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Composer Hesham Abdul Wahab on Hi Nanna, looking beyond Hridayam and his love for Hyderabad | Exclusive

After Kushi and Spark, Hesham’s third album Hi Nanna is winning over music buffs

Composer Hesham Abdul Wahab on Hi Nanna, looking beyond Hridayam and his love for Hyderabad | Exclusive
Hesham Abdul Wahab on Hi Nanna

Last Updated: 05.00 PM, Dec 05, 2023


If it was the Malayalam film Hridayam that kept the latest music sensation Hesham Abdul Wahab in the news in 2022, this year will be remembered for how he has consolidated his position as a composer in Telugu cinema. After a relationship drama Kushi and an action thriller Spark, he hopes to end the year on a positive note with Hi Nanna, a love story headlined by Nani, Mrunal Thakur.


Despite his growing fame among Telugu audiences, Hesham insists he has just begun a new innings in the industry and has a lot more to achieve. Hi Nanna has been a peaceful project for him. Not only was the director Shouryuv very clear with his inputs, but also the production house Vyra Entertainments made him feel at home, agreeing to every request he and his team has made throughout the project.

Multiple tracks from the film are chartbusters already - from Samayama to Odiyamma and Ammadi. He admits there are similarities between Samayama and Hridayam’s chartbuster Darshana. “The origins for both the tunes may be similar, but I didn’t intend to rehash it. We were vert particular about offering something fresh for audiences and every song has a strong situational basis.”

Shouryuv especially surprised him with how he used various portions of a song across the narrative. With Ammadi, Hesham wanted a buzzword that one would use to refer to their spouse and Ananth Sriram went onto develop it. Given the emotional tone of the film, the party number - Odiyamma - sung by Dhruv Vikram, Chinmayi and Shruti Haasan is intentionally subdued.

“Dhruv Vikram was a true sport and came on board with Shouryuv’s suggestion. He was sweet, flew down to Hyderabad, stayed here to record the track for a couple of days,” Hesham adds. Unlike Kushi, where the songs drove its background score, the focus of Hi Nanna was to stay true to the situation. The composer states its one of the first films in the country to have used AI for the music score.

Amidst two emotionally heavy films like Kushi and Hi Nanna, Hesham worked on the action drama Spark as well. “I came on board because of the director and the actor Vikranth Reddy. The film couldn’t perform well but it was a learning experience to work on a different genre. It was a film for which I formed a new team. It helped us familiarise ourselves before we worked on Hi Nanna - say ‘net practice’? (laughs)”

Having watched the entire film, he states that the writing and the performances are the high points of Hi Nanna. “It’s definitely Nani and Mrunal’s career-best work and Shouryuv will be a talent to watch out for,” he exudes confidence. Does it bother him that people continue to address him as the ‘Hridayam’ composer? “I think it’s a part of my identity now. I hope it changes after Hi Nanna.”

For Hi Nanna, Hesham was particular about recording the songs in Hyderabad. He has plans to set up a studio in the city soon too. “Hyderabad is definitely my second home after Kochi. It’s a place where musicians are so professional and knowledgeable about their craft. I hope the city produces more artistes to avoid the industry’s growing dependence on Chennai for recordings.”

He has two films lining up for release in 2024 - Sharwanand’s next with Sriram Aditya and Rahul Ravindran’s The Girlfriend. “Sharwa’s film has wrapped up shoot and The Girlfriend just began its shoot today.”

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