The composer, who gave Malayalam and Tamil cinema scores of hits, is back after a two-year interval
Vidyasagar arrived in Malayalam cinema like a breath of fresh air. The songs he composed were pure melody and many of them had a haunting quality about them. Few music directors made as sparkling a debut as he did, with Azhakiya Ravanan.
Songs like Vennila chandanakkinnam…., O dilrubaa... and Pranayamani thooval…, became instant hits. That was in 1996. Over the next two decades he would tune some of the finest melodies of Malayalam cinema of all time.
The last film he did in Malayalam was in 2017: Jomonte Suvisheshangal. After a gap of two years, he is set for a strong comeback, and is composing songs for three Malayalam songs.
“My next release in Malayalam will be My Santa, directed by Sugeeth,” says Vidyasagar. “After that I am doing a film with Lal Jose. Then there is also a film with Johny Antony.”
He concedes that Malayalam cinema has changed from the time when he used to come up with one melody after another. In films these days, you won’t find songs like Varamanjalaadiya... and Aaro viral neettee…. (Pranayavarnangal), Oru raathri koodi…(Summer in Bethlehem), Oru Kunju poovinte… (Chandarnudikkunna Dikkil), Kaathirippoo kanmