What prompted you to get into music?
I hail from a musical family; both my mother and father are from lineages of musicians. Furthermore, my dad is a classically trained vocalist. I began singing at the age of three and started playing the piano at the age of five. So music has always been a part of me and my life. But my dad had always told me that I had a choice to do what I wanted in my life. I knew for sure, even back then, that I was never going to become a Carnatic musician like my dad, partly because of him. He opened my horizons to Hindustani music, cinema and world music and I began to realize that my heart belonged to cinematic music as a whole and I cannot be a performer who limits myself to Carnatic. So, around the age of 11, I decided that I was going to experiment with world music. And that’s when I started making my own music.
What does music mean to you personally?
To me, music is all about emotions and expressions. No matter who one person is, or what his/her background is, everyone will have a favourite song/soundtrack that they go back to every once in a while. I just liked how music had that much power to dictate over one’s emotions. You can be sad, happy or angry – music provides you with the exact sounds of what you want to hear. And, like I said, it is also about expression. The thing is emotions and expressions go hand in hand. I’m an expressive person myself. But when I fail to express what I feel using words, I take to music. I wanted my works to provide the same to others. I want my audience to connect with my music and my music to resonate with their feelings.
What styles are you most inclined to or inspired by?
That’s a difficult question to answer, as a composer should be open to all genres of music. I love listening to orchestral works and cinematic soundtracks. Now I do love songs with words. When it comes to instrumental works, it is simply music taking complete control. Also, one of the biggest reasons I chose to get into film scoring and music as a career was Hans Zimmer’s amazing score for Inception. I was completely blown away by how the music elevates a scene. However, I’m also a big sucker for symphonies and concertos, especially those composed by Mozart. So, I’d say I’m mostly inclined to produce a hybrid of orchestral and cinematic music. When it comes to making songs, I’m influenced by an array of styles ranging from nu-metal rock, to Indian music, to even modern day rap.
Beyond films, where do you see your career in music taking you to?
I have always been a fan of cinema and will always be. Apart from composing, I would love to produce and direct my own films at some point in my career. But that’s mainly because I love writing and story-telling. Also, I’m an independent artiste and my career is coming into shape because of those roots. So, I would love to make my own independent albums and put them out, in addition to film music. Beyond films, I want to release as much music as possible, independently.
Are there contemporary musicians that you take inspiration from?
On the cinematic front, I’d say I love the works of Govind Vasantha, as I have been following him since his Thaikkudam Bridge days. I also like the scores of Sean Roldan and Pradeep Kumar. On just the musical front, there is an American music producer/singer-songwriter named Jon Bellion. I’m crazy about his works and ability to convert his ideas exactly to music with the right sounds. He combines a variety of genres such as pop, rap, indie, rock and alternative styles seamlessly and fuses them in such a manner that the output is very different but coherent. That’s something any musician would strive for. He has also been a big inspiration to me.