‘It’s a challenge to compose music for commercial films’: S Thaman

Meet the composer of the sensational Samajavaragamana as he discusses his career-defining moment in the showbiz.

Published: 04th December 2019 11:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th December 2019 11:32 AM   |  A+A-

The actor-turned-composer says he has developed certain criteria to sign a project.

The actor-turned-composer says he has developed certain criteria to sign a project.

Express News Service

There seems to be a sense of contentment in SS Thaman’s ways. And rightly so as his latest song Samajavaragamana from Ala Vaikunthapurramlo has been trending on top for the last few weeks.

Written by Sirivennela Seetharama Sastry and crooned by Sid Sriram, the song from the Trivikram Srinivas directorial has raked in 100 million views and one million likes to become the only Telugu track to achieve this milestone in a short span. “It’s exciting and I am enjoying this phase,” he says ahead of the interview.

The sensational composer who has been the talk of the town was surprised by the thunderous response to the melody. “My intention was to compose a good track. Although I was confident that this song will make the team proud, I never predicted the success of this magnitude,” he says adding, “There is a sense of love in the lyrics and it is unlike typical Trivikram’s melody. We have followed a different approach and I believe my interactions with Trivikram and Sastry garu helped me to give my best. I am now counting on the next two songs from the album.”

Was there any pressure to deliver a hit song? “These days, the promotion of a film begins with the release of the songs in it. So, music enables the audience to connect to the film. Being a composer, I must add a novelty factor to get a good tune. Having said that, I have never faced any pressure as such as all the filmmakers and actors that I have collaborated with until now believe in my abilities,” he says.

The actor-turned-composer says he has developed certain criteria to sign a project.

“Earlier I used to go with the flow, but now I am insisting on a bound script and the directors too communicate their ideas effectively. Every script has a feel and it’s important to understand a situation and reflect the feel in our music,” he shares.

He is happy that his work celebrates different genres. “This is a good thing that happened to me. Venky Mama is an emotional drama, Prathiroju Pandaage is a rom-com, Ala Vaikunthapurramlo is a family entertainer with Trivikram’s mark comedy and Disco Raja is a different film that comes with a non-linear narration. So, working in different genres helped me rejuvenate myself. I have enjoyed working for these films and I am not in any rush,” he avers.

The musician says that he enjoyed composing for Nuvvu Naatho Emannavo (Disco Raja) and Yennallako (Venky Mama) which are slightly off the beaten track.

“Consumption pattern of music has changed and only a few songs remain unforgettable. Being an 80s kid, I like the sounds created by Ilaiyaraaja garu and I always enjoy composing retro-style songs as they have subtle elements of sensibility and exude an old-world charm. Such songs enrich a sequence in the films.”

Thaman, who earlier recreated songs like Subhalekha Raasukunna, Chamak Chamak Cham admits that he is no longer interested in remixes.

“One day, SP Balasubramaniam garu called me to ask the need for remixing a song. I felt bad and realised that it’s not a good trend to remix old classics. I understood that we are exploiting of what should be a composer/playback singer’s legacy without any regard for the original song. Nobody has the right to tamper with the creativity of these great composers and lyricists. Hence, I have decided to stop working on remixes. Even if someone insists me to do it, I politely refuse their proposal.”  

He continues, “The challenge for a good music composer is to bring out tunes for a commercial entertainer. Sometimes you have to play with your weaknesses and spontaneously think of the score when the protagonist sets out to kill someone with a sword.”

The young composer says that he is always open to constructive criticism and believes that it will have a positive impact when given and received right.

“I often interact with my followers on Twitter. Encouragement is good, but honest feedback will help tap the true potential in an artist. There will be occasions where you receive feedback that is certainly not given with the best intentions. This is evident when you see anonymous comments on your Twitter timeline. Even though I might not necessarily agree with everyone, I try to identify if there is any truth to these critiques or the feedback you agree with and work on those things. Otherwise, I will move on or at best try and explain why I have a different view of that particular thing,” he candidly says before signing off.

No remixes
One day, SP Balasubramaniam garu called me to ask the need for remixing a song. I felt bad and realised that it’s not a good trend to remix old classics. I understood that we are exploiting of what should be a composer/playback singer’s legacy without any regard for the original song.

Social media
I often interact with my followers on Twitter. Encouragement is good, but honest feedback will help tap the true potential in an artist.

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