Cops find their chorus with acapella

For the first time in the country, a group of police personnel from Kottayam sang and recorded an acapella performance.
Cops find their chorus with acapella

KOCHI: Rarely do we get to see the khaki-clad, baton-bearing and gun-totting police personnel performing a musical. It is always presumed that everything about them is official. However, these men and women, who remain alert around the clock to keep the public safe, do have a singer or a musician hidden in them. A truth that was revealed when, for the first time in the country, a group of police personnel from Kottayam sang and recorded an acapella performance.

The song ‘Pulari muthal peruvazhiyil pori veylil karuthal nilkum njangal...’, which details the life of a student police cadet (SPC), has gone viral on social media. “The police department comes up with various programmes to promote its projects. One such project was associated with the SPC. So, the department needed a promotional song for it,” says Joy P A, who is better known as Joy Thankey.

Joy, who retired as an SI last month, was tasked with the making of the promotional song.

“That was in 2020. So, while seeking ideas for the song, some of my colleagues and friends asked me to come up with something different. They told me to do something other than the usual songs,” says the officer who has a PG in Music from Kerala University. It got him thinking and he finally thought of acapella singing.

“When I told those in the department about it, they were enthusiastic and we went ahead with the idea,” he adds.

Though it was decided to do the theme song in the acapella mode, coming up with lyrics that gel with this mode of singing became a tough task.

“The lyrics should be in a manner so that everything synchronises and comes out smoothly. So, I approached many writers. However, the lyrics they came up with couldn’t be used for acapella singing,” says Joy. He decided to write the song himself.

Joy P A, a retired SI who is part of the acapella group
Joy P A, a retired SI who is part of the acapella group

Joy came up with the lyrics, which told the story of an SPC, that were in tune with the acapella singing. “The next thing to take care of was finding the right voices. In acapella singing, no voice should stand out. They should be synchronised as one even though the voices like tenor, soprano, alto and bass are all different,” he adds. And he did find the very good singers among the khaki-clad personnel.

“The department then issued an order to all the personnel inviting them to come over for an audition. From the participants who arrived, we shortlisted 13 — five male and eight female voices,” says Joy. Once the selection was over, the gruelling task of training the singers began.

“It was tough. None of the singers had any idea about acapella singing. Even the higher-ups didn’t have any idea. So, I had to explain everything to them. They trained every day for 10 hours for 10 days,” says the retired SI who has also done many devotional songs.

Finally, we shot the video and then got the mixing done at The Mix Studio in Mumbai. “During this time we suffered some setbacks like the transfer of the officer who had commissioned the project. However, after three years, our video got released in May 2024 and has been garnering a lot of attention since then,” says Joy who has also done the music for the theme song for the Kerala Assembly Book Festival.

The team is comprised of singers: Sub-Inspectors Joy P A, Raju, Rajeev, Bejoy and Jayachandran; Assistant Sub-Inspectors Kshema, Lini, Swapna and Shyamala; and percussion: Additional SP Nizam; and SIs Mathew Paul,

Sabu, Anil Kumar; ASIs Pramod, Ambika, Unnikrishna Warrier, Supriya and Ambily; and Sr CPO Pradeep Varma; CPO Tony.

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