to the next level. I want to give opportunities to newcomers. I don’t want them to stop with just one film. For this, I must choose wisely.
I share a great comfort level with directors Vijay and Vetrimaaran. We’ve grown together from our early films. We understand each other and our work very well. Among lyricists, I enjoy working with Na. Muthukumar. His lyrics have soul, life. I love the voices of Sonu Niigam and Shreya Ghoshal. I believe in showcasing a lyricist’s style and the singer’s voice. So, I don’t drown them with music.
Anurag’s Dev D is a contemporary classic. So, when I got the chance to do the background score for his epic Gangs Of Wasseypur , I plumped for it. Anurag loves silences and lengthy background bits. I’ve grown a lot working with him in Gangs … and Ugly . Travelling with him to Cannes was a lovely experience. He has paved the way for many of us. Through Dev D, I became a huge fan of its composer Amit Trivedi. I love all his compositions, including those in the recent Lootera .
Uproar over royalty
I am not against music labels. I am against certain policies, such as the concept of advance royalty. I give my all for promotion and sign no-objection clauses, but I am unwilling to give up my rights. Now, we are a group of people fighting for this issue.
Most of my friends are from school. They tell me things on my face and keep me grounded. I’ve also made some friends online. Like Jagadish. He sent me a message on Facebook asking why I had taken up certain films. I loved that he cared enough to question my choices. Now, he’s my manager, almost family.
When I get a hate tweet, I always go back to that person’s account and check if he/she is a habitual hate-tweeter or has a genuine point to make. I accept all criticism. That’s the only way to learn.
I never grew up or lived in a village, but have composed for films set in villages. For my very first film Veyil , I went native, and researched a lot to come up with realistic sounds. I depend on the director’s brief and imagery to for rural-based films.
I have a Mini Cooper and a Jaguar, but both are unfit for our roads. I use them only to drive to functions.
Meet the singer
I am most comfortable singing for myself. With other composers, I’m convinced I’ll mess it up and be chased out of the studio!
As a person…
I am very shy. I am a Gemini and take time to open up. Speaking in front of an audience is a huge challenge. But, when they ask me to sing, I’m game.
An actor prepares
There have been a couple of offers from ‘big’ directors. I think I will make the transition to an actor next year. And, hopefully, shed my shyness too.
Singing with Saindhavi
People have accepted our singing together. Our duets have worked well, probably because people think a real-life couple is singing.
Life after marriage
Nothing has changed, really. Saindhavi’s still my best friend. Just two things have been added to our routine — she wakes me up really early, and I have to report back home after work in time.