On the Wings of Music

For the film, I have drawn elements from traditional African music and Indian classical music. Both styles have been fused to create a novel mood which hasn’t been tried before in Malayalam

Published: 30th November 2013 11:26 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th November 2013 11:26 AM   |  A+A-

Varun Unni, the young music director has his fingers crossed, as his movie, Escape from Uganda reached the theatres on Friday.  

The youngster is confident that the songs will give Malayali audience a new experience. “For the film, I have drawn elements from both traditional African music and Indian classical music,” he says. Both styles have been fused to create a novel mood which hasn’t been tried before in Malayalam, says the music director.

The 24-year-old engineer-turned-composer has three songs in the Rajesh Nair film. The song ‘Ee Eravile...’  is a powerful composition, he says. “The song comes near the climax of the film, so it required intense emotions.” He calls it an ‘Epic Dubstep’. “Epic, the western style gives the song its weight and a touch of electronic elements make it lively,” he says.

“Yaanam”, has a Regge groove to it. And the musician is sure that the youth will love the style. Another song ‘Thennale..’ is more conventional, opines Varun. It is an intimate melody capturing the attachment between a father and his little daughter. The orchestration of the song however features some signature African styles, he says.

“The director was very particular about the mood  of the songs. So all I had to do was to create the right mix. However we did a lot of research prior to the work,” he remembers. And the musician is confident that there is something to like in the songs for every person. “For instance Rima Kallingal, the lead actress of the film liked ‘Thennale..’ the best, but ‘Yaanam..’ was the director’s favourite,” he says.

Varun, a Kochiite learned his first music lessons at the Kalabhavan Academy. “I studied carnatic music for 14 years and started off as a vocalist,” he says. He then tried his hand at keyboard, drums, tabla and mridangam.  “But it was my three-year stint as a lead vocalist with the music band ‘Highway Haze’ that transformed my career,” he says. With the band he sang mainly Jazz and Blues and performed at various hotels in Kochi. “I began listening to more international styles and started experimenting. Bands like The Eagles, Iron Maiden, Metallica, and singers like James Brown and Bob Marley influenced me a lot,” he says. And all these experience came in handy for him in composing the songs.

The young composer, however, does not want to bid adieu to Ugada with the release of the film. In fact, he is going to the country in December for the works on his new project. “It is an international album,” he says. He will be working with African singers and musicians for this new venture.

The musician is also gearing up for the release of his music album, Smile besides his two film projects, God’s Own Country and Return If Possible.

Waiting the first reactions from the cinemas, the youngster says confidently, “Malayalis are discerning audience and they will definitely appreciate good work.”



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