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Making merry music

With an impeccable success rate, Chakri is the most sought-after music director today


IT HAS been an arduous journey to success for young music director Chakri who rose to becoming a star composer from being a salesman. This apart, he has achieved the distinction of composing music for 18 movies in one year, which only late Chakravarthy did earlier. His penchant for music began during his college days in Mehboobabad in Warnagal. He composed a patriotic song for his college function and the hunger to do more began with it. He gathered like-minded friends and began an orchestra of his own and practiced everyday that his neighbours dubbed him crazy and complained to his father!

Chakri spoke at length on his journey to stardom and ups and downs that accompanied him through this journey.

Music is my life: It may sound a bit exaggerated if I say I breathe music, but, I have no other pastime, it is music and only music. There is no question of me getting tired of it. I have created an atmosphere, which is permeated by music.

My Godfather: If it wasn't for Puri Jagannath I would not be where I am today. When I was new to the industry waiting for a foot-hold, he promised me a break. After few days, I went to him to know if he really meant what he said. To my surprise, he told me that he just refused an offer because the producer wanted an established music director. That is his greatness. What followed is history.

Great music so far: Sivamani naturally and, next comes Amma nanna tamil ammayi. Mouna Mouna song from Sivamani is my favourite. I wrote the lyrics and composed it way back in 1997 and this went on to become a hit.

Copying tunes: I hate it, but I may have to do it if the producer or the director wants it. But it is a shame to copy tunes. I don't like it unless I am forced to do.

My endeavour: I try hard to give different tunes for every movie. Those listening to the music should not say that, `Oh it is Chakri's tune'. I don't like my music to be branded that way. My music should sound as if a different director composed it every time.

My ambition: I always wanted to compose music like in Taal. The tunes are outstanding, and the background score is very good. To some extent I managed to achieve this in Sivamani. Maybe I could do it hundred per cent in future, provided, a movie that demands such tunes comes my way.

My guru: My source of inspiration is Illayaraja. As a teenager, I was an avid listener of his music. I used to save on little things to buy his cassettes. Perhaps his lilting tunes laid the foundation to my career in music. Of course I did not meet him in persons till now, maybe in near future I will.

My biggest setback: I thought I would become very famous with my first movie Bachi but it failed at the box office and my music too went unnoticed. I was very upset. But this failure made me work harder and recognition came with Itlu Sravani Subrahmanyam Then followed Idiot, Amma Nanna Tamil Ammayi, Sivamani and now Satyam.

Professional constraints: When a music director is given a freehand then there should be no problems, but sometimes limited budget affects the final output, I mean technically.

If there is sufficient budget on hand better orchestra can be hired and the mixing could be done at a reputed studio, because handling by experienced technicians makes lot of difference. This is very important for the final output.

Acting assignments: Satyam came my way because I composed music for it. Moreover the role I portrayed in it was similar to my professional life. The music director gives a chance to the hero who is lyricist.

In real life, I believe in encouraging new talent, because if I was not given an opportunity by Jagan annayya I would perhaps still be running around studios. But of course no more roles, though several directors came with offers. My hands are full with music.

Regrets in life: No regrets as such, because I have achieved name and fame through my first love, that is music. But I regret that the young talent that I have introduced so far is not being accepted with open arms. They have already proved their worth and I hope that they get an opportunity to work with other music directors too.

G. MANJULA KUMAR

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