Andhra Pradesh

I derive my sense of music from oral traditions, says Chandrabose

I distanced myself from the usual Tollywood grammar while writing songs for ‘Rangasthalam’, says lyricist Chandrabose.  

Penchant for folk songs and the rich tradition of Telugu poetry got the better of him and this B.Tech third ranker in Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (JNTU) nurtured an aspiration to be a lyrics writer. And overcoming all odds, he became one.

The illustrious career of Chandrabose spanning over more than two decades as a lyrics writer tells it all. He has penned lyrics for more than 3,300 songs in Telugu films so far, with the numbers from blockbuster ‘Rangasthalam’ being the latest sensation.

“It took me half an hour each to write the lyrics for six songs in ‘Rangasthalam’. I chose to be my natural self. I distanced myself from the usual Tollywood grammar when I conceived these songs. Otherwise, it takes five to ten days to pen a song sometimes,” Mr. Chandrabose says.

He confesses that he was highly influenced by the rich folk music traditions. “I grew up in a village in Warangal district amid the folk music as well as Potana’s Bhgavatam and Annamayya kritis. I was a voracious reader of children’s magazines then which widened my imaginations. I derived my sense of music from oral traditions such as hari katha, burra katha, yakshaganas and Chindu Bhagavatam. I would write, sing and perfect it further. After some unsuccessful trials in singing, I switched over to writing lyrics after my friend Srinath suggested it. Poets Sri Sri, Joshua, Karunasri, Alisetti Prabhakar and story writer Madhurantakam Rajaram are my favourites,” he says.

Mr. Chandrabose says lyricists such as Acharya Atreya and C. Narayana Reddy have influenced him immensely for their brevity, clarity of thoughts and simplicity. He quotes the example of ‘Rarayya poyinavallu, evarayya undevallu,’ (Gajula Kistaiaha) and ‘Neeku naku pellanta’ (Jyothi).

Referring to the difficulty in writing for films, he says, “It is quite a task as a number of parameters such as matrix of the tune, context, actors’ image among others need to be considered. It is more of an avadhanam. Most importantly, the lyrics must be in tune with the tastes of the audience. It’s more than an avadhanam.” On inspirational songs and his best, he said to instil courage and to drive away frustration is important. Such songs are my forte and among my lyrics 35 are inspirational.

Apart from the much acclaimed ‘Maunamgane edagamani,’ he rates two songs from ‘Gudumba Sankar,’ ‘Lee Lee....’ and ‘Emantaru... among his best. He compares ‘Maunamgane...’ to ‘Kalakanidi.....’ from ‘Veluguneedalu.’

On teaming with Sukumar, Mr. Chandrabose says he has been writing for the director since ‘Arya’. “He (Mr. Sukumar) gives first priority to me,” he adds.

Future work

Asked about his future projects, the lyricist says he will write for Chiranjeevi’s ‘Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy’. Referring to his contemporaries., Mr. Chandrabose says he likes ‘Vachhadayyo sami’ from ‘Bharat Ane Nenu’, ‘Chal chalo’ from ‘S/o Satyamurthy’, ‘Inkem inkem kavali from ‘Gita Govindam and ‘Bagunde chala’ from ‘Rarandoy Veduka Chuddam.

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Printable version | May 17, 2021 3:45:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/i-derive-my-sense-of-music-from-oral-traditions-says-chandrabose/article26915722.ece

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