Sounds of satire
Bharath Sankar, who took the jump from indie music to film music, talks about composing music for political satire, Mandela
Bharath Sankar, a member of the four-man rock band Oorka, which also includes Pradeep Kumar (bass), Jhanu ChantarC (guitar) and Tapass Naresh (drums), has made music for the Yogi Babu-starrer Mandela. Having only tested the waters in Dharala Prabhu, for which he had composed one song and penned lyrics for another, Bharath was surprised to get a call from debutant director Madonne Ashwin. "He offered me the project right after our first meeting. His faith in me made me double my efforts," the composer tells us.
Save for the climactic number featuring Yogi Babu, which called for "big emotions", the instructions were to keep things simple and easy on the ears. For Bharath, the big challenge was to ensure the music matched the tenor of the political satire. "There is a light-hearted tone to the proceedings and the music had to reflect that," says Bharath, who roped in artists from South Africa and Madagascar for the album. "Ela Mandela by the South African singer Musa Mashiane has gone on to become a fan favourite. This song had to be converted to our sensibilities of cinema. The other South African artist Alan Kupeta collaborated with me on the background score."
Mandela has opened new doors for Bharath, but he is not in a hurry to sign his next film. "I've been getting offers, but the script has to win my heart," he signs off.