BENGALURU: Even before a movie is released, there are several director-composers who can set the tone of its destiny, tune the audience for a mellifluous experience and become a parallel track of the storyline. If there is something called the ‘double R’ effect, it would be Mani Ratnam and AR Rahman combination. Ponni Nadhi, the first song of Ratnam’s magnum opus, Ponniyin Selvan: I is out, and has garnered plaudits from music lovers.
The Mozart of Madras, Rahman has rendered the movie’s music. While the versions of the song in Tamil, Telugu and Kannada have been added to many playlists, Nakul Abhyankar, who sang the Kannada version, is soaking in all the love for the song. Speaking to CE from Los Angeles, where he is on a tour for Rahman, a delighted Abhyankar is trying to control the euphoria within after the rapturous reception of the song. “I am working with Rahman for the background score of Ponniyin Selvan.
At present, we are on a North America-Canada tour, but we are also working on this project,” he reveals. He was far from complaining about the extra bout of work during an international tour. “It is always a blessing to work for Rahman sir, and this time it’s Ponniyin Selvan, which is a Rahman sir and Mani Ratnam combination. It’s a dream come true,” he says.
The voices of the Tamil and Telugu versions are AR Rahman, AR Raihanah and Bamba Bakya. “People have reached out to me to say the voice sounds great, and have said that it does not sound like a dubbed song, but more like a track from a Kannada film. It’s a huge compliment,” says Abhyankar, who holds a degree in mechanical engineering from the National Institute of Technology, Karnataka.
From a world of prosaic numbers and measurements, Abhyankar in another dimension was a student in Rahman’s music school in Chennai, KM Music Conservatory. “When I was in third year, I got into his vocal band called NAFS. That is when sir noticed me, and called me for chorus and draft singing sessions. Then, I went ahead and sang for Sachin: A Billion Dreams. Sir had sung the Hindi version, while I did the Telugu. He gave me my biggest break in the Vijay-starrer Tamil movie Sarkar with CEO in the House”.
His magic is not confined to the Rahman camp. Abhayankar has sung and composed music from many Kannada movies. The 31-year-old is also best known for Love You Chinna from Love Mocktail. “I always wanted to compose songs but was waiting to gain more experience,” says Abhyankar, whose three projects – Love Mocktail 2, One Cut Two Cut, and the web series Humble Politician Nograj – have been released.
City-based singer-music composer Nakul Abhyankar is enjoying the appreciation for lending his voice to the Kannada version of Ponni Nadhi, composed by AR Rahman from Mani Ratnam’s Ponniyin Selvan: I