The composer holds forth on Ravikanth Perepu’s third directorial, changing trends in the film industry and his detachment from work
There’s always an additional layer of excitement for a composer when he gets to work on a love story surrounding protagonists in their early 20s. It serves as an opportunity to expand one’s range as a musician, the genre too has a loyal audience that’s waiting to lap up whatever that comes their way. The tougher challenge is to be think like gen Z, create music that’ll be relevant for them.
Sricharan Pakala, who’s completed a decade as a composer recently, views his latest release - Bubblegum - as a platform to redefine his musical sensibilities. It’s his third film with director Ravikanth Perepu, a longtime friend in Vizag. “There’s definitely a comfort zone while working with a friend. However, because they know you so well, they’ll catch your bluff too,” the composer smiles.
The fact that the film’s protagonist plays a DJ gave the composer a license to go berserk, explore the depths of electronic music within the mainstream space. He admits though a love story may not offer anything pathbreaking in terms of situations, the tone of the film, the characterisation help him decide the texture of the song. Izzat, Easy Peasy and Habibi Jilebi are proof of his wild experiments.
However, doesn’t electronic music limit the possibility of a song’s lyrical appeal than other genres? Sricharan begs to differ. “I believe lyrics are often the lifeline of a number. Is it practical to expect a listener to remember the lyrics these days? Perhaps, it may take a greater effort, repeated hearings for them to appreciate something in the electronic space.”
On that front, Ravikanth even turned a lyricist for Easy Peasy. While Sricharan is the go-to name for thrillers, intense dramas, the composer is making a dedicated effort to change the scenario. “Even I was surprised when filmmakers came to me saying that Krishna and his Leela changed their view about my abilities over films like Kshanam or Goodachari.”
Having been in the industry for a while, it pains him for music to be reduced to stats on Youtube, streaming platforms, Instagram reels lately. “We work so hard to create music with longevity and it saddens me that there’s more discussion on quantity over quality. Imagine the effort we had put into buying a cassette or a disc and took time to appreciate the music not so long ago?”
All of this has also resulted in him being detached from the performance of his albums. “I’d worked over a year for a music album recently and when the film failed, it took me a long time to get over it. As a composer, I was more available to all films regardless of budgets sometime ago, trusting my instincts. Now, I’m forced to be exclusive.”
While sharing his take on the intrusion of AI into the music industry, “From programmers to instrumentalists and other technicians, AI will dent several careers in the long run. There are no two things about it, but we can’t be too worried either. Personal touch and emotional always beautifies art. Would you react the same way if a robot said ‘I love you’?”
Without divulging details, Sricharan informs he’s cutting down on projects involving multiple composers. Meanhile, the early previews of Bubblegum have received favourable responses, with viewers particularly liking his work during the interval sequence. He insists there’s adequate emphasis on giving a musical identity for Maanasa’s character as much as Roshan’s. “Else, it gets one-sided.”
Satyabhama, Kajal Aggarwal’s cop thriller, will be his immediate release while he plans to do some globetrotting to widen the musical appeal of Goodachari 2. Like always, he plans to strike a balance between indie music and film scores. “Independent music is for the soul, while films ensure sustenance. Films have a wider reach, so it makes good sense to reach audiences through the medium.”
(Bubblegum, starring Roshan Kanakala, Maanasa Choudhary, directed by Ravikanth Perepu, releases on December 29)