Tuning in with Shaan Rahman
The composer opens up about delivering back-to-back hits and his unique camaraderie with Vineeth Sreenivasan
Even Shaan Rahman agrees that he has had a wonderful time this year. The tracks he composed for Godha, a few months ago, were hugely popular and the latest, Entammede Jimmikikammal for the Mohanlal-starrer Vazhipadinte Pustakam is no different. Shaan seems to be waving his magic wand. Quiz him, and he says it is all God's grace. He, who made his debut in 2009, quickly adds, "The talented directors that I had the privilege of associating with, worked in my favour as well."
Shaan, who has just finished composing Vineeth Sreenivasan's next, Aana Alaralodalaral, talks to CE about his recent projects and how his camaraderie with Vineeth Sreenivasan, with whom he has had the most number of hits, extends beyond movies.
Share with us the story behind the 'Jimmikikammal...' song
In my eight-year-long career, this is the first time I am working with Lal Jose and Mohanlal. That's a cause worth celebrating. It was script writer Benny P Nayarambalam who briefed me about the story and sequences. I have never worked on an outright naadan pattu, so it was a fresh experience. While working on the song, Lalu chettan (Lal Jose) wanted me to compose a tune to the first four lines of Ente ammede Jimmikikammal. They were planning to use lyrics that sounded similar to these lines. But, then I thought why not use the same lines, because the verses are sung by college students, giving it a nostalgic feel, like the Poomaram song. They took my suggestion and Anil Panachooran wrote the remaining lyrics with the same whacky flavour.
Working with a team where you can give creative inputs must be very fulfilling as a composer.
Indeed, it creates in me a sense of responsibility for the project. Like when I was working on the background music for Velipadinte Pusthakam, I would give suggestions on shots that could be chopped off and Lalu chettan would trust my judgement. There is a certain comfort level when we work with such people. This happens with Vineeth, too.
Your last work Godha was a humungous success. Musically, each track was different and refreshing. It should be one of your best so far.
Godha was challenging in its own way. When director Basil Joseph told me this movie was on wrestling, I asked him whether it had songs. His reply was instant: "Only songs." In fact, each song had an important role in the narrative. For instance, the only sequence which shows Anjaneya Das' love for Aditi was the song Aaro Nenjil, which established the connect. That said, composing a love track is relatively easy. Other tracks like Oh Rabba and Wow were more challenging, as they had a huge role in enhancing the emotions. The story was fresh, the songs were the same and I think this is one reason that contributed to the sucess of Godha.
You seem to share a great bond with Vineeth. Hits are born when you both get together.
Well, my connect with Vineeth extends beyond cinema. We are friends first, and cinema comes later. In fact, most of the songs, like Enne Thallendammava (Oru Vadakkan Selfie) and Anuragathin velayil (Thattathin Marayathu) came during our friendly meetings. Most songs are born out of such jamming sessions. Sometimes, I hum a line and Vineeth would love it and ask me to record it. Many a time, a song is born in an hour or so. We never had any formal meetings to discuss music. And, yes, I have had the good fortune of working with him in every movie.
What is your take on actors singing in your movies?
I have had Vineeth, Ramya Nambeeshan and Aparna Balamurali sing for me. But, all of them were trained singers, before they became actors. However, of all the directors I have worked with, none of them ever demanded that an actor sing for me. But, then, if an actor can do a good job, then why not? I think Dulquer Salman has done a great job singing Pappa Bharanam Vendaappa and Sundari Penne as well as Prithviraj in Puthya Mukham. I cannot imagine these songs in any other voice. So, I am not against the trend.