Thaman has become one of the most happening music composers in Indian film industry. He is composing music for many big star films. Thaman is composing music for Pawan Kalyan BRO, OG. Also, he is composing music for Guntur Kaaram and Bhagavanth Kesari. Thaman spoke to press about his next films. Here are some excerpts from his interaction with press.
Scoring music for “remake films” is a tough challenge for any music composer, what challenges did you face while rendering the music for such film ‘Bro’ which boasts a star like Pawan Kalyan?
“It’s like scaling Mt Everest,” says S Thaman without a flicker of hesitation. “All the three films with Powerstar Pawan Kalyan garu starting from ‘Vakeel Saab’, ‘Bheemla Nayak’ and now ‘Bro’ — have all been remakes. I am trying to make it more musical. Even if you notice the song “Maguva Maguva’ song in Vakeel Saab, we had to use the same theme for the fight sequence in Metro Rail. We had to use it for the massy look of the Powerstar. ‘Bro’ will surely make an impact on the psyche of audiences with its screenplay and dialogues. Trivikram’s touch has added a new flavour to the story. And a star someone like Pawan Kalyan on board, the film has taken massive form. Definitely, ‘Bro’ will have its moments after it hit the screens worldwide.”
How much does the original music of Vinodhaya Sitham influence you as a music composer?
Thaman: There’s nothing much to ponder about the original music in Vinodhaya Sitham. There were no songs specifically. The background score was good, there were variations, moods and patterns attune to the story, but here since Pawan Kalyan is the standalone figure. The size and Pawan Kalyan’s stature matter the most. So I had to work a lot on the music in Bro.
When it comes to scoring a song for the combination scenes of Sai Dharam Tej and Pawan Kalyan, was there any challenge that you had faced?
Thaman: We can’t make a song massy. We have to deal with it as if one tells a proverb. We can’t treat the song ‘My dear Markandeya’ as a peppy-item number. We need to it treat as a proverb. So we had a few restrictions when it came to delivering the music.
Have you used any older tunes from your archives for ‘Bro’?
Thaman: No, every tune in the film has freshness. We’re doing a promotional song on ‘time’. How time is more significant. It may not feature in the film, but it might get a place in the rolling titles. Another duet featuring Dharam Tej is about to release soon. Another song based on a sloka will up for release. Apart from these, a montage song is being planned for the climax.
Pawan Kalyan’s performance in ‘Bro’ is extraordinary, says Thaman. Pawan Kalyan and his niece Dharam Tej’s combination sequences are of a different level altogether, he said. “Their characters speak so simple as if they’re are conversing on a topic sitting at their home — so simple and profound. Many surprises you get to see in the film,” Thaman adds.
Is scoring music for PK’s film a pleasure of pressure?
Thaman: As a fan, it’s a pleasure. But I feel pressure from the PK fans (laughs). Yes, pressures are quite common from all corners, but the experience that I’ve from over the years made me understand the seriousness of the story. Why one has to do a film in a fluke? When Trivikram garu narrated the story, we felt a spasm of goosebumps after hearing it. Definitely, Bro will have its moments. The story has an undercurrent and subtle message that influence audiences. A big film for family audiences. All the cast and crew including the producer TG Vishwa Prasad watched the film, and they were moved with tears in their eyes. That’s the impact this story has.”
What response have you been receiving for the first single ‘My Dear Markandeya’?
Thaman: It’s a mixed response. Because originally the song belongs to Dharam Tej. But Pawan Kalyan comes in between and utters the lines ‘My Dear Markandeya’. We can’t keep expectations for every single and every film. The music is infused into the story by the levels of intensity that the story has. We can’t oblige the requests of fans every time. It’s not just me who takes the final call. There is a lyric writer and there is a director who has to ok it. So, many factors and challenges are involved in delivering the music to a film.
Thaman says cricket is his emotional let out. “People have various avocations. Some booze all night, some have girlfriends, I don’t have any. My only emotional let out is cricket. I have a good team named ‘Thaman Hitters’ comprising players from the software industry and others. Every day I play a match at 9 o clock at night. It gives me good health. I’m not here to reason with someone who sits before the computer and writes whatever he likes on Twitter. I am being paid for the work I do. No filmmaker or producer have so far complained against my work.”
How do you manage the ever-growing demand for music in the Tollywood industry?
Thaman: It took a great effort and time. I came to the industry when I was nine years. It’s been 25 years now. I fumbled, and I got up again with bruises, but every step has taught me a lesson. Now I moulded into an altogether different human being. Imagine if it was any other person in my place, perhaps he would have run away for the pressure that he faces. Or he would have died of a brain haemorrhage. As many as 13 films for which I scored the music, got released in 2014. It is not that I planned them perfectly. I was flooded with all films at once. I could manage it meticulously. I like the music. I stopped accepting stereotype stories. Now if you see, OG has a different style. And ‘Bro’ has a different vibe, and again Mahesh Babu’s ‘Guntur Karam’ has a unique shade. Everyone knows that Thaman can manage and Thaman can do it.
Do you desire to produce a film in the near future, if not now?
Thaman: I don’t have this thought in my mind. It needs so much space. All the more it needs trusted people to back you up. Definitely, I may venture into production in future. My grandfather was a film producer who made films under his home banner Prathiba Movies banner. I registered the title Prathiba Pictures.
Thaman is not worried about the other musicians being roped in by Telugu producers. In fact, he says competition is always good. “We had done films like Simba and Golmaal in Hindi, later I did Varisu’ in Tamil. Competition is healthy, I am happy for that. Telugu producers are always great, they don’t seem to be bothered by these borders, they would quickly rope in if they spot a talent irrespective of the region. I am feeling very good about it. Mastaru Mastaru song from GV Prakash was a massive hit. Anirudh Ravichander is not a lessor known music composer. They’re all talented lot.
You have taken a brief time before starting the work for ‘Bro’, what appreciation you got from Pawan Kalyan in the process?
Thaman: Pawan Kalyan is very fond of music. If I recall the song ‘killi killi’ song from Gudumba Shankar, I was beside him when sang the lines. The song was recorded in my computer. Mani Shankar garu asked me to take care of the things. Even the song Chitti Nadumune, I was there with him. He enjoys the music a lot – PK is a very chilled and composed actor. Bro is an amazing story. Samutharikani was in tears after watching ‘Bro’. He was all praise for the music I scored. He calls me thambi. We began promotions very late.
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