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Composing for Maro Charitra

Last updated on: March 23, 2010 14:47 IST

Composing for Maro Charitra

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Radhika Rajamani in Hyderabad

Mickey J Meyer is on a sonorous ride after the success of his music in the Telugu film, Leader.

Mickey has given some 'new-age' music infused with patriotic fervour in the political drama.

The talented musical composer's next big project is Maro Charitra, the remake of the yesteryear blockbuster (the Kamal Haasan and Sarita starrer which was later remade in Hindi as Ek Duje Ke Liye).

Basking in the success of Leader, Mickey talks about composing for Maro Charitra (produced by 'Dil' Raju and directed by Ravi Yadav starring Varun Sandesh and Anitha) and his future plans.

Maro Charitra is your next big project. Why did you take it up? Were you intimidated by the fact that the original was huge hit?

There was no particular reason [why I took it up]. I had finished Kotha Bangaru Lokam and I was looking for a good subject where I could compose melody songs. The producer (at that time Motif Entertainment was producing it. Later 'Dil' Raju took over) approached me.

Yes, the original was a huge hit. I was thinking whether they would ask me to remix the songs. I didn't want to remix songs. I wanted to make fresh ones. It was challenging to compose songs for the film. I was not intimidated since I treated this as a new project and I didn't compare it with the old one. I didn't listen to the old songs when I took up the project.


Image: A scene from Maro Charitra

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'Once you give a hit your next movie becomes easier'

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You seem to share a good rapport with 'Dil' Raju after Kotha Bangaru Lokam...

It's our common liking for melody. Our tastes match. I take his suggestions and it works both ways too. Once you give a hit your next movie becomes easier.

What is it that you like about the new Maro Charitra? Did you see the original before embarking on the project?

I did see the original. The remake will set a high standard in Telugu cinema in terms of technical excellence (cinematography), costumes, music etc.


Image: A scene from Maro Charitra

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'I had to finish the songs first as the filmmakers wanted to be inspired by the music'

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Can you talk about the songs and the music you have composed?

I started the music first. The movie was shot much later. In fact I had to finish the songs first as the filmmakers wanted to be inspired by the music. The film was shot in the United States. It has the same kinds of situations but with a new treatment. So I went with the script.

For the film, I went with two main singers, Karthik and Shwetha Pandit as I didn't want the voices to change. There's one party song where I had the freedom to try other voices like Varun Sandesh and Ranjith. The two main songs are Ye Teega Puvvuno and Ninnu Nannu.

For both, I had to make fresh tunes. In the old version of Ye Teega Puvvuno the mouth organ plays an important role. I had to incorporate it here only in Karthik's version of the song. Shwetha's version of the song has a different mood. I felt privileged to compose for the lyrics written by veteran Athreya. I was happy to have Vanamali (lyricist) on board (who wrote Prema Prema) after Happy Days. He's written good lyrics.

For Bhale Bhale we have retained the old pallavi (by Athreya) and the rest of the lyrics are written by Veturi Sundararama Murthy.

How challenging was it to work on the music?

The initial challenge was to do the first two songs. After that, it was a cakewalk. I've used a lot of violins and Western classical music.


Image: A scene from Maro Charitra

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'Ye Teega Puvvuno is based on an Indian raga'

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Happy Days was also symphonic?

Yes. But Happy Days was a bit downgraded. Ye Teega Puvvuno is based on an Indian raga but has a backing from Western instruments to give a grand feel -- the orchestration had to be grand. I had to make music with a wider feel.

Are you doing the background score for Maro Charitra too?

No, I tried something new, it didn't work out. So, somebody else is doing it.


Image: A scene from Maro Charitra

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'I want to get into Hindi films'

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What are your future projects? Are you doing films in other languages?

I've just finished working on the Tamil remake of Happy Days. Now I'm working on the background score of the film. It's totally different and it's a big break for me in Tamil like the Telugu Happy Days was a ground-breaking one.

Two songs have been retained but there are other new compositions. It was fun working on it. Doing the same thing would have been boring and wouldn't have the same impact. I've not taken up anything else.

It's my dream to go into Hindi. Maybe with the Hindi Happy Days, if and when it takes off.

Why don't you take up many projects?

I am happy with what I am doing. I am not worried about success. I realise what I can do and stick to one project a year. I don't really like to be working a lot. I don't like to go to the studio every day. I am not in the rat race.

I like to spend time with my family and friends and not be pressurised to do music all the time as I feel the quality will suffer. Moreover, I like to do other kinds of music also -- Hinglish pop songs. In the Telugu film industry, I realised there are very few projects where my music would suit. But I am happy this way.


Image: A scene from Maro Charitra

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