I wasn't comfortable doing masala films
Vishal Chandrasekhar opens up ahead of the release of Sangili Bungili Kadhava Thorae
Sangili Bungili Kadhava Thorae, which is releasing this week, is Vishal Chandrashekar’s ninth film. He made his debut four years ago. Back then, a good song would usually occur to him when in the middle of a traffic jam or when waiting in a queue. Now, he says he can compose music anywhere. “I have trained myself to do that,” he laughs.
An ardent fan of AR Rahman, Vishal enrolled at the composer’s KM Conservatory in 2009 to specialise in the piano. From scoring music for short films and advertisements to films, he’s come a long way. Vishal considers himself to be a director’s technician. Content-driven films interest him a lot as they are hard to come by. “Take Kuttram 23, for instance. I had a great time working on the script. Initially, I wasn’t comfortable doing commercial projects. But slowly, that has changed,” he smiles. The young composer feels it’s challenging to score music for offbeat films. “It’s important not to repeating oneself. When entertainment is the focus, it becomes tough. You need to speak the language of people who’re going to watch the film. I am still learning,” he says.
In Sangili Bungili..., he is thrilled about attempting something different. “I’ve provided separate treatment for the two genres — horror and comedy. I’ve not combined them like in some other films. I’ve taken cues from English films like The Conjuring. But, of course, there’s an Indian touch to the songs,” he assures. There are five songs in the album, all of which have been sung by music directors — Simbu, Anirudh, Arunraja Kamaraj, Premgi Amaren and Gangai Amaran. “I made each song to suit their individual style. I had a blast working with each of them,” he adds.
Vishal specifically likes the track he composed for Anirudh. “I’ve experimented with live sound in this one, and the portions where we used sarangi have come out really well,” he points out. The sarangi is a special instrument, he says. “It’s the only instrument that resembles the human voice and is able to evoke deep feelings and emotions. It is usually used to fill in the gaps between the phrases of a vocal performance. I love using such rare instruments in my compositions,” he adds.
Vishal is simultaneously composing music for his second Telugu outing, Kathalo Rajakumari. “It’s a breezy love story and Ilaiyaraaja sir has scored music for two songs; I am composing for the rest. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to work with the maestro. I’ve not met him yet, but am hoping to soon,” he smiles. Though he doesn’t know Telugu, he makes an effort to understand the dialogues, by writing them down in English or Tamil before compose tunes.
Today’s audience is exposed to quality music and new genres, but he strongly feels that, at the end of the day, most of us still yearn to listen to the AR Rahman of the 90s and the vintage melodies of Ilaiyaraaja. “Their music never felt forced and that’s something very special.”
Vishal hopes to make Shankar Mahadevan sing for him at least once. “I am also a huge fan of Ranjit Barot and Vishal Dadlani. I also wanted to make SPB sing for me, which I have done in Brindavanam. The song will take you back to 70s,” he says.