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Exclusive! Charan Raj: Thankful for the 10 years in cinema; want 30 more

Amid last-minute work on Sapta Sagaradaache Ello’s score, the music director took time out to speak to OTTplay

Exclusive! Charan Raj: Thankful for the 10 years in cinema; want 30 more
Charan Raj

Last Updated: 12.18 PM, Aug 31, 2023


In 2014, Kannada audiences were introduced to a new music composer called Charan Raj, when Harivu came out. His big break, though, came when he collaborated with Hemanth M Rao on his debut film, Godhi Banna Sadharana Mykattu and there has been no looking back for him since. Today, Charan has to his credit a long list of films that stood out for the music, like, Tagaru, Kavaludaari, Salaga, and many more. This week, his third collaboration with Hemanth, Sapta Sagaradaache Ello releases in theatres, which will have at least 12 songs spread over its two parts. Six in each part is what they’d planned, but Hemanth is toying with adding another one in the second instalment. OTTplay had caught up with Charan a few days before Sapta Sagaradaache Ello’s release and spoke about his decade as a composer.


“I began working as an independent composer in 2013, when I got Harivu, but I have been in the industry since 2008, as an arranger. These last 10 years have been amazing, because I have got to collaborate with some phenomenal filmmakers. I enjoy film music, because you get to see so many different worlds and characters. It’s been very fulfilling and enriching,” Charan tells us. His filmography, interestingly, is a mix of genres. How does he balance that? “I absolutely enjoy switching between hardcore commercial music and more soulful melodies. I think I have a commercial composer in me, like, say, Tagaru, as well a side to me that also likes script-oriented films. I like to explore both worlds; but for me, more than whether the film is a commercial mass entertainer or more classy, it is about doing good music that works for that tale. I am very thankful that I got to do 10 years of music and want to do another 30 years of it at least,” he tells us.

So, how does he go with his work – lyrics first and then tune or the other way around? “It’s mostly tune first, but sometimes great lyrics can be good source of inspiration. For instance, when you are experimenting with a certain genre, like synthwave for the Sapta Sagaradaache Ello title track, you have to get the beat and the tune right before figuring out the lyrics to go with it,” he explains. What does a day in Charan’s life look like if he’s not composing? “As a team, we listen to a lot of music and share lists. But a good amount of time is also invested in watching tutorials on virtual instruments, audio equipment, softwares, etc.; it is very important to constantly update ourselves.,” he says, adding, “My current playlist is mostly related to all things Sapta Sagaradaache Ello. Most of the time I listen to music related to the film I am working on, which helps me create the sound palette. But my eternal favourites are from the late 70s and 80s like Radiohead and Pink Floyd.”

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