M Jayachandran is a name loved by music lovers. Starting his career as a playback singer in 1992, he then became an assistant to renowned music director G Devarajan. In 1995, he made his debut as a music director in Malayalam with the film Chantha. Though he soon turned out to be a familiar name in the movie industry, perhaps, Balettan and Gaurisankaram were the films that defined his career.
Talking over the phone from Thiruvananthapuram, M Jayachandran is really excited about his upcoming projects.
Among them, Thakkol, directed by debutant Kiron Prabhakaran, holds a special place for him. The film has Indrajith Sukumaran and Murali Gopy in the lead roles and the story revolves around a church and its priests. “What excited me the most is that the movie is completely based on authentic Christian backgrounds. I’ve tried to bring in the authentic, traditional, Christian music in the movie, however, it should also relate to the Malayali audience.
The movie narrates the story of priests and gives a genuine insight into churches. More than the songs of the movie, I’m excited about the background score,” he said. The movie has four songs sung by Mridula Warrier, Yazin Nizar, Swetha Mohan and himself.
He is equally excited to be part of Mammootty’s Mamangam. “Though it’s a period film, the songs are made in a way that it caters well to the contemporary audience. The movie is bound to tradition, but I have the responsibility to satisfy the contemporary audience with my music,” he said. The movie features three songs sung by K J Yesudas, Shreya Ghoshal and Bombay Jayashri.
His next movies include Marconi Mathai and Thelivu. “Marconi Mathai is an interesting subject. I’ve done the songs and background score for the movie. It is another project I enjoyed doing,” he says.
He has been part of many music reality shows as a judge and has always lent great support for the contestants. But, do reality shows have relevance? “Yes, of course. Singers such as Najim Arshad, Sithara and Mridula have all come through reality shows. The contestants are recognised and supported by many people. If there wasn’t such a platform, how would their talents be showcased? Be it any singer, cinema alone should never be their goal. Be good musicians. Let the music bring you opportunities like cinema,” says Jayachandran.
He has won the Kerala State Film Awards for best music director a record number of seven times and one time for best singer. Ennu Ninte Moideen brought him his first national award for music direction.
“Awards are the greatest inspirations. It gives us the right push to move forward. It actually helps our confidence. A committee recognising my composition, including my name in the award race, honouring me with an award inspires me to come up with more appealing compositions,” he says.
Of late, he has been doing a limited number of movies a year, but these quickly end up being the chartbuster. “I take up projects which challenge the composer in me. My upcoming projects should be different from the ones I did. The songs should have musical value. I believe in being unique,” says Jayachandran.
Jayachandran is celebrating his 25th year as a music director. How good has been the journey? “I came into the industry dreaming of doing at least one project. Moving to the 25th year, I’ve done around 130 movies now. It’s a bonus from the Almighty. Let the bonuses keep on coming,” he quips.
What about future plans? “I wish for a concert in front of Burj Khalifa in the presence of talented musicians from India and the Arab countries. I love to do a concert in grandeur like Yanni at Acropolis. The discussions are going on. It’s a great dream. And I hope it comes true,” he adds.