here to listen to audio of the interview
who started singing songs for films with Chitram, is now a
household name not only in AP but also among all those people
who listen to Telugu music. Within a short span, she has captured
the hearts of music lovers throughout the globe. Here she
shares her feelings and experiences of her tryst with Maestro
Ilayaraja in her own words.
in the music direction of Maestro Ilayaraja is a cherished
dream for any aspiring singer. After all, how many singers
get this opportunity? That I was on cloud nine when I was
invited to Chennai to sing two songs in Sambhu under
the music direction of Maestro Ilayaraja, is just a modest
way of putting my feelings. Elated, excited, nervous, oh!
I underwent a whole gamut of feelings until I actually met
Ilayaraja garu in person.
had listened to a couple of songs I sang under the music direction
of Bhava Tharani, who happens to be his daughter. When he
was looking for a budding female singer in Telugu to singe
some songs for Sambhu, Kula Sekhar garu referred me
to him. When I met him, Ilayaraja mentioned to me about the
songs I sang for Bhava Tharani.
had been to Chennai a couple of times and tried to meet him
in person but in vain. Now it was a privilege to meet my favorite
music director Ilayaraja as a singer. As a person he is simple,
unassuming and very jovial.
recording was supposed to be conducted at Prasad Labs, Chennai
where Ilayaraja has a special room for his own use. (He actually
has his own studio in Chennai that was under renovation then).
The walls of his room were adorned with the photos of Lord
Ganesh and Ialayaraja's gurus. As soon as I stepped into that
room, a current of tranquility passed through my body. I was
later told that not everybody is allowed to enter that room.
was very nervous, not sure as to how this great person would
talk to me or treat me It's very natural to be anxious, meeting
a person who is renowned throughout the world. But Ilayaraja's
down to earth composure and a cool attitude buried my anxiety
even before it blossomed. Without me realizing, we were already
into a conversation.
I asked him how he had developed so much interest in music,
he amazed me with answers that were subtle and simple, just
like him. His favorite music instrument is harmonium. And
the magic he does with his favorite music instrument leaves
one charmed. He played a tune on harmonium and asked me what
music it was. I said that it's a folk tune. He played yet
another tune and asked me to identify it. I said that it's
a western tune. Then he played the 'Nagumomu' tune
in a traditional way. Only then I realized that the tunes
he played earlier were also of Nagumomu, but in folk
and western formats. The way he added new colors to the already
known tune in such a quick and short time was amazing.
is a legend in music. In his earlier days, he used to write
notes while playing his harmonium. Later on, he used to compose
tune while looking at the harmonium to make sure if he is
using the correct notes. Now, he composes his notes without
even looking at the harmonium. He is that adept with harmonium
now. I believe he re-records the entire movie in one day (with
a morning 7 to evening 7 call-sheet), which is almost an impossible
task for any music director. That shows his expertise at it.
For the film Sambhu, he has composed new music for
the songs that were already picturized using the music composed
by another music director. Ilayaraja's compositions gel so
well with the songs that one can barely make out the difference
about the new trend in Telugu film industry these days, that
music for Telugu films should be given only by Telugu people,
he commented that music does not have any linguistic barriers.
Anybody who composes music should make sure that music is
born, but not made. On other language singers, he said that
as long as the singers pronounce the language properly anybody
could sing in any language.
I was supposed to do just one song 'Kalalo Choosindi'.
After listening to that melodious song, he offered me to sing
another song - 'Buttabomma'.
kind of enthusiasm he has for his age [I guess he is above
60] is remarkable. When I was singing 'Buttabomma'
song, Ilayaraja showed the enthusiasm he needed in my voice
by jumping and singing the song the way I was supposed to
we were working on these songs, a producer came over to the
studio to show a song pictured on Ilayaraja's tune. Ilayaraja
invited us to have a look at it. The picturization of the
song paled in comparison to Ilayaraja's rich composition.
The song was a classical song and sadly the picturization
could not do proper justice to it.
some memoirs, I took some photographs with him and his room.
He was so sweet to allow me to photograph him. While we were
being photographed, he cheered us up saying "Smile, smile!"
used to listen to music since I was a kid. Back then I just
used to listen to the songs without paying much attention
to the music director's name. It was only with Abhinanadana
that I became knowledgeable about the singers and music directors.
After listening to the melodious score of Abhinandana I could
totally relate to most of his older compositions.
then, it was just hero and heroine who became popular with
the films. But today, because of the exposure a movie gets,
thanks to the media, almost all the technicians are becoming
popular and known to common man. Also, people have started
noticing the people involved behind the screen.
brand me as melodious singer. I would like to sing all types
of songs but for that to happen, music directors also need
to give me a chance. Given some opportunities, I am sure I
can sing any type of sing. Ilayaraja is one music director
who has given me a chance to experiment.
also mentioned to me the usage and importance of natural sounds,
like a bird's chirping, while composing music. He said that
Mother Nature provides us with a variety of music that when
used in songs they add to the effect of the song.
style of working is different from most of the music directors
today. In just one go, he judges if the singer sang the song
the way he wanted to or not. He not only gives suggestions
for improvement but also encourages with a good and valuable
feedback quite unlike the music directors today. Working with
him is fast and fun.
really been a great pleasure working with him. I thank idlebrain.com
for giving me an opportunity to share my experiences with
my friends and fellow visitors of idlebrain.com
spoken to: Jeevi
Content editing and enhancement: Sreya Sunil
us about how you liked this article
feedback to Usha
here for more news.