All music directors need not be singers but good singers definitely make good musicians, says Sreenath Sivasankaran, the Palakkad native who lent music to the upcoming Mammootty movie 'Oru Kuttanadan Blog.' This 28-year-old, who won the hearts of Malayali audience by becoming the first runner-up of a popular music reality show in its 2009-'10 edition, is literally an all-rounder when it comes to music. He has sung, composed, and directed several music tracks in his journey to the silver-screen. Sreenath reveals his struggles and enthusiasm which made mega-star Mammootty to suggest his name to breathe music into director Sethu's next.
Sreenath hails from Mannoor, a rural village near Ottappalam, Palakkad. Sreenath won several prizes in state school youth festivals, in light music, classical music and poetry recitation. Young Sreenath had always fancied silver-screen and dreamt of becoming a singer, composer and music director. It was in his effort to draw public attention to his skills, that he cleared auditions for a music reality show hosted by a popular Malayalam television channel.
“I was barely 19 when I contested in a reality show for the first time. Though I did not clear many levels in it, I gained some confidence to present myself before the camera and mass audience. A year later, I was selected as a contestant for Idea Star Singer 2009-10. I became the first runner up of the show that season. That gave a sweet launch to my music career,” Sreenath said.
Sreenath started performing live music concerts, stage-shows and television programs. The young talent also found time to complete his academic journey by doing an MBA from a private institution in Tamil Nadu.
The star connection
During this time, Sreenath directed a short film called 'Daivathinte Mukham,' composed several music tracks and prepared a music video about Mammootty as a tribute to him on his 67th birthday. It was during his one-month stay in the United States with popular actor Unni Mukundan for a series of stage shows that the latter got to listen to Sreenath's music compositions.
“Unni was impressed by my music. He appreciated me for my efforts and copied some of my raw music tracks into his personal gadget. Over time, Unni Mukundan and I developed a very intimate friendship and a brotherly bond. It was Unni who introduced me to Sethu who directed Oru Kuttanadan Blog. Sethu made mega-star Mammootty to listen to my music. Later, I came to know that it was Mammootty who suggested my name when they searched for a fresh music director for Oru Kuttanadan Blog,” Sreenath says with surprise and disbelief.
Sreenath has lent music to almost five songs in the movie Oru Kuttanadan Blog. One of them, a peppy track that begins as 'Chaarathu nee...' is sung by actor Unni Mukundan. Commenting on his debut in music direction, Sreenath says that he enjoyed the previlege of being a singer during the rehearsal and recording sessions.
“One of the main hurdles non-singing music directors face is the communication of music notes. They employ a dummy-singer to communicate their notes to the singer. Singers, especially the junior ones, get confused and nervous if they are not sure about the notes. It affects the originality of the track. I could communicate my music to the singers by singing the tracks myself,” Sreenath said.
He added that every singer will have a composer deep inside him. For him, it is easy for the singers to breathe music into the lyrics. He has also written one song for the movie.
If you think that Sreenath's ambitions are limited to music, you are probably wrong! This young musician is also a budding actor. “I have always fancied of becoming an actor. I have directed and acted in a short film last year. I will definitely try my luck if given a good chance to act in a mainstream movie,” Sreenath says.
Sreenath's father Sivasankaran is a teacher. Back home at Manoor in Palakkad, his mother Mini and younger sister Akhila too are music lovers.