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Composing for an album that costs Rs 9.98!

Last updated on: November 2, 2009 15:39 IST

Composing for an album that costs Rs 9.98!

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Radhika Rajamani in Hyderabad

Manikanth Kadri [inset], son of the legendary saxophone player Kadri Gopalnath, is carving a niche in the musical firmament by scoring music for films.

He has been composing for Kannada movies and entered the Telugu industry with Avakkai Biryani. His music is rooted in melody yet has modern strains.

Manikanth's second Telugu film Village lo Vinayakudu (directed by Saikiran Adivi, produced by Moonwater Pictures and starring Krishnudu and Saranya Mohan) hits theatres on November 5.  

Village lo Vinayakudu is a sequel (but with a different story) to Vinayakudu (directed by Saikiran Adivi) which was released last year.

A unique aspect of Village lo Vinayakudu was the pricing of the audio CD at Rs 9.98 only which ensured massive sales. Manikanth unwinds about composing for Village Lo Vinayakudu.

What made you take up Village lo Vinayakudu? Was it the script?

It was the script, and of course the director [Saikiran Adivi]. I loved the whole team of Moonwater Pictures [the production house].


Image: A scene from Village to Vinayakudu

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'We are getting a very good response'

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Did you see Vinayakudu after signing the project?

Unfortunately I haven't seen it though I have heard the songs. Sai wanted a new and fresh approach in Village Lo Vinayakudu. So I decided to watch Vinayakudu after Village Lo Vinayakudu. I will watch it soon.

The audio of the film Village lo Vinayakudu was released at a low price. Was it a strategy to increase sales?

The main strategy behind pricing the CDs at Rs.9.98 was to eradicate piracy. And credit for this goes to Mahi, our producer, who came up with this innovative idea. He packaged it with lots of free goodies including a free Reliance GSM Sim card which is not available with pirated CDs. He also wanted more people to listen to our music. They have already sold around 50,000 CDs and 1,00,000 more copies are on their way to the market.

What is the response to the audio like? What are the comments you have received?

By God's grace we are getting very good response so far. People like it and that's what we aimed for. It makes me feel good when people come up to me and say that I have done a good job.


Image: A scene from Village Lo Vinayakudu

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'I have not used any special instruments in this album'

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The director and the crew have gone on a tour to some parts of Andhra Pradesh to celebrate the success of the audio. How do you feel?

 I really feel honoured. Our producer is putting in a lot of effort to promote the audio well. I wish I could be there.

The film is set against a rural backdrop. Did you keep that in mind while composing for the film? Have you used any special instruments?

We concentrated on the story and the characters rather than the backdrop. We have done what the script required. I have maintained some earthy feel keeping the background in mind. I have not used any special instruments in this album.

The film has about 7 songs. How did you go about composing them?

Sai had already done research on how the music of his film should sound like. He wanted Aha na Pellianta from the classic movie Maya Bazar and Muddugaare Yashoda, a famous Annamacharya kriti. The rest happened slowly, and I had enough time to compose all the melodies. We had loads of fun while composing the background music.


Image: A scene from Village Lo Vinayakudu

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'We had an open approach towards the movie'

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There is one instrumental piece on the violin by Karthik Iyer. Is it a classical one? How does this piece fit into the film?

Yes, the violin is played by Karthik Iyer. I have a wonderful team of musicians with me like Shakthi, Joe, Karthik, Navin, Sriram, Leslie, Muthu and Ravi. All are very good and supportive. I believe in team work and we think similar at Kadri's Keys.

We wanted to do a folk composition for the title part of the movie to set the mood of a village. Actually this composition was not in the script. We had a jamming session and came up with this. I sent this track as a bonus and Sai loved it instantly. This theme helps in setting the mood in the beginning to relax and watch the film.

How was it working with Saikiran Adivi?

Working with Sai was really great. We had our own war throughout the film. It wasn't ego but to deliver good stuff. He knew what he wanted and he extracted it from me. I gave him options for the melodies he didn't like.

We had an open approach towards the movie. I should also thank Vanamali Sir for being so supportive and for giving such wonderful lyrics for Village lo Vinayakudu.

This is your second Telugu film. How was the experience?

I feel really good that I am getting good offers in Telugu. It is thanks to Avakkai Biryani. We learn new things with every project. The experience of my first movie was useful in the second movie and it goes on like that. I look forward to learning new things from each of my projects.


Image: A scene from Village Lo Vinayakudu

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'I had a lot of expectations from Avakkai Biryani'

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The Kannada film Savaari (remake of the Telugu Gamyam) was also a hit. You must have been happy as you composed two songs for it...

Savaari was a very big hit. Though it was a remake, director Jacob Varghese wanted me to compose three new songs, which were received well. Our combination clicked in Kannada and I am fortunate and lucky to work with him for his next film with Powerstar Punith Rajkumar in Prithvi.

Were you disappointed when your first Telugu film Avakkai Biryani did not do well at the box office though your music was appreciated?

Yes, I was disappointed and depressed. I had a lot of expectations from Avakkai Biryani. But if you get everything in life, you can't call it life. Avakkai Biryani taught me about reality. It was my father who told me later not to expect anything from what we do. It is our karma. We should be honest in our attempts and put in hard work. Be sincere. The result is given by God. We will get what we deserve. I am following the same philosophy in Village lo Vinayakudu.

Have you signed any Telugu film?

I am working on Amayakudu directed by Bharthi Ganesh and produced by Octagon Movies. Krishnudu is again the lead actor in it. I have not finalised any other films in Telugu.

What are the other projects you are working on?

I want to finish the ongoing projects first like Amayakudu in Telugu, Prithvi and Swayamvara in Kannada. Once I finish these, I will think of what to do next.


Image: A scene from Village Lo Vinayakudu

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