On a creative trip

soundscape Yuvan Shankar Raja feels that he can never get anywhere close to his father, Ilaiyaraja

soundscape Yuvan Shankar Raja feels that he can never get anywhere close to his father, Ilaiyaraja  


After scoring several hit songs, composer Yuvan Shankar Raja now has a new album and film

A sought-after music director today, many of Yuvan Shankar Raja’s songs are rocking the musical charts.

His recent hits include “Saroja” and “Aegan”. This son of maestro Ilaiyaraja will soon launch a production house, and is also working on a music album for Sony. The talented youngster talks about his current projects and future plans.

Did you always want to get into the field of music?

I wanted to become a pilot and travel all over the world. But I grew up with music around me. My brother Karthik Raja was learning the piano, while my sister attended music classes. As for my father, music is his life. When I was in school, my mother asked me whether I was interested in music. I started learning from Jacob master. One day, my mother asked me to compose a song. I did so just to satisfy her. Producer Siva of Amma Creations listened to the track and liked it. He wanted to know if I was interested in composing music for films. I told him I had to get permission from my parents. My parents gave the go-ahead and “Aravindan”, my first film, happened.

Comparisons with your celebrated father are inevitable. How do you handle them?

My father is beyond comparison with anybody, leave alone me. I cannot imagine getting anywhere near him. But my brother Karthik is more talented than I am and I feel he should have got a break before me.

Singing, acting and now producing films...

I am passionate about music. While composing a song, I would sing the track myself for the producer and the director. On many occasions, they insisted I retain the song in my voice, but I would say a polite ‘no’. But sometimes I accept their suggestion. Then some acting offers came my way and I accepted them. The reason behind starting a production company, Pink Stone Pictures, was to make the kind of films I like. S.D. Sabha will direct my first film as producer. Siva is the hero.

What do you think about remixing songs, as you too have done?

I do remix numbers only after getting a ‘no objection’ from the concerned music director, even if it is my father. If the songs are liked by the audience, why not?

Music directors rarely agree to do albums. You are working on one. What kind of album is it?

A bilingual (Hindi and Tamil), my album is aimed at youngsters. It will have songs in different styles. In fact, I plan to compose a song like the one my father did for “Mumbai Express”. It will have no background music.

When we are technically sound, why should music directors head westwards to do the final mixing of songs?

We do not have state-of-the-art equipment as it is very expensive. We also do not have people who can handle it. I learn more when I go abroad. I get inspired. Life is all about learning.

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