KOCHI: After creating waves with ‘Pisthah’ in ‘Neram’ two years ago, Shabareesh Varma is back in the scene with new numbers. His second outing is with the same director Alphonse Putharan for the movie ‘Premam’.
While he had written just one song in ‘Neram’, he has penned a total of seven songs in his new venture. “‘Pisthah’ became an instant hit among the audience and my friends were all praise for it which boosted my confidance. Post ‘Neram’, I wrote a four-line lyric for the short film ‘Kattan Kappi’, directed by Arju Benn. It was also composed by Rajesh.
When Alphonse was busy with the pre-production of his next film and confirmed the making of ‘Premam’ to be produced by director Anwar Rasheed, I wanted to be part of it. “I met Alphonse and asked him whether I could write the lyrics for the movie. Without any second thoughts he agreed to it,” says Varma.
“Alphonse and I are friends from our college days at MES,Aluva. Krishnasanker who portrayed Manick in ‘Neram’ and Mouhsin who was the assistant director of the same belong to our gang. Cinema was our dream in those days itself and thus we moved to Chennai to study more about films. While Alphonse joined for digital film making in SAE, I opted for a sound engineering course,” he says.
After the course the old gang reunited along with new friends from Chennai for various short films.
Shabareesh Varma joined a sound studio as recordist and worked for some well acclaimed movies includomg ‘Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa’, ‘Ye Maaya Chesave’, ‘Nadunisi Naaygal’, ‘Pizza’, ‘Soodhu Kavvum’, ‘Pizza II - Villa’ and ‘Jigarthanda’.
While scribbling meaningless words for ‘Pisthah - the run anthem’ for the bilingual movie ‘Neram’ on that night, in 2012, ahead of the recording session, he had never dreamt that the song would become a super-duper hit. “Alphonse Putharen insisted that I write a song without much meaning but an extension of ‘Pisthah’ sung by Jagathy Sreekumar in ‘Kinnaram’. In fact, I was a little tensed and anxious about its acceptance. But Alphonse and Rajesh Murgesan (music director) were confident on that count and encouraged me to complete the lyrics. That’s how I became one of the lyricists of the movie,” says Shabareesh Varma who had sung the song and acted as the buddy of the hero in its Tamil version.
“‘Neram’ was first conceived as a short film and I was the hero. Vijay Sethupathi had to play the antagonist’s role - Vatti Raja. Though we had done a few short films earlier, this was our first widely accepted work,” Varma says.
Coming back to ‘Premam’, he has crooned four of the seven songs written. “Of the seven, five were written at our house in Aluva. There are interesting stories behind each song in this movie. The ‘Scene Contra’ song was initially conceived as a title song for a short film with the same title. It was written in just eight minutes. After listening to the song, some of my friends suggested that it be released as an album instead of a short film. It was then that Alphonse suggested that they be used in ‘Premam’. At that instant, Rajesh gave an suitable background orchestration resulting in the current output,” he says adding that ‘Kalipp’ song was also ‘born’ from it.
Apart from the role of lyricist and singer, Shabareesh, son of writer P K Nandana Varma and carnatic violinist Sulekha Varma, is also acting in ‘Premam’. “Though I have acted in Tamil films, this is my first tryst with Malayalam. I am donning the role of Sambhu - the buddy pair of hero character portraying by Nivin,” he says.