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Interview Team : Mithun; Venkat

Here is music composer D Imman talking about his music, identity, and upcoming albums ! Part 1 of the exclusive follows:

Say Imman - and you will remember his melodies - Jilla's 'Kandaangi Kandaangi...' and 'Verasa Pogaile...', Ennamo Edho's 'Muttalai Muttalai...', and Rummy's 'Koodamela Koodavechi...'

These songs are some of the most played in FMs. Also, not surprisingly, his even earlier releases - the melodies from Varuthapadatha Valibar Sangam, Pandiya Nadu and Kumki too find places in this year's coveted most played list. 
I present Imman figures of what he and his songs have achieved, and wait for his response...

"I didn't know that these songs were still featured", he laughs.
But, he quickly adds that the success not just depends on him, but also a lot of other factors. "The success of a song isn't just a music composer's. It depends on a lot of factors – company's reach, artists' calling power, marketing, FM channels and lot others. When all these factors click in unison, the audience will show interest to hear the song. And if good, this so called 'Top 10' happens."

We talk more about his forte style - the contemporary folk. Does he feel bad that he is subverted to this particular genre? 

He isn't. Rather, he is happy about that. "I can apply both Shakira and Lady Gaga in my songs, but this regional flavor is what makes people across the world identify me. In this generation of techno and synth sounds, a computer savvy person with little knowledge of music can be a composer. When my songs stand out of them, it's actually good."
"Places for Pizzas and Burgers are aplenty. But for authentic Rasam Sadham or Puli Soru there aren't many. I want my songs to have that authentic taste of Tamil Nadu. The whole process of bringing native instruments and native composers to my music table to produce the sound of Tamil Nadu gives me bliss."


Not just these regional songs, Imman specializes in songs with funky lyrics. In the list of most played songs of this year, his 'Nee Enna Periya Appatucker-a...' finds a place. Even his most recent release, Suseenthiran's Jeeva, starring Vishnu Vishal and Sri Divya in the lead roles, has one such song - 'Oru Rosa, Unna Loose-aa Aakki Ponaale, Ava Lesaa...'

"Not only now, I have had such tracks right from the beginning of my career - 'Dai... Kaiya Vechuttu Summa Iru Da...' is one such track. These lines are in practice among people, and that makes the song all the more catchy. With a neat tune, they loom large.
A lot of factors worked for the Appatucker-ah song. One is Anirudh's rendition. Then was the time when Ethir Neechal's 'Boomi Enna Suthuthey...' was ruling the charts. That mesmerizing voice was the first choice not just for me, but for the entire crew. Even, Santhanam called me and said that he didn't know that his very casual line was going to be a hit number, and that he so felt bad that the song was not present in his movie."

About experimentation in his albums...

“I try to make my base tune simple so that it catches up on people right from the first listen. Everything else, I experiment.
For instance, 'Oruthi Mela...' of Jeeva is a cappella type song (one in which no instruments are used). Except a guitar and mouth organ, everything else that seem like instruments are actually voiced. I felt that it was time someone used that style, and so used it. The reference dates to 'Please Sir...' number of Boys, and Thiruda Thiruda's 'Rasathi...' before that.
Even in 'Verasa Pogaile...' of Jilla, the piece between the Pallavi and Charanam, was composed with the trio concept (one that uses just a solo violin, a solo cello and a solo viola). Take out everything else, the interlude portion would seem like a western classical piece.”

What do you find missing in this generation's music, and what are you doing for that?

“This generation musicians don't compose over Raagas. Too much of western influence is to be blamed, but whether is it right or wrong – not sure. In Jeeva, we have a friendship based song - 'Enge Ponaai' - that comes in a crucial point of the movie. I based it on Hamsanandi Raaga, and made SPB sir sing it. The legend felt that all he needed was one such song every year. Even after the recording he kept raving about the song. I consider that a great blessing.”


Why do music composers reserve their best for certain directors - like you and Prabhu Solomon for instance?

“Just like any other creative field, a constrained environment doesn't work here. When directors come with pre-planned sets and settings, all we can do is go with his / her plan. There is no room to explore or try out options. Where as Prabhu allows so much space for me to strive. In fact, I can ask him to change a scene situation if my music demands it. Such freedom is what made Mynaa and Kumki possible.”


About upcoming big albums - Chiyaan Vikram - Vijay Milton's 10 Ennarathukulle and Siva Karthikeyan - Ponram's Rajini Murugan...

"10 Ennarathukulle is a commercially packed script. It's Vijay Milton's second movie, after this year's super hit Goli Soda, and has an interesting line. Since it's a road movie, it gives me an opportunity to explore racy music. The work is on. The work for Siva Karthikeyan - Ponram's Rajini Murugan is also going in full swing."

Stay tuned for the Part 2 of this interview... 




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