Chip off the old block

His mother loved singing and dancing but couldn’t pursue it so the youngest of the Vennelakantis - Rakendu Mouli in his early twenties learnt Bharatnatyam and Carnatic vocal for nine years and made her happy. He is also a voice over artiste, singer, lyricist and composes his own music. Rakendu, who is Shashank Vennelakanti’s younger brother ,says, “ Sagara Sangamam changed my life. I saw the film when I was in the fifth standard and started adoring Kamal Hassan and the dance form. While I learnt it and kept winning prizes, my interest in it grew much stronger. I was good at studies too, so my family had no problem when I spent too much time on extra-curricular activities.”

Rakendu started his career as a singer and sang for over 25 dubbing films like Awara , Shopping Mall , Vachaadu Gelichaadu , Boss Engira Bhaskaran , Priya Priyathama , Rakshakudu , Dare , Maata Raani Mounamidi , Bachagaallu etc. His father Vennelakanti is a renowned lyricist and his brother is a dialogue writer for dubbing films. The youngster is glad to belong to such a family of talented people. He avers, “Whenever I have a doubt I don’t have to hunt for info, my dad is an encyclopaedia. He has an answer for anything to do with Telugu. My brother helps me stay in tune with the trends. For the first time, dad complimented me; however he said I need to improve on literature. I am making my debut as a singer in Andala Rakshasi , a Telugu film.”

So with a lyricist, dialogue writer and now a singer-cum-music composer in the same family, have there been offers demanding the trio’s contribution? Rakendu is amused, “Not really, but people who get to know our family will know our work for sure. I sometimes assist my brother in his script when he has two or three films to complete and there is a deadline. My aim is to do something out of the box.”

Rakendu’s father is from Nellore and mother from Guntur and the youngster believes that the industry has not completely moved to Hyderabad — each and every Telugu film releases in Chennai and the recordings still take place there.

He signs off, “I have to start approaching people and show my demos. My journey has just begun.”

y. sunita chowdhary

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