We have seen him fusing the mellow violin with breakneck beats and roaring the lyrics into microphone. Govind P Menon, the livewire composer of Thaikkudum Bridge, is a face so familiar in rock circuits. But this aggressive onstage persona, who can easily sway a mass, comes across as a camera shy 25-year-old who calls himself a ‘music fan’ rather than ‘musician’. The young composer, who has scored the music for a couple of films including the award-winning ‘North 24 Kaatham’, seems super busy these days making music for a handful of films while spreading his wings to other languages as well. He has Dulquar Salman’s ‘100 Days of Love’, Fahad Fazil’s ‘Izam’ and Sreenivasan’s ‘Nagaravaridhi Naduvil Njan’ in his kitty and will be making his Kollywood debut through ‘Oru Pakka Kadhai’ by Balaji Tharaneetharn starring Kalidas Jayaram in the lead. “I had scored the BGM for Balaji’s first film ‘Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom’ and OPK will be my first Tamil film as an independent music director,” says Govind.
Govind says he grew up as an audio addict and always knew where he belonged. He jokes about leaving his studies midway, states that was no ‘sacrifice’ and adds he could have never fared in academics. So he is no techie-turned-musician who first completed his course, worked for a couple of years and then went back to pursue his passion? “I belong to a village in Irinjalakuda and I didn’t complete my diploma course after class 10. When I went to Chennai to start a career in music I didn’t even speak any language other than Malayalam. I was jobless for almost a year,” he says. After the initial struggle he found his place in music circles as a keyboard programmer and worked with almost all Malayalam composers. It was during this period that Thaikkudum Bridge was formed and the rest is history. “The band was more of an accident. It was just an informal gathering of a group of friends and the actual band was born when our music went viral online. Films happened later on,” he says.
The poignant violin solo that goes with the end credits of ‘Njan Steve Lopez’ created quite a flutter recently and Govind says he was more than surprised by the tremendous response. “Rajeevettan is one director who gives you complete creative freedom. Normally nobody will allow or ask for such an extended instrumental piece. I was really overwhelmed by the feedback,” he says.
The music of Thaikkudum Bridge has a folksy edge and jazzy depth to it and Govind says as the composer he tries not to restrict the music to one genre or style. “We go for folk tunes so that the mood and meaning of lyrics are not lost to the listeners. But all my songs are not in the same folk pattern.” Govind says composing music for his band is a carefree process whereas film scores are made with certain guidelines. “I can create situations and stories I like and build on it. For example the fish rock that starts with ‘ayala, mathi, choora...’ was born out of my love for fish. But when you do films everything from situation to the age of hero counts.”
A composer, violinist and vocalist, ask Govind which role he enjoys most and he says, “I am completely aware of my limitations as a violinist. I won’t be comfortable with certain things as I consider myself an average player. But I often feel that composing is my forte.” Govind says while he is busy with six film projects he is keeping his fingers crossed for his band’s next ‘Chatte’. “I have attempted something different in this and is looking forward to its release in October,” he winds up.