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Interview with Sri by Jeevi
Gudipoodu Srihari
Date: 24th December 2000 Venue: Sabdalaya Studios
Other Interviews
Gudipoodi Srihari(Film Critic)
SJ Surya(Director)
AM Ratnam(Producer)
Tammareddy Bharadwaja(Producer n Director)
Jayant C Paranji(Director)
Kodi Rama Krishna(Director)
Chakri (JD Chakravarthy)(Hero)
Ramana Gogula(Music Director)
Naga Babu(Producer n Actor)


Srinivasa Chakravarthy, popularly known as Sri, is a known celebrity for most of Telugu movie lovers. He is the son of Sri Chakravarthy (Music director). met the handsome and creative music director 'Sri' at Sabdalaya Studios in Hyderabad on 24th December 2000. The seemingly rebel, yet humble, music director stopped for a brief break to grant us an interview.

What is your first film as a music director?

Police Brothers. Myself and Posani Krishna Murali (writer) entered the field with the same film. Later on I did films like Gayam, Money, Money-money, Sindhuram, Ammoru, Anaganaga Oka Roju, Aavida Maa Aavide, Little Soldiers. I also did music for director Mouli's films. He has a very good music sense. He is open to innovative stuff.

Why did you stop doing music for films?

My mother expired recently. I was deeply hurt and greatly shaken up with that incident. Hence, I stopped doing music. I told people that the reason was my mother's death. Later on I realized that what I did was wrong. I was ridiculing my mother by stopping my work. I started it again. The this Telugu film industry is not for me.

What made you feel so disgusting about the film industry?

Here, people do look beyond your work. It's none of their problem what I do in my personal life. Lots of producers booked me for their films, but did not pay me money. They used my name to give publicity that Sri is providing music. But at the end, they avoid paying me remuneration. Lots of people say that AR Rehman gets up from sleep at 3 pm (afternoon) everyday. Is this an important issue to you? What matters to the producer/director is output, but not how the music director delivers the output.

How does a director/producer explain you to score music? Does he tell you the scene and guide you?

They, actually, do not know what they want. Let it be crude, these senseless people don't know what they want and at the same time they want something. Let them tell me what they want! I will put my heart, soul and brain into it and deliver it. Most of the songs have the hero and heroine dancing around the trees with 40 junior artists. Do you need a scene or mood for that song?

Let me give you an analogy! If I score the song 'Snehituda snehituda ….' (Sakhi) and give it in Telugu, will anybody accept? I want that kind of setup where the producer/director encourages me to make the songs of that kind. If I score music for top stars like Chiranjeevi, Bala Krishna, Nagarjuna and Venkatesh, the credit will go to the heroes only. Not to the music director. Lets take the album 'Annayya' by Chiranjeevi. People see Chiranjeevi's face on the cover and buy the album. It does not matter for them about who scored the music. Take the example of Sakhi. People buy it for AR Rehman. That's the kind of command AR Rehman has on the market. I would like to be the music director of 'Sakhi' than the music director of 'Annayya'.

How is the response for your private album 'Hai Rabba' with Smita?

It was a concrete effort. I would not call it a massive success. I would call it as a moderate success considering the state we are in. Telugu people are not geared up for Telugu private albums. But this album reached the public.

I am doing another album with Smita as the singer with the same combination. It would be released soon!

Are you working for any Telugu films now?


I heard that you are scoring a song for Anji?

I have done my song for Anji three years back (it was pictured on Chiranjeevi & Ramya Krishna at Golkonda Fort). I was supposed to be the music director for the entire film at that time. Later on, the script changed and the director was replaced. The producer (Shyam Prasad Reddy) might have had own problems. All his past films like Talambralu, Aahuti, Ankusam, Agraham and Ammoru were offbeat films. They were not musical oriented. Anji is a the first musical fantasy film with hi-fi graphics for Shyam. May be, he became tentative with my music, as the magnitude of the film is too big. But he is a terrific producer. I am not talking about the money he is investing. I am talking about his passion for work. He is a perfectionist. He knows what he wants and keeps on doing it till he gets satisfied. Unfortunately, people mistook him as a producer who keeps on dragging his production. Nobody puts in efforts in to the production with this amount of passion. With Chiranjeevi's call sheets, he could have made two films by now. But he is not after money. He is like me. He wants name. That's the bloody hiccup.

