Item numbers are torturous: Thaman

Item numbers are torturous: Thaman

Actor Allu Arjun was supposed to make his singing debut in his forthcoming release Sarrainodu but alas, it was not the case as the soundtrack hit the...

Actor Allu Arjun was supposed to make his singing debut in his forthcoming release ‘Sarrainodu’ but alas, it was not the case as the soundtrack hit the market. Quiz Thaman on the same and he responds, “We thought of making him sing a ‘party’ number but it couldn’t happen. Later we recorded it with MC Vickey and we were impressed with his work; in fact, Bunny asked us to retain his voice.”

  • Musician-singer Thaman talks about joining forces with Boyapati Sreenu for ‘Sarrainodu’, why item numbers are a big torture, acting come back and remixes

The composer admits he was initially apprehensive to collaborate with director Boyapati Sreenu. “I knew his working style as I worked under Devi Sri Prasad for ‘Bhadra’. When I was told that Boyapati would direct ‘Sarrainodu’, I wondered how to please him with my work. But in the first week of the music sittings in Chennai, we became good friends and he locked in three tunes in 10 days.”

Talking about what went into composing of the popular Telusu Telusa number, he shares, “When I saw the visuals of the idyllic locations of Bolivia (the location of the song), it pushed us to come up with a soothing number. We got the word Telusa Telusa from lyricist Sri Mani and we composed a soft melody.

Nonetheless, the entire credit for the song’s success should go to the singers Jubin Nautiyal and Sameera Bharadwaj.” Thaman believes item numbers will cease only when filmmakers stop making commercial films. “Item songs are the most popular numbers in an album and also the most played at private gatherings and functions.

They should be addressed as mass numbers instead,” he declares, adding, “They are a big torture, though! If I come up with a decent number, then pressure mounts on another composer to come up with an equally good composition, if not better. We are made to rack our brains to get the best one, but in a way, they bring out the best in us.”

The tunesmith points out that he is averse to the idea of remixing yesteryear chartbusters. “I don’t entertain rehash versions because the comparisons are inevitable with the original and I don’t think we can recreate the same magic. I never wanted to do a remix number. Even when I was asked to give a new-age sound for Subhaleka rasukunna (in ‘Nayak’) the pressure I felt was equal to composing ten films.

I wanted Ilaiyaraaja to hear it out first but that didn’t happen,” he sighs, adding, “I could have done a better job with the number. Remixes are very difficult.” While he has Gopichand Malineni’s project in his kitty up next, the composer is also gearing up for acting comeback with ‘Boys 2’.

Commenting on the sequel’s status, he shares, “In two months there will be a clarity regarding when it will go on floors. Everybody has liked the script. An associate of director Atlee will helm it and I’m on board to render tunes too.” On a parting note, Thaman says that his favourite pastime is cricket. “Even when I’m extremely occupied with work I make it a point to play cricket, which is my stress buster.

I’m a part of a Madras team comprising Unni Krishnan, SP Charan, Karthik, Naresh Iyer, Vijay Yesudas, Rahul Nambiar and Ranjith among others. We are playing a match with Kerala musicians in June,” he laughs, signing off.

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