are you indebted to for your success in films?
MS Raju is the man who recognized the talent in me and gave
the chance of music direction for Devi film. I was 17 years
old then. He helped me realizing my dream of becoming music
director. The next highlight in my career came in form of
Varsham, which was also produced by MS Raju. I got tremendous
appreciation for different tunes given to MS Raju's NVNV.
I am working for MS Raju's Pournami now.
are no musical hits from you after NVNV. What is the reason?
Unfortunately the film has to be good for music to get popular.
I gave extraordinary work for Sontham film. But the film was
bombed and all the efforts put for music has gone in vain.
Arya's music is great and the film is also great. Hence music
helped film to increase it's commercial range. Making film
is a team work and the end-result would depend on how good
audiences receive the film.
are not talking about box office fate of the films. We are
asking about the quality of music that has gone down after
NVNV? What about Andarivadu music. It was not received too
There should be right situations for music to blend in the
film. There are no situations for any of the songs in Andarivadu
and hence they did not blend in. I feel that the songs should
become integral part of narration. It worked for NVNV. After
that I did not get the sort of films that has blending-in-songs.
lyrics by music directors is bit strange. How did you manage
Whenever I compose a tune, I start with some words which are
relevant to the situation. And all my songs would start with
the words I composed irrespective of who the lyricist is.
Let me explain how 'Chaila Chaila' song happened in Shankar
Dada MBBS. This song is about hero singing a song on love
and narrating it as flashback in hospital backdrop. Hence
I decided to mix medical related terms with flowery language.
If you listen to lyrics, you get words like Gulabi (love),
pulse rate (medical), heartbeat (medical) etc. When I composed
tune with my own words, Chiranjeevi liked it instantly. He
asked me to pen the lyrics. And Jayant also insisted on it.
I also added some message in the song as that message would
carry lots of weight if Chiranjeevi gives it. I wrote words
like 'Odopovatam tappukadura, chachipovadam tappu sodara'.
Chiranjeevi did lots of improvisation to the lyrics. He is
the one who added 'ammailanu champatam neram' (referring to
Vijayawada Srilakshmi's gruesome murder).
suggested you in the 100 days function of Bunny that you should
decrease number of commitments so as to give more qualitative
output. What is your reaction?
Yes. I am currently being very selective. At present, I am
doing only Pournami film. There was a mix up in this year,
as NVNV and Naa Alludu which were supposed to be released
in September and November respectively got postponed to January.
With new commitments in January, things got mixed up.
I commit a film I ask the producer about the release date
so that I could plan backward, as I had to start rerecording
a month before release. When the release dates change, my
work and schedules get upset. Hence there was a few days delay
from me in providing songs to films. Who would reject when
you get offers like Bhadra, Bunny and Andarivadu?
quality of the songs would also depend on how much liberty
the producer gives to me. MS Raju gives lots of liberty. He
never puts pressure on me.
seem to be doing music for only big films. Don't you consider
Oka Oorilo was a small film. In fact I was hospitalized due
to fatigue a month back. I got the instruments set up in Hospital
to score background music of Oka Oorilo film.
is your inspiration to become music director?
I am obsessed with the music of Ilayaraja since I was kid.
I think all the music directors who entered industry after
Ilayaraja are fans of him. Ilayaraja gave new dimension to
rerecording in our films. With his exceptionally good rerecording,
he popularized that process.
seem to be having a limited group of singers in your songs.
Aren't those voices becoming monotonous as your film count
Yes. I feel comfortable with them and they are like my friends.
They work during any odd time. But I would like to introduce
new singers. I am looking forward for new talents and I will
make sure that my next album Pournami will have lots of freshness
in terms of voices. In fact, I introduced Malathi in Telugu
and see how popular she is now.
give more preference to hard work than talent. Talent is something
inborn. You need to be just lucky to be born talented. But
working hard is something which you develop on your own.
do you manage to excel in singing, dancing, lyrics, music
direction and stage performance?
When I am performing on stage, I feel that I am Michael Jackson.
When I am scoring music, I feel that I am Ilayaraja. When
you assume the position of the best in that field, you would
get amazing confidence.
parameters do you take in consideration while scoring music
for a film?
First I look at the six situations I am supposed score songs
for. I understand the characterizations of hero and heroine.
I also look for locations of the songs and continuity of the
locations of the songs with respect to the lead scenes and
the scenes that follow later.
are you doing in Tamil film industry?
I scored for a couple of films called Mayavi and Sachin. The
music topped the charts. But unfortunately the results of
movies are not encouraging enough. I am doing the remake of
Varsham and I plan to use almost all the original tunes in
Tamil version as well.
important is orchestration in scoring music?
If the tune is heart of the song, I feel that orchestration
is the body that compasses all the parts. Orchestration is
one thing that differentiates one music director from another.
Most of the music directors tend to ignore this part. I feel
Ilayaraja is the best when it come to orchestration.
you planning any pop album?
I did the pop album Mr. Devi before entering films. It was
very hard as a teenager for me to promote that album. I waited
at the gates of Gemini TV office for 3 months to meet the
right guy. But could not get any contact. Fortunately my father
Satyanand is a writer in films and Allu Arvind is our family
friend. We got Pawan Kalyan to release the audio album of
was fortunate to have such contacts. But there are many youngsters
in AP today who want to sing do not get opportunities. Not
everybody can enter film's playback singing. Pop album is
an alternative option. But the pop culture here is not developed.
Smita has made a difference with her albums by promoting pop
culture. But there it needs to be exploited lot further. I
am planning to do a pop album very soon. If pop culture catches
up with the youth, there would be lots of opportunities for
youngsters who want to become singers to do pop albums.
your take on remix albums?
I like remix albums. But I do not want to do them. I might
do a remix album of my own popular songs. I already scored
remix of Nuvvostanante from Varsham.
AM Ratnam 2
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Ram Gopal Varma