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Surrounded by framed handwritten lyrics by famend Malayalam lyricists, it’s simple to speak music in composer M Jayachandran’s aesthetically designed workplace at his residence in Thiruvananthapuram. With 9 Kerala State Film awards for the perfect music director and one for the perfect singer (male) in his 28-year journey in Malayalam cinema, Jayachandran is actually on track. A educated Carnatic singer and performer, Jayachandran’s ardour for music and his songs have been a gamechanger in Malayalam film music.

Currently working on the rating of Otta, Resul Pookutty’s maiden directorial film, Jayachandran’s zest for music is as recent because it was 28 years in the past when the engineer-turned-musician made his debut as a composer in Chanda (1995).

Says Jayachandran, “I’ve composed for over 140 movies in 28 years. That has been my largest award. An award is a reminder to be extra devoted to my work.”

His newest award is for his songs in Ayesha and the interval film Pathonpatham Noottandu, movies set in two completely different durations, geographical areas and with very completely different themes.

If Pathonpatham… is in regards to the warrior Velayudha Panicker who lived in the nineteenth century in Travancore, Ayesha, set in West Asia, is a few deep bond between two ladies who didn’t actually have a frequent language to speak.

A wall in M Jayachandran’s study has been adorned with framed handwritten lyrics by lyricists like Gireesh Puthenchery and Rafeeq Ahamed.


A wall in M Jayachandran’s research has been adorned with framed handwritten lyrics by lyricists like Gireesh Puthenchery and Rafeeq Ahamed.
| Photo Credit:
Aswin V N

Agreeing that  it was a problem to work on each the movies at across the identical time, Jayachandran says that for the interval film, he needed to perceive the music of these occasions. “Malayalam language was extra inclined in direction of Manipravalam (a mixture of Sanskrit and Malayalam used through the medieval interval in Kerala) then and the music could have been influenced quite a bit by Carnatic music. At the identical time, I needed to create one thing {that a} listener of at this time can get pleasure from.”

For Ayesha, he tuned in to his curiosity in Arabic and world music. “We recorded in Istanbul; The Czech Symphony performed a component for one of many compositions in the film and we additionally recorded in Dubai. The work  concerned loads of analysis in West Asian music. I labored for practically a 12 months on the music of Ayesha.”

Versatile composer

According to him, versatility ought to be a music director’s calling card. “Even in our nature, we discover so many contradictions, so many variations of the identical individual. A flexible music composer’s job is to do justice to all these shades of life.”

His effort, he says, is to attempt and enhance with each track. “I don’t take a lot time to compose music in genres I’m assured about. But to try this in areas that I’m not assured about with the identical ease is after I turn out to be versatile.” One has to pay attention quite a bit, together with world music, and be open to new concepts to have the ability to cater to administrators and listeners, regardless of age, place and language, he provides.

Jayachandran believes he wins an award every time he is ready to meet a film director’s expectations and transient for a track state of affairs. “I imagine in future. At the identical time, it’s an individual’s arduous work, dedication and, most essential, perseverance that helps him meet his future. Perseverance means one has crossed many hurdles and that one has fallen and then bought as much as begin strolling once more.”

Tuning in

Initially, he discovered it troublesome to compose in areas that weren’t his consolation zones.  For his first film, he was allotted a room in Jaya Auditorium in Kozhikode. “I’d sit in that closed room, an alien area for me, not clear about what I used to be going to do. I took about 10 to fifteen days to compose two songs. But now, I can compose a track even whereas travelling.”

Jayachandran insists a composition will not be made, it occurs. “When a film director explains a track state of affairs, I attempt to perceive what he needs from me and I attempt to give him my model with my signature on it. I pray that the composition evokes in the director the sensation of ‘that is what I need.’ That is bliss for me. Awards come after that.”

Asserting that the perfect creative creations are born in moments of tranquillity, he provides {that a} composer’s lived experiences, good and dangerous, will definitely inform and form his music.

Music director M Jayachandran 

Music director M Jayachandran 
| Photo Credit:
Aswin V N

“For occasion, whereas scoring the music for ‘Amma mazha kaar…’ in Madambi, I drew inspiration from my deep bond with my mom. I felt it was about my mom.”

However, a composer can’t have the luxurious of letting his temper dictate his work. He believes the trick is to depart behind the luggage of mundane worries at residence whereas stepping out for work. “Sometimes, if you end up feeling euphoric, you’ll have to compose for a melancholic scene in the film. While scoring the music, you may slip into that temper and there may be a hangover.”

There had been occasions when a background rating, used with variations throughout completely different conditions in a film, begins taking part in on a loop in his head. “Even three to 4 months later, it would maintain reappearing in my thoughts. I pray for it to be erased from my thoughts. But then I realise even that could be a blessing. It is just the place there’s that feeling, that one realises the worth of a peaceable mind-set.”

