If films don't perform well, songs don't reach their potential now: Composer Mano Murthy

Mano Murthy discusses his forthcoming compositions for the romantic thriller Pranayam, set to release this week
A still from Pranayam
A still from Pranayam

Mano Murthy, the noted composer, has ensured for decades that his songs and music linger in people’s hearts, especially the melodious tracks, even long after the films are done and dusted. Examples abound, including Amrutha Dhaare, America America, Joke Falls, Cheluvina Chittara, Geleya, and Mangaru Male, to name a few.

However, the music director, who is an NRI, seemed to have disappeared for a few years; he is now back to captivate audiences with a new set of films, the latest being director Dattareya’s upcoming romantic mystery thriller Pranayam. The film, starring Rajavardan and Nayana Ganguly, is produced by Paramesh of P2 Production and is set to release on February 9.

“I haven’t vanished. After that peak period, for some reason, the latter films which I worked on somehow didn’t do too well,” says Mano Murthy. “In my view, I realised that today if films don’t perform well, songs don’t achieve their potential, but there are exceptions. Today, people are mostly drawn by the content and trailers, which become the key invitations to theaters.

Unlike before, songs don’t have the same impact in attracting audiences. Also, albums in those days were either on CDs or FM. Now, songs are streaming on every platform before release, allowing people to form their opinions even before watching them in theaters and how the songs complement the entire film. A handful of films for which I have composed music have failed for different reasons. Even then, the songs have done well, but not to the extent we expected,” he adds.

Mano Murthy describes Pranayam as a mystery thriller with a different love story, and each track is melodious. He underscores that as a music director, the strength of Pranayama’s music lies in the background score. “Background scores have to complement the visuals, which are extraordinary, and I take a lot of time to work on them,” he says. Mano Murthy has composed six songs, bringing in famous singers like Shreya Ghoshal, Sonu Nigam, and Kunal Ganjawala, along with Hemanth Kumar, who has lent his voice to various tracks in Pranayam. The lyrics are penned by Jayanth Kaikini, Hrudaya Shiva, and Chinmaya Bhavikere. “To a large extent, I have to go by what the makers wish and rope in noted singers. This time, I have used a new singer, Vani Sathish, who lives in Davangere,” he says.

The music director has a good set of lineups; his next includes Gajarama. “I have also collaborated with Nagathihalli Chandrashekar’s for his next project and Kuladalli Keelyavudo directed by Shreyas Raj Shetty, which is currently in the works. The film has to do well, and people have come to watch Kannada films for the content, visuals, and also for the songs as well,” he concludes.

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