Ask him about the style of his lyrics, and Na Muthukumar replies, “Simplicity, standard, sound and style – the four S’s that beautifies a film song.” One of the noted lyricists in Kollywood, Na Muthukumar is currently basking in the rave reception to his songs in Avan Ivan and Deiva Thirumaghan.
“After a long time, I have penned a song with a philosophical touch in Avan Ivan, which starts off as Avana patthi pada poaraen. And in Deiva Thirumaghan, there are three songs for children. It is a different experimentation altogether,” he says.
The lyricist who has been topping the charts for penning the maximum number of songs continually for three to five years, says, “I’ve been associated with this industry for more than 17 years. I take pride in saying that I have penned over 2,000 songs. I’ve also worked with a range of music directors from AR Rahman, Yuvan Shankar Raja, Harris Jeyraj and almost every contemporary music composer.” His current works include songs from the yetto- released Nanban, 7aam Arivu, Vandaan Vendraan, Vettai, Oru Kal Oru Kannadi (he has tried to create a lot of metaphors), Billa 2 and Aravaan.
Having penned so many songs, do deadlines deter him? “Not at all,” he says and adds, “I write for myself.
Most of my writings are the experiences that I have felt in my life. Sometimes, I draw inspiration from nature. For instance, when penning the Thalathu song for Deiva Thirumaghan, I thought of my child. Similarly, for the Veyyil song, I was inspired by my childhood days in my village.” Na Muthukumar, who has worked with Mani Ratnam, credits the director for teaching him the four S. “Mani Ratnam taught me the importance of the four S. He explained that it was his working style and I adapted it to my writing as well.” Muthukumar is influenced by Zen and Haiku.
“The challenge in Tamil Haiku is that you need to bring out pure emotions without using metaphors or alliterations,” explains the lyricist.
Talking about the competition in the industry, he confesses, “I compete only with myself. There is now a trend where many actors and directors who lyrics for the songs in their respective films. It’s a healthy trend.
Writing poetry is an art, an experience, a talent, and if it grows, it’s better for the talent itself. And for me, poetry is my life, my hobby, my habit and everything.”