Striking a chord

The versatile music composer has the uncommon distinction of profitable a State award for the perfect singer in a film that additionally received him the award for the perfect music director. Tracing the evolution of that track ‘Melle…’ in the film Nottam, he remembers that the protagonist is a proficient Koodiayattam artiste who lives in his personal world, main his life at his personal tempo.

Veteran P Jayachandran had recorded the track. “Till then Nottam’s director Sasi Parvaoor had been resonating with the observe I had recorded in my voice. When he heard Jayaettan’s track, he felt that my model was extra emotionally in sync with the character and the state of affairs. There was a confusion since Jayaettan being senior and a beautiful singer at that had left his stamp on the quantity. But then Sasi sir determined go together with my observe.”

M Jayachandran with the national award he won for the songs in Ennu Ninte Moideen.

M Jayachandran with the nationwide award he received for the songs in Ennu Ninte Moideen.
| Photo Credit:

Nevertheless, he asserts that he has no regrets about not being a singer. A seasoned Carnatic vocalist, Jayachandran explains that Carnatic music, one of many oldest music traditions “is so pristine and lovely that it must be approached with respect, dedication,  fixed observe and meditation.”

“If you may’t do this, it’s best to not carry out Carnatic concert events. So now, I attempt to not give Carnatic concert events though I get many invites. Moreover, to make a mark in this discipline, one should develop a bani (an artist’s distinctive model). That by no means occurred in my case. Perhaps, it occurs in my music compositions.”

I take heed to…

I by no means take heed to my songs. I take heed to Madan Mohan, RD Burman, SD Burman, MS Viswanthan-Ramamoorthy…there are a number of musicians I observe. I’m an enormous fan of Ilaiyaraaja sir. He is somebody who rewrote the sound of Indian music. Till he got here on to the scene, we had by no means heard that type of music. It is identical with AR Rahman as effectively, one other pioneer.

In Malayalam, I take heed to my guru Devarajan Master, Dakshinamoorthy Swami, Babuikka (MS Baburaj), Okay Raghavan Master, Ravindran Master, Johnson, MK Arjunan… the record is lengthy. I’m additionally an avid listener of Western classical music and orchestral rating of greats reminiscent of John Williams, James Horner and Hans Zimmer.”

He is reluctant to sing for films as effectively, even when there are administrators who attempt to persuade him for his emotional connect with the track that may be lacking in the singer’s voice. “I’m very comfortable the place I’m. A singer has many limitations. Jayachandran, the singer, will not be good!” he says with a smile.

A track for a singer

He firmly believes that every track has a singer since “a track is an entity in which the vocal is a vital half. It is thru the singer’s voice that the import of the lyrics shall be conveyed. Should it’s mellow? Or aggressive, restrained or sung with an open throat?” ‘

He realised the significance of the song-singer join whereas working on Kamal’s Celluloid, set in the twenties of the final century. “I knew we didn’t want the type of voice we hear now, cultured, accent-neutral.  This was a interval when mics weren’t on the scene. Singers like Kitappa needed to sing loudly to make sure that individuals in the final row had been capable of hear the track. I needed a singer with an open thoughts, with none prejudices about how a track ought to be sung. That is how I got here throughout Vaikom Vijayalakshmi.”

“Of the abilities I’ve seen, Viji is among the greatest, worldwide. How many individuals know that? That is why I bought her and Sreeram to sing the track. They elevated the track to new heights.”

Food for thought

I used to be and am a gourmand. During the pandemic, I bought to spend extra time at residence. I started to concentrate to my well being. Now, I observe dietary restrictions. Having the precise meals on the proper time and to be indifferent from sure sorts of meals are essential. I’m keen on biryani and parathas. Now, I’ve biryani as soon as in a month and parathas virtually by no means. It is true that we’re what we eat. Yesudas (KJ Yesudas) sir had talked about that way back. I didn’t grasp the importance of it then. But now, I perceive what he meant.

Ten years from now, the place does Jayachandran see himself?  

“I wish to be a guiding gentle for younger composers, musicians. Of the a number of songs I’ve made, greater than 50 stay, which I hope will stand the check of time. But I wish to make fully new songs. I wish to get track conditions that may assist me create these songs I’ve in thoughts.”

Considering his success in the Malayalam film music industry, why has he not labored in different language movies? “I’d have liked to work in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada. I’m additionally assured that I’d have the ability to deliver in my very own signatured music. However, the actual fact is that I’ve not been given an opportunity. Perhaps it would occur in the longer term if there’s somebody who feels that my music will sync with their cinema.”

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