What is your future plan?

I will be leaving to US soon. I will make my album there. It costs me 10 lakhs. But we need to spend double the amount in terms of the publicity and promotion to reach the public. I don't think AR Rehman and Colonial Cousins have planned it to cut the international album. It just happens. AR Rehman would not have dreamt that his 'Roja' music would become such a rage. If 'Roja' were not a big hit, AR Rehman would have remained like me, who was supposed to go to every producer and satisfy his ego.

How do the good songs come out of a music director?

Producers need to give the music director more freedom in scoring the music. They ruthlessly reject good and sensible tunes. I remember reading the interview of 'Lakshmikant Pyarelal' when I was in my teens. An interviewer asked him what would have been the fate of the film if 'Ek Do Teen' song were not there in 'Tezaab'. Then Laxmikant answered the interviewer that he offered 100 tunes to N Chandra. The greatness lies in the director as he accepted this 'Ek Do Teen'. This shows that N Chandra (director) knows what he wants. Unfortunately, I am dealing with people who do not know what they want.

But there are good music oriented producers like Ravi Kishore (Sravanthi Arts) and Murari (Yuva Chitra).

Sravanthi Ravi Kishore and Murari are wonderful producers. They give lot of freedom to the music directors. We give the producers music thinking that those tunes would click. Other producers also should give us some creative space.

How much time will you take to compose a tune?

We need to get the right mood at the right time to compose a tune. It may take seconds or days.

Which is your favorite tune done by you?

I can't answer this question. I love each and every song of mine. Each song done by me is like my baby.

Who are the best directors you worked with?

Undoubtedly, it is none but Ram Gopal Varma, who extracted good work from me for Gayam, Money, Money-Money and Anaganaga Oka Roju. I would like to make a special mention about Ganga Raju, the director of 'Little Soldiers'. Krishna Vamsi stands apart. I love him because he knows how to extract the work from the music directors. I would also like to make a special mention of Jayabheri Kishore. He is a wonderful person. He haunted me till the tunes were approved. Once the tunes were approved, he gave me terrific freedom. The result is 'Aavida Maa Aavide' music.

Take the example of a prostitute. She takes money for the service she provides. Given a chance, she would also like to be pampered by the people. We, the music directors, too work with many producers and directors. Pampering makes us feel more important. We tend to give the best to the people who pamper us. Ram Gopal Varma has that quality of pampering technicians. Everybody thinks that Ramu is a haughty person. He is a wonderful human being. He is meticulous. He is manipulative. He is a businessman. But at the same time, he knows how to treat the artists and technicians. Music scoring is an art and you need to have highly imaginative skills. I can't dance like Chiranjeevi or Nagarjuna. But I should think that I am dancing like them and then I have to imagine what song would I sing.

How did you earn the tag of Rebel?

People think that I am a rebel. They think that I don't need to do any films as Mr. Chakravarthy (my father) has earned lot of money for us. Nobody is approaching me and believing in my talents. I am not that kind of guy who runs from pillar to post asking film chances. I have seen lots of music directors who went to each and every office begging for films and what their positions are today. The profession of a music director is not a bonded labor. It's not slavery. It's a creative job. The other person I love in this industry is Nagarjuna. I call him Chinna Babu. He has no airs. I guess, other heroes can be like that. We are not supposed to smoke in front of the other director/producer/hero.

Are you bidding adieu to Telugu films?

It's not a goodbye. Nobody is there to give me films. As I told you, producers follow hearsay and decide that I am arrogant. They avoid me without even trying to know what i can do. A person can be arrogant by his basic nature, his speech or his character. But he can never be arrogant by his music. By listening to the songs of any film, can a listener tell that music is arrogant?

Tell us about your educational background?

I did my BE in Industrial and production engineering from Manipal.

Are you married?

Yeah. I am happily married man with a son (Rajesh Chakravarthy). I named my son after the name of my brother Late Rajesh Chakravathy.

Interviewed by Jeevi
Other Interviews
Gudipoodi Srihari
SJ Surya
AM Ratnam
Tammareddy Bharadwaja
Jayant C Paranji
Kodi Rama Krishna
Chakri (JD Chakravarthy)
Ramana Gogula
Naga Babu
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