Kumbalangi Nights soundtrack has a feel-good vibe: Sushin Shyam
The acclaimed composer talks about his unique working process for the highly anticipated film helmed by debutant Madhu C Narayanan
The last time Sushin Shyam spoke to us was right before the release of Varathan, and he was considering taking a break after working on three successive releases — Lilli, Maradona, Varathan. But he hasn’t been able to do that yet due to unavoidable commitments.
“I don’t make long-term plans,” he says. “As of now, I have Kumbalangi Nights and Virus. After that I have the Prithviraj-starrer Driving Licence, which is currently in the discussion stage. I might take a break once Virus is completed.”
Like 2018, he hopes this year will be eventful too. Kumbalangi Nights, his first release of the year, comes with a lot of expectations considering the names backing it as producers — Dileesh Pothan, Fahadh Faasil, and Shyam Pushkaran. The project came to him before the release of Maradona last year. “The overall soundtrack carries a feel-good vibe,” he says, citing the recently released songs, Cherathukal and Uyiril Thodum, both penned by noted lyricist Anwar Ali, as examples.
Sushin’s working process on the film was relatively different from his previous efforts. “In my discussions with Madhu C Narayanan, the complete story and situations weren’t narrated in one shot. Everything was worked on little by little because that’s how the script was developed. We went over one particular situation and later moved on to the next and so on. Cherathukal is the first track we talked about.”
The tunes went through several improvisations to accommodate the changes in the script. “There have been times when I had to rework some songs because they didn’t quite gel with the footage. You have a particular tune in mind when the script is narrated for the first time; but once the footage comes out, it will evolve into something else entirely. I had a lot of time to work on this one,” he adds.
Despite doing back-to-back projects, Sushin doesn’t worry about repeating his own tunes. “I really don’t have that concern. Sometimes an earlier tune may creep in just like that and we won’t notice it. These things cannot be controlled all the time. It simply happens.”
Composing the Kumbalangi Nights soundtrack was quite a challenge for Sushin because he wasn’t really sure if the film needed any songs given the realistic filmmaking approach of Madhu (a former associate of Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum-director Dileesh Pothan). “With a film of this nature, it was quite difficult to take a call on where to place the songs. Naturally, you become a little concerned about your music affecting the mood of the film or people not responding to it well. So I made very sure that the music in this film didn’t seem forced.”