Telugu pop singer Vamsi Kalakuntla's ‘My Love’ is instant hit 

Dallas-based singer-composer-lyricist Vamsi Kalakuntla’s niche music combines Western inspiration and regional elements
 

Published: 31st July 2022 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th July 2022 02:53 PM   |  A+A-

Vamsi Kalakuntla, the Dallas-based Telugu pop singer, lyricist and composer.

Vamsi Kalakuntla, the Dallas-based Telugu pop singer, lyricist and composer.

Express News Service

Vamsi Kalakuntla, the Dallas-based Telugu pop singer, lyricist and composer, is chuffed about two things. First, his new Telugu pop single, titled ‘My Love’, was released on July 3 and inched up the charts on streaming networks such as SpotifyIndia. Second, his photo and his music were on the billboards across New York’s Times Square last week. “Yeah man, that’s dope. When your music label puts 
you out there on these billboards, it’s like you have arrived,” says the 28-year-old musician, who hails from Khairatabad in Hyderabad. Vamsi burst onto the Telugu pop scene with his debut single called ‘Nightmare’, which clocked in 3.4 million views on YouTube in December 2021.

‘My Love’ features Indie R&B singer-songwriter Vanalika Shan and Vamsi. The video shot in Los Angeles is directed by Rupan Bal, who has worked with artists such as Diljit Dosanjh, Guru Randhawa and Bohemia. “The single is a blend of Telugu and English verses so that even non-Telugu listeners can groove to the music. The Telugu touch, is of course, for my regional fans,” says Vamsi. The pop star’s new single is made in collaboration with Jonathan Camacho, a music producer, composer and songwriter, who is currently the head of the music production and publishing at The Creatives Factory, Dallas. 

Vamsi had always been looking to work with global giants. After he moved to the US to work as a software engineer at a tech firm in Dallas, things started falling in place. The success of Telugu pop artistes such as Ram Miriyala, whose melancholic hit ‘Oorelta mawa’ about nostalgia for his hometown, went on to become a hit, and music bands such as Nawab Gang, Mama Sing and Chowrasta have spurred his desire to make it big.

“In 2019, I met Camacho at a guitar store in Dallas, where I was looking at some new guitars. One conversation led to another. Within a month, we started to make music in his studio,” he says. Vamsi laments that Telugu pop/independent music is underrated and wants to undo the perception. “My musical journey took off after I met Jon (Camacho). He is my go-to music producer for all my releases and my mentor from time to time,” he confesses. 

Despite the pandemic, 2021 was a good year for him. The music communities in Los Angeles appreciated his work and gave him new opportunities. That same year, the IMDb-listed Hollywood film 7 Days featured his music. Vamsi’s love affair with music began when he was nine. In Hyderabad where he lived, he got trained in Carnatic music during a summer camp. In 2013, Telugu music composer Ajay Patnaik took him under his wing and guided him in songwriting, composition and film music. Why has he chosen Telugu pop though, when he could have chosen Western music and reached more fans? “Telugu is my first love. I grew up listening and grooving to it.

Moreover, my niche audience is Telugu NRIs, who will appreciate my songs,” is his answer. Vamsi believes that his music stands out from the regular music in Telugu cinema or light music because he infuses it with a combination of Western and Indian influences. “My Dronacharyas are Chris Brown, The Weeknd, Drake and Indian composers such as AR Rahman, Harris Jayaraj and Ilaiyaraaja. I watch and learn from their work,” he adds. With blockbuster Telugu movies such as Baahubali and Pushpa putting Telugu on the global map, he believes that the world has an eye for Telugu movies. 

Of all the songs that he wrote or composed, which one is music to his ears? “It’s not a particular song, but my father Madhusudhana Rao and my late mother Sandhya Rani’s appreciation for my songs is music to my ears,” he says. 



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