Controversies don't affect me
One of the most sought-after composers in Malayalam, Gopi Sunder believes in making tunes which appeal to the masses
Perhaps no other singer or composer has had to fight controversies like Gopi Sunder. He is social media’s favourite target, often vilified by faceless trolls, but Gopi is not one to get bogged down by the torrent of negativity. His career continues to skyrocket, back-to-back chart-busters are born, and Gopi is Mollywood’s busiest composer. “Do I look like someone who bothers too much about such allegations? The only thing I care about is to deliver songs people like,” says the composer, whose latest, the songs from CIA, are trending. In conversation with Express, Gopi opens up about his superhit-laden career, controversies and on how he strives to stay updated
You are on a roll these days with back-to-back projects and chartbusters.
Since 2014, I have had my hands full. So, this has been a way of life for some time now. As for hits, I always strive to make songs that people will love. I want them to come to theatres to watch the film. This is a business and I have the responsibility to ensure that it thrives and songs are crowd-pullers too. And, what’s the point of making songs that are classically rich and aesthetic, but forgettable? As an artist, I believe in handling mass and class with the same ease. I think a composer who knows the pulse of the audience can create songs that people lov, and handle classy songs too. But, not necessarily vice-versa. Cinema is a business and I am very much aware of that.
Does bringing actors to sing for your songs help?
Every song Dulquer Salman sang for you has turned out to be a hit. Initially, I too thought so. I tried this for the first time in Anwar (2010) when lead actors Prithviraj and Mamta sang a peppy number. But, then I realised it is not necessarily because of their involvement that the song turned out to be a hit. There is a certain formula to creating a hit. If a song has that, it becomes a chart-buster. The same applies with Dulquer. He is a good singer and a wonderful actor, but I think people would have loved the song anyway. For instance, songs like Appangal embadum... (Ustad Hotel) and Eth kari ravilum ...(Bangalore Days). Basically, a song should excite people.
Recently, there were a lot of controversies regarding actors singing in Bollywood, with regard to Sonakshi Sinha’s involvement in Justin Bieber’s concert. What do you think?
It’s a matter of personal freedom. If an actor wants to sing, he should. Whether to listen or not is your freedom. I don’t want to comment on what others think on this issue.
What really happened to the song ‘Chilankakal Tholkkum’ in Satya?
There was a lot of negative buzz in social media. Actually, Diphan wanted a classical song that can be used as an item number. But, what went wrong was the choreography which was a mismatch with the song and its flavour. But, all the criticism came my way. I composed the song first and had no idea about what the visuals would be. Having said that I think the controversy only made the song popular. It is a beautiful song and I hear it on the radio all the time.
What’s your stance on the allegations about you copying tunes?
There have always been such allegations. But, one has to understand that copying can land me in legal issues and I don’t have time for such a mess now. Then, there is a lot of difference between drawing inspiration and copying. I have always maintained that and I don’t mind telling the world the truth if . I am confident of my talents.
You work for so many movies at the same time?
I rarely take more than a day, to compose a song, thanks to my experience. And, I am not that extremely busy that I spend sleepless nights. I take time off, travel and meet people. But, then I do a lot of research and keep myself updated too.