My enjoyment of working with Gautham Menon sir will reflect in my music: Singer Karthik
Singer-composer Karthik speaks about working with Gautham Vasudev Menon in Joshua Imai Pol Kaakha, the potential of independent music, working amid a pandemic, and the MeToo movement
Singer Karthik, whose song Naan Un Joshua from Gautham Vasudev Menon’s upcoming film Joshua Imai Pol Kaakha is fast approaching the 1 million views mark on YouTube, fields questions about the project, the potential of independent music, working amid a pandemic, and the MeToo movement in which he was accused…
Joshua Imai Pol Kaakha is said to be a complete action film. How has the genre lent itself to your music? Could you also talk about Naan Un Joshua?
I have both sung and composed Naan Un Joshua, the song we released last week. It is a simple, sweet song that conveys what the protagonist feels. It is also quirky and I’m excited that we have shared it sooner than I expected. We are now done with two songs (The first single from the film, Hey Love, was released a few months ago). The album is still a work in progress. The film is an action-thriller with elements of romance, and the album will reflect both. I enjoyed working with Gautham sir and want to ensure the enjoyment translates into my work.
You have also recently worked with the filmmaker for Ondraga Originals’ Oru Chance Kudu.
Oru Chance Kudu is our fourth song for Ondraga Originals. We finished three songs till about a year and a half ago. It has been the dream for Gautham, Karky and myself to do independent music. It is a space where we can do whatever we want. I must thank fans for the support.
In creating an Ondraga Original, do you come up with the tune first or the concept?
Sometimes, it’s the lyrics; sometimes, it’s the concept, and some other times, it’s the composition. It all just happens organically. With Oru Chance Kudu, it all began with Gautham’s idea and then Karky came up with beautiful lyrics. The final step was the composition.
While on lyrics, Vignesh Shivan has written Naan Un Joshua. What was it like to work with him?
Vignesh is sweet, simple and easily accessible. There is a conversational quality to his writing; that is what I wanted. The song is meant to feel like, someone is pouring their heart out with a smile and lots of love.
Being a singer yourself, how do you go about picking someone to sing your composition?
It’s not a blind choice, and there’s a lot of effort that goes into making this choice. Sometimes, there’s a tune and you are not even sure if it will work. You go through the motions and see if it does. Sometimes, when you come up with an idea, you just have a voice in mind and it’s easier in such cases, but it’s a tough process. (Laughs)
As a performer and follower in the indie music space, how do you see this space having evolved?
I think it’s a great time now. Earlier, singers did not have a platform, but now, it doesn’t take much money to put out an album. I think it’s only a matter of time before indie music takes better shape and I really believe it’s going to become an important stream. With one click, anyone can jump from Coldplay to Ilaiyaraaja to AR Rahman to a new singer. This opens up art.
The lockdown does not seem to have hindered your productivity.
I think it has made all of us realise how simple life is. It’s a difficult time and it has taught us all a lot of things. I have been using this time to learn a lot. I have picked up orchestral writing, and used it in my latest song as well; I have also started working on drums. As singers, we usually go on musical tours but now, there’s none of that. So, I have been trying to learn a lot.
How do you respond to the MeToo movement in which you were named?
All I have to say is, I completely support the movement and I think it is important.
In your statement in response to being named in the MeToo movement, you had asked accusers to reach out to you directly, and said that you would apologise if it turned out their accusations were true. Considering the trauma involved in these cases, do you think it is fair to ask accusers to reach out to the very person they are accusing?
I would like to share that I’m 100 percent for the movement. I hope you understand. Thank you.