Music director Nivas K Prasanna, who took the film industry by storm with his background score in the 2014 flick Thegidi, is all set to take his fans on a musical ride with his score in the film Zero, which is currently in its post production stage. The 25-year-old, who was born and brought up in Tirunelveli, says, “From the age of five, I had only one dream, that of becoming a music director.” He adds, “It was my parents who pushed me into the world of music though. They knew little about the industry, but they wanted to see me as a musician.”
However, Nivas, who started learning carnatic music at the age of 10, had no inclination to it. “It was film music that fascinated me,” he says. “I learnt carnatic music because my parents wanted me to,” he adds. Even while he attended Magdalene Matriculation Higher Secondary School, he started learning the piano from his teacher David Thompson. “I completed all seven grades of music from the Trinity College of Music, London, by the time I was in tenth standard, courtesy David sir,” he adds.
After his schooling, he bid goodbye to Tirunelveli and settled with his family in Chennai. “I hardly went to college,” says Nivas, who had got himself enrolled in SRM University by then. “I was madly looking out for avenues to make it to the industry. My focus was always on music,” adds the BSc Viscom graduate.
Soon, things fell in place for the young lad. He made a random phone call to veena artiste Rajesh Vaidya after seeing him play veena on television. “I got his number from a film directory. I wanted to ask him if I could play for him,” says Nivas. “Rajesh sir appreciated my keyboard playing skills and I started accompanying him on various shows,” he adds. Nivas started composing music for short films even when he was in college. “My debut album Kannamma happened in due course of time. Singer Saindhavi, who’s a good friend of mine, approached me with the concept and I agreed. It’s about the teachings of Bharathiyar, expounded in a style so as to reach the young population,” says Nivas, who had already created a circle of friends from the industry by then. He accompanied celebrated veena player Punya Srinivas in her albums – Veena and Vienna, and a more recent one, Sound of Swan. “I share a very good equation with Punya ma’am and mridangam player DA Srinivas sir,” he says. “In fact, Srinivas sir is like my godfather,” he adds.
So how did he get into films? “It all fell in place by itself,” Nivas tells us. “Santosh from Think Music, who was spellbound by my BGM skills in Kannamma, suggested that I meet producer CV Kumar. I was initially asked to work in Villa, but that didn’t happen. I felt happy when I was approached for Thegidi by director Ramesh. I never knew that Thegidi would go on to become a big hit,” he says. “Ramesh and I had already met long ago,” he adds, showing us a photo of Ramesh and himself together. “I still don’t remember where this photo was taken, but our paths had crossed much before... Isn’t that amazing?” he signs off on a mysterious note.
The audio of Zero is slated for launch soon.