May 29, 2006
Kalyani Malik (brother of MM Keeravani) made a good debut with Aithe film. He is currently composing music to Nagarjuna’s film in the direction of VN Aditya. Idlebrain.com caught up with him at work at Mahati Studios recently for an exclusive chitchat. Here are the excerpts -
Tell us about your background?
I was born and brought up in Kovvur. I am a huge fan of Kishore Kumar since my childhood. We used to listen to ‘Binaka Geetmala’ on radio every day. Kishore Kumar is the inspiration for me to get fascinated into film music. I lost interest in studies. After seventh class I stole Rs. 200/- from my house and ran away along with my friend to Mysore in search of job. At that time I was 14 years old. My friends in Mysore scolded me for neglecting studies and for running away from home. They gave me money and asked me to return home. But I did not want to go to home. My father and brother (MM Keeravani) were working in Chennai for films. I went to Chennai.
I followed the path of spirituality for some time. Then I started my career as chorus singer. I joined as composing assistant at Keeravani in 1996. I worked with him as an assistant for 7-8 years. I made my debut as playback singer with ‘Sannajaji Puvva’ song in Yuvarathna film (Keeravani music). I started my life as music director for a TV serial called Priyanka (E TV). I also got Nandi award for my work in Priyanka. Then I did music for Just Yellow’s (Gangaraju Gunnam) Amrutam and Nanna. I made my debut as music director in films with Aithe.
After the success of Aithe, I got around 30 film offers. But all those films are trash films. I got gap after that film. Then my friend Bhanu Shankar (Evare Athagadu fame) asked me to do music for ‘Valliddari Vayasu Padaharu’. He met at Satya Sai Nigamagamam and narrated the story. I liked the story and committed that project. Unfortunately, that film was stalled in the middle and it took 3 years to complete. The music is releasing in this week. I put in my heart and soul into this album. Valliddari Vayasu Padaharu music will remain my best work in my entire career.
I composed music for Manasu Mata Vinadu and Andhrudu in between.
I am also doing one song in Amrutha Varsham (Telugu version of Kannada hit Amruthadhare). This song will have a vintage feel.
Is Kalyani Malik your real name?
My real name was Kalyani. I am a great devotee of Lord Mallikharjuna (Srisailam). I requested my brother to change my name and he changed it to Kalyani Malik (Malik representing Lord Mallikharjuna). Kalyani Malik became my screen name.
Did you learn music in traditional style?
I became music director by chance, not by choice. Hence I did not get the opportunity to learn ragas traditionally. I use my experience and judgment to compose music.
How did you bag Nagarjuna’s film?
It is very difficult to get a break into big star films league. It was VN Aditya who insisted on me though other names came under consideration. VN Aditya has lots of faith in my work. I recorded two songs so far. Producer and hero are very much satisfied with my work.
What kind of songs are you composing for this film?
There will be seven songs out of which five are melodies and two are mass songs.
Almost all films of Nagarjuna – Keeravani combination have become musical hits. Being brother of Keeravani, you will have lot of expectations to satisfy with this film. Are you feeling pressurized?
I was tensed about it before showing my work to producer Reddy garu. My tunes were okayed without any problems. Now I am confident that I will score tunes that will satisfy everybody.
Are you introducing any singers now?
I am introducing two male playback singers with Nagarjuna’s film. But the problem here is that if I introduce a singer, other music directors do not encourage him/her.
Why do most of the music directors operate with only certain lyricists and singers?
We tend to repeat lyricists and singers because we feel comfortable. It is only due to comfort levels. I prefer Chandrabose as lyricist because he gives the perfect lyrics in the first version itself.
Talking about new singers, how dedicated are they?
For Kokilamma and Pranamlo Pranamga songs in Andhrudu, I tried many newcomers. But none of them could deliver. Hence I preferred Shreya Ghoshal and Chitra for those songs respectively. I think most of the new generation youth who want to become singers are not focused. They are looking singing as one of the probable professions, but not as the only profession. It is like standing in the Q at a multiplex and looking out for available ticket for any film.
You could have had Karunya and Hemachandra before TV programs happened to them?
I came to know that there is a singer called Karunya through Indian Idol program only. I have given my address through TV and other media so that budding singers could send their cassettes to us. 99% of the responses we get are not up to the mark. I am sure that Karunya has not approached either Keeravani or me before Indian Idol.
Who do you think is responsible for getting the new blood in singing?
The whole credit should go to AR Rehman. He changed the history by experimenting with new voices in his albums. Otherwise, we would still be listening to Balu singing all six songs in films.
Film music’s success is directly dependant on film’s success. How do you feel about it?
It is very unfortunate. Good music of a flop film is like a beautiful widow.
What are your future projects?
I am currently composing music for Valliddari Vayasu Padahare, Amrutha Varsham (one song) and Nagarjuna’s film. I will let idlebrain.com visitors know whenever I get a new assignment.
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