‘Maybe I Needn’t have Shortened my Name’

Kayal composer Imman opens about his indie gospel album and his plans for the New Year ahead

Published: 25th December 2014 05:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th December 2014 05:59 AM   |  A+A-


This Christmas is a double whammy for Imman. Not only are his films Kayal and Vellaikara Durai hitting screens, his first indie album’s title track will be released on iTunes at the stroke of midnight. Understandably, he’s in a good place - but not for the reasons that you’d imagine. Excerpts from a candid chat with the composer who’s had a whopping 10 releases in 2013 alone:

Why did you opt to do a religious album for your first indie venture?

It’s a sign of my gratitude to God. There are a lot of things that I have received and for over 2 years I have been meaning to do this. But I found time only here and there to compose and record. It’s called Thank You Jesus and it will be a full-fledged English album that will be distributed internationally by Sony Music.

Getting Sony on board must have been tough

I was pretty surprised when they said ‘yes’ without asking any questions. I could have done some pop or rock album, but this is an expression of my faith and I couldn’t think of a better time to release the title track than on Christmas. There are eight tracks on the album and we’re looking at an April launch. We’ve worked hard to keep any desi or Indian accent out of it.

Times have changed, with respect to religious expression in the industry, haven’t they?

To a great extent. Initially, a lot of people advised me to get a change of name to make it in the industry. My parents were not against it, so we did a little bit of numerology and my name was shortened to D Imman from Immanuel Vasanth Dinakar. People at home were calling me ‘Imman’ anyway, so it was fine. Looking back, sometimes I wonder if I shouldn’t have shortened my name.

2015 is going to be busy for you. Plenty of big projects

Yes it is! I’ve finished 3 songs for Vikram’s 10 Enradhukulla and i’ve also committed to Rajesh’s VSOP and Suseenthiran’s next film with Vishal, besides three others.

Isn’t is an overload?

I don’t party or drink, nor do I work through the night and sleep all day. I’m very conventional with my working hours, so it isn’t too much. There was a time when I had only 2-3 films releasing a year. And for the longest of times, i’ve only been getting village oriented films. After setting tunes to aruval fights, veshtis and coconut trees, it feels nice to watch some stylish cars and city lights for a change (laughs)

Do you every worry that someone might find a tune of your similar to somebody else’s and accuse of plagiarism?

It’s inevitable for any composer. We hear so many tunes all over the world that unconsciously we may replicate some small portion of it while composing tunes. A lot of people sift through tunes and post it online when they find something similar and call us ‘copycats’. I think it’s a verry silly thing because all they’re trying to show is that they’re very smart.


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