Saturday July 9, 2016

Bosskey’s interview with SP Balasubrahmanyam (SPB)

Posted by Karthik

After a long time, I was glued to 105 minutes of a video on YouTube. It was Bosskey’s interview with SP Balasubrahmanyam and to be honest, I stumbled on it very late (since it was released in May 2016) only after I heard some comments about how SPB referred to Santhosh Narayanan in a not-so-good manner because Santhosh did not use him for Kabali, ‘as per tradition’. This unnecessary controversy plays out in the comments section of the 3rd part too. (There were some copyright claims from Saregama on the songs that SPB sings during the interview to make a point or showcase something. It is massively silly of Saregama to contest these instances as copyright claims! And because of this Bosskey’s team has re-uploaded some parts of the video again, afresh.)

I did not find anything directly connecting Santhosh Narayanan in what SPB said – the only connection he makes is to ‘a composer who gets things done from Australia’ and because (supposedly – I don’t know) Santhosh has some Australian connections, this allegation has caught people’s imagination mainly because of Kabali.

SPB, fanned by Bosskey, say the same thing any ‘veteran’ composer or singer says these days, reminiscing about ‘those days’ and bringing up current day advancements in music and composing in a way that upsets them to some extent. I always, even in non-music related topics, used to assume that we will all be in the same boat, when we reach that age in our own lives and may not have the memory to remember that we’re behaving just like that, like an old person living still in another time period.

So, barring that segment (that I thought was pretty much standard-issue and not worth wasting time on), there are so many things that make this long interview totally worth it. Some of the things that I loved (and noted down),

– Singer Mano’s entry to singing because of SPB’s break due to Indrudu Chandrudu and Anjali
– Aayiram nilave vaa and the way MGR waited for SPB to come and sing this song after a period of illness and the way he explained to him why he waited
– Ajith’s (Telugu) debut, that came from a small recommendation from SPB
– That Ilayaraja had stocked Sathya’s Valayosai as part of How To Name It? album and how Kamal Hassan insisted that he wanted it for his film
– SPB’s interaction with a very shy A R Rahman during Roja, and later Rahman seeking SPB for Muthu’s Oruvan oruvan, and the attitude of Rahman in extracting the best out of singers using only positive reinforcement and never anything negative
– SPB’s interaction with R D Burman and some little nuggets on Pancham
– MSV’s interaction with Rahman, as a singer, and MSV’s humility (absolutely touching!) in explaining his experience with singing for Rahman and the way the song turned out
– On the lack of song situations in current day films – this is a very interesting point since directors find it unnatural to add song situations and as films get increasingly ‘realistic’
– A very quick note on Bangalore’s Rajesh Krishnan, who I recently noted that he sings just like a young SPB in ‘Manmeedhu’ from Joshua Sridhar’s Parandhu Sella Vaa!
– Inspirations of composers – a broad note from SPB that every single composer gets inspired, and he explains that with his own ‘Vannam konda’ from Sigaram

Excellent watch, if you haven’t seen it yet. It is in Tamil, of course.



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