20 December, 2011
MM Keeravani who has composed mellifluous and quality music for Rajanna explains how he did it.
Tell us about Rajanna?
I heard the script of Rajanna at the time of Chatrapati making. It was a dream project for Vijayendra Prasad. During that time I had decided about what kind of music I should score for this movie. Nagarjuna liked the subject and it was kicked off. There are 12 songs in the album.
Scoring for a film like Rajanna is a rare opportunity for any music director. The music never dominates lyrics in this album. It is a village base subject with folk touch like Seetaramayya Gari manavaralu. There are no choreographers for the songs in this movie except for Lachumamma. For Pelli Sandadi film too there was no choreographer and K Raghavendra Rao directed all the songs. He won Nandi award as the best choreographer. Rajanna gave me scope for scoring good music with lyrical quality.
Shiva Shakti Datta songs
Gijigadu: This song kick starts the movie and takes you into a mood. My father Siva Sakti Datta penned lyrics. Sanjeev Chimmalgi is a Mumbai based singer. His first Telugu song is this one and the response has been good for his voice. It is a background song with no lip movement.
Goodu Chedirindi: This song is a background song and an expansion to Gijigadu song. This song comes after a life turning incident happens to Mallamma character. Shweta Pandit (who sang Vasudhara in Badrinath film) rendered the song.
Amma Avani: It is the climax song of the movie. You can see lot of resemblance to Ye Swasalo song from Nenunnanu. Both these songs were composed using Mohana Raagam. Both are climax songs sung in a singing competition. Both songs have tension backdrop. Chitra sang Ye Swasalo as it was an adult song, Malavika sung Amma Avani because it is meant for the kid. Once upon time, Suseela used to sing many songs for kids (both boys and girls). This is the best song in this film if you consider the story and narrative.
Karakuraathi Gundello: This is a background music song. Kailas Kher and I sang this song. I personally loved the version of Kailas Kher. But Vijayendra Prasad, Kotagiri Venkateswara Rao and Supriya insisted that I should keep the song sung by me. Though I was reluctant, I had to keep my version. Kailas Kher’s voice has rustic and raw emotions. I would have prefered Kailas Kher’s version.
Suddala Ashok Teja songs
Vey Vey: The starting lyrics were taken from Suddala Hanumanthu’s literature. Ashok Teja changed it to suit the story. SS Rajamouli shot an emotional fighting sequence of this song. This song comes at a point where there is a life and death situation. Revanth sang it.
lachuvmamma: The starting lyrics are written in Gondu language. This is the only duet in the entire movie where a song choreographer worked. This song is shot on Nagarjuna and Sneha. It is a fun folk song with a bit of experimentation. Suddala Ashok Teja who penned the inspiring song Vey in album has also came up with fun song.
Chaitanya Prasad songs
Melukove Chitti Talli: This song might sound pleasant when you listen to, but is an intense song on the screen. The speciality of this song is that the the music of instruments will be heard only if you concentrate. Sudarshini rendered this song.
Anant Sreeram songs
Raa ree ro: The entire village adopts Mallamma. This song comes in the backdrop of people of various crafts singing and entertaining Mallamma. It’s a ballet kind of song. It’s a new challenge for Anant Sreeram and he comes up with a fabulous job. Lots of singers rendered their voice.
Chitti Guvva: This is the most confusing song in the album. You will understand the situation only when you see visuals. There are many incidents happening in this song.
Dorasani Korada: It is a bit song on swaralu. There is something similar to that of ‘sarada’ ending in a song of Sankarabharanam.
Okka Kshanam: This is the song that is of purely director’s choice. Though I liked the song, I didn’t want ‘Okka Kshanam’ to be rendered in such delirious pitch too many times.
Mettapalli Surender song
Goodu Chediri Koyila: This song is penned, sung and composed by Mettapalli Surender. He was introduced to me by R Narayana Murthy. This song deals with the girl interacting with farmers.
Most of the songs with Telangana backdrop have force/agression. But Rajanna songs are melodious and like lullabies?
We have gone according to the requirement of story. There are all types of emotions in the songs and movie. Okka Kshanam and Vey are the songs with force and aggression in this album.
What is your opinion about Rajanna?
I knew about the story right from it’s inception. I had done the background music of Rajanna for 25 days. There are two perspectives to this movie - Rajanna and Mallamma. It’s a film where song is also an integral character. The director has beautifully interlaced the perspective of Rajanna and Mallamma. It screenplay connects, this film will be equally liked by classes and masses. One should watch Rajanna as a story, but not as a Nagarjuna’s film. It’s a fiction based on true incidents.
What are your future projects?
My next release Eega is in rerecording stages. I am scoring for NTR’s Dammu. I has composed 4 out of six songs so far. I am scoring tunes for Nagarjuna - K Raghavendra Rao’s Shirdi Sai Baba. I am also going to compose music for Krish’s Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum.
Why are you doing only 4 films now?
I have scored music for 23 films in 1992. In that year I scored Gharana Mogudu background music in 4 days. For Annamayya film, I spent 9 days to do BGM. For Kshana Kshanam I have taken 12 days to score as it was the first 6 track film in Telugu and it was technically new in terms of sound designing. For Magadheera, I had to take more than 40 days to score background music. At that time, I used to do with live orchestra. Now, we can’t afford live orchestra anymore. Hence, the music director is doing work of 15-20 musicians. SPB and Balu used to sing most of the songs and they used to do their work at a lightening speed. During that time, the rerecording used to to take half a day. Now it takes a minimum of 10 days. It used to take one hour to do voice mixing, now it takes 1 day. Hence, it takes a lot of time to score quality music in this era. There are softwares like Logic and Sound Track to make our lives easy. But using the software is not enough.
What is your opinion on the latest rage Kolaveri Di?
It has the same value my ‘Jintattha’ song in Vikramarkudu has.
MM Keeravani's exclusive on his albums
Anukokunda Oka Roju