Rex Vijayan's soulful and nostalgic music
The composer talks about the music he composed for Mayaanadhi and about his band Avial
Ashiq Abu's Mayaanadhi won the hearts of the viewers with its realistic portrayal of love and life. It also scored on the musical front with melodious and soulful songs. People humming them even days after watching the film shows how potent Rex Vijayan's magic is. He shares his experiences while composing the music for the film and also for his band Avial.
You have worked with Ashiq Abu on most of his films and in Mayaanadhi you took on the roles of both the music director and the background scorer, how did it happen?
Ashiq chettan approached me. He asked me to compose the music and the background score for Mayaanadhi. He maintains a close friendship with me and I believe he likes my music since he has frequently asked me to compose whenever he plans a film. He wanted a memorable album for Mayaanadhi. It was to have a fresh feel. He admired Nostalgia composed by Thaikudam Bridge. So for Mayaanadhi, I tried to blend nostalgic tunes with fusion.
Mayaanadhi's music sounds different from your previous outings and has a ghazal touch. Is this new territory for you?
Yes, my style is world music and belongs to the fusion genre. In my previous works including Neelakasham Pachakadal Chuvanna Bhoomi, 22 Female Kottayam or Da Thadiya, the songs were of a different genre. Same is the case with my work for the band. Ashiq chettan wanted a mix of ghazal and fusion for Mayaanadhi. Popular ghazal singer Shahabaz Aman gave the ghazal touch to the songs and Neha Nair was the female playback singer in the film.
Tell us how viewers received the songs in Mayaanadhi?
The film has four songs including the title track and I received the maximum appreciation for the melody Mizhiyil Ninnum. People also like the songs Uyirin Nadhiye and Kaatil. The beautiful lyrics made a significant contribution to making the songs sound good.
Apart from Mayaanadhi, you did the background score for films like Picket 43, Friday, Second Show and Parava. Which is easier music direction or composing background score?
When we do a background score, we work with various other artists. It is also supported by visual content. But music is an independent voice that carries the film forward, hence requires more attention. In Mayaanadhi, background score was planned for title shots. But as there were more montages, we composed the title track Kiliye otherwise the audience would have become bored hearing the background score for a long time.
You are a guitarist and also have been composing for your band Avial since 2003. Which is more challenging, composing for the band or films?
For me, films are a bit more challenging since you have to keep in mind the story and the various emotions of the characters and compose accordingly. In a band, it is more freestyle. You are not confined to any specific theme.
Your father Albert Vijayan being a music director might have influenced you in choosing music?
I used to accompany him on his gigs and learnt to play musical instruments. I am not an officially trained musician, I listen, learn and try to execute in the best possible way. Not knowing technical sides in depth gives me the confidence to perform on the stage.
What are your upcoming projects?
Sudani from Nigeria starring Soubin Shahir and African star Samuel Abiola is my next film venture. Also, there are Avial concerts coming up this year.