CHENNAI: Musician Raghavendra, or Sean Roldan as he is known in the film industry, has an enviable sense of music. Tamil cinema fans got a taste of that in the 2014-released films like Vaayai Moodi Pesavum and Sathuranga Vettai. Songs like Kannane Kanne, Manasula Soora Kaathey and Va Machaney prove that he has an enviable voice too.
“I’m looking for films with substance. I don’t want to work on films that are just three hours of eating popcorn,” says Sean. This thirst to do different things made him readily agree to participate in the Urur Olcott Kuppam Vizha, which begins today. He thanks his guru, vocalist Sanjay Subramaniam for helping him get the opportunity.
Talking about the rationale behind the decision to perform with his band at the vizha, he says, “I’ve performed at sabhas often. It has always bothered me that the crowd that turns up to watch my performance is a filtered one. And I noticed a lot of busking (performing in public places) when I travelled to Boston and even Hong Kong. So I wondered why can’t we do that?”
That’s how Sean gathered his troupes and performed at the Beasant Nagar Beach. “That is when
T M Krishna came to me and talked to me about this event,” he says.
Having been schooled in Carnatic music and also having heard and appreciated western classical music, it is surprising that Sean gravitated towards Tamil folk music — flashes of it can be heard in the film Mundasaputti (2014). He credits gaana musician Anthony Daasan for sparking the interest in him.
“Anthony is a magnificent artist, and he doesn’t even know it! He comes from a humble background and he walked through hell to make it to where he is. Most artists like him aren’t exposed to the kind of musical education that I have got,” he says. Since Anthony is the kind of artist the vizha aims to promote, Sean can be confident he’s in great hands.
Sean would be performing a fusion that mixes classical, folk and gaana tunes at the Urur Olcott Kuppam Vizha on Sunday.
When interesting movies were hard to come by, Sean would sit down with Pradeep Vijay from the band Yodhakaa and work on a documentary on the Tamil poet Arunagirinathar. The documentary Poorva, Sean says, is not a mainstream project. “It can’t have mainstream music. So we’ve been practising to get the sound right. And we are slowly getting the hang of it.”