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The Rediff Interview
The Guru of Kannada music
May 12, 2006
After Chithra, Upendra, Appu, Aaptha Mithra, Rama Shaama Bhaama and last year's blockbuster Jogi, Guru Kiran is the most happening music director in the Kannada film industry.
Hailing from Mangalore, he first started out as an actor, getting into music direction with the film A, which launched Upendra's career. A became a sensational hit and Guru Kiran has not looked back. His latest assignments in Kannada include the two most talked about films -- Shivaraj Kumar's Kumara Rama, and Vishnuvardhan's Ekadhantha. He has just signed his first Telugu film, to be directed by P Vasu with Balakrishna in the lead.
In an interview with R G Vijayasarathy, the sensational music director shares the reasons for his success -- hard work and team work.
You have just signed your first Telugu film. Are you making conscious efforts to move to other languages?
It is not that I received an offer to work in a non-Kannada film only now. I have been getting a lot of offers, but couldn't take them up because I was extremely busy. I couldn't refuse this offer though, because I have great regard for P Vasu, with whom I worked in Aaptha Mithra.
2005 was an extremely successful year, with major hits like Jogi, Auto Shankar, Namma Basava, Rama Shaama Bhaama and Rishi.
Yes, it was a good year for me. I also composed music for films like Valmiki, Swamy and Nammanna, which were duds at the box office. I will not say that success or failure doesn't matter to me. But I can confidently say that, from the day I became an independent music director, I have been trying to make my compositions sound attractive and different. If you look at the songs of Jogi and Rama Shaama Bhaama, you will see the difference in my approach. It depends on the script and how a director conceives the project.
What's on your mind when you start composing for a film?
Composing music is not like preparing instant coffee. You don't have all the ingredients in one place. Music should first strike a chord. It is divine and a product of sustained, committed effort. But I am very sorry to say that a majority of the people in the industry want everything fast. They need to get the right quality of songs in a flash. I would like to add that director Prem and producer Ram Prasad gave me a lot of time and freedom while composing the music for Jogi. We used to have a lot of discussions on it, too. I want my compositions to be original. I have never lifted tunes even when some producers and directors have asked me to. I make that very clear to everyone.
Actor Ramesh Arvind, who came to me for the music of Rama Shaama Bhaama, (left) told me that though he was making a remake, he wanted the music to be fresh and innovative. He used to spend long hours with me until he was satisfied with my tunes.
You are composing music for Kumara Rama, a period film. Can you tell us something about that?
I am quite excited about it. When producer M S Pattabhiram and director Bhargava approached me for the film, I was surprised. I told him I needed time to compose for such a project, and I can confidently say that I have experimented a lot. One of the songs is classical raga-based, two are based on folk songs, and there are also songs of the modern, commercial variety.
I want to add here that Dr Raj Kumar appreciated a rhythmic, melodious song I had composed for the film.