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Keeravani on Anukokunda Oka Roju
tell a friend has met with MM Keeravani at his recording studio today evening to discuss about the songs he scored for the latest hit film Anukokunda Oka Roju (AOR). Here is a tête-à-tête with Keeravani -

12th July 2005

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What is common among these AOR songs?
All the songs in this album are sung by female playback singers only. There is couple of words uttered by a male in RightO LeftO as the situation demanded it. Myself and Gangaraju Gunnam wrote all lyrics except for 'Evaraina Choosuntara'. It took a lyricist of Sirivennela standard to pen the lyrics for that tune.

Did you have any apprehensions about not having any male playback singers for entire album?
I would like to tell you about the experience I had while composing music for Zakhm film. I was having music sittings with Mukesh Bhat, Mahesh Bhat, Pooja Bhat and Anand Bakshi (lyricist). We composed 4 songs sung by female playback singers. We have two more songs left. I suggested that we should have only female playback singers for those two songs too. Then Mukesh Bhat shot back saying, 'I don't want to make a lesbian film'. Then I was forced to compose two duets with male playback singers. I am very happy to say that the success of AOR proved that the compulsion of having male playback singers is a Myth.

Now let me illustrate how we fixed upon the tunes for AOR -

1. I wanna sing: This song is a party song. Chandu (Chandra Sekhar Yeleti) gave me Ketchup song and asked me to come up with a party song with such kind of ambience. Maruth penned the English words in this song. Myself and Gangaraju Gunnam penned the Telugu lyrics. We selected Sunidhi Chouhan because she has disco attitude in her voice and is capable of posh English pronunciation. She got the right style.

2 . RightO - LeftO: The situation for this song is about how a drugged girl tries communicating with cabbie about directions. She is in the stage of semi-consciousness and she would be speaking incoherently. This song also has vital importance in this film as the part of suspense unfolds in this song. When I took a break during the music sittings of Jagapati film in Arjuna Raju office, suddenly this tune stuck me. I called up Chandu and hummed the tune to him and it was okayed immediately.

The reason for taking Shreya Ghoshal for this song is her lack of inhibitions. This song is about a drugged girl, hence she would be blabbering without any shy. Even a great singer like Chitra is very inhibited and is very shy. Shreya Ghoshal is the perfect fit and she gave a great output.

3. Needalle Tarumuthuvandi: I composed this tune in Park Hotel of Vizag 2 years back for Nagarjuna's film Nenunnanu. The lyric of Nenunnanu song goes like 'Kadanna Ninnu Vadalanuga - Naa maata nammu cheli'. The producer felt that it was good song but slow for a duet. They rejected this tune. I modified that tune to the situation of AOR. The situation is about a girl remembering horrifying incidents from her past with terror.

This song does not require any particular singer to sing it. I wanted to record this song with Chitra. But I need to go to Chennai for this purpose. When I went to Mumbai to make Sunidhi Chouhan and Shreya Ghoshal sing songs for this album, I opined that I make Shreya Ghoshal sing this song. She did the justice and i saved some money to the producer by not flying to Chennai for this purpose.

4. Naa Naa Parugu Teesina: The music sittings of this song took place when we (Myself and Chandu) were traveling to Srisailam in car. While all other five songs met immediate approval of Chandu, this tune took 2 months to get okayed. He tried over 50 - 60 tunes before finalizing this one. Sunidhi Chouhan sung the song.

5. Evarina Choosuntara: This song comes when heroine who is a chorus singer just finished rendering chorus to a Chiranjeevi's song. She would replay the song and dance with the kids in rain. This kind of song that describes Chiranjeevi needs a great lyricist like Sirivennela. No other lyricist would have done justice to this song. Sirivennela described Chiranjeevi as 'Nadiche Nakshatram'. Incidentally, this is the first tune composed by me for AOR when Chandu came to my home for breakfast.

I always felt that Smita is a singer who is not restricted to just one kind of songs. She might not do classical or semi classical songs, but she got great potential. I made sure that she sang different songs each time I asked her to sing. These songs are -

1. Gangotri - Mavayyadi Mogalturu
2. Maa Alludu Very Good - Padaka padaka
3. Sye
4. Evaraina Choosuntara - AOR
5. Mannela Tintivira Krishna - Chatrapati

6. Humming: Maestro Ilayaraja uses electric guitar very frequently. I also used electric guitar for this humming. Though I composed music for around 1150 film songs, I used Keeravani ragam only a couple of times. I used Keeravani ragam for this chorus. Ilayaraja used Keeravani ragam for atleast 200 songs. Keeravani ragam was very effectively used in Keeravani song in Anveshana film. And Vandemataram did not use Keeravani ragam while composing 'keeravani ragamlo' tune for Swayamvaram film.

Who rendered the voice of 'Venumadhava' song from Nenunnanu that played in the tape recorder of Charmy in AOR?
She is Ravali (a student of Ramachari). She is a chorus singer.

You made Hindi singers like Sunidhi Chouhan and Shreya Ghoshal sing these songs? Is it not difficult to work with Hindi girls?
Let me give you the list of singers who perform in less time with quality intact. SP Balu, Chitra, Mano, Shreya Ghoshal and Sunidhi Chouhan could record any Telugu song in 30 minutes. I find Udit Narayan to be the one who takes most of the time to sing. He takes at least 2 hours to sing a song. He has got very short memory and keep forgetting lyrics.

Tell us about the director Chandu?
Chandu is one of the very few directors with originality in Telugu film industry. When I started my career, I followed Ilayaraja to get acquainted with the art of music composition. After one and half years, I left the style of Ilayaraja and developed my own signature. Likewise, Chandu is greatly inspired by Ram Gopal Varma. The mark of Ram Gopal Varma is evident in his films though he denies it. Chandu is the director to watch in the future.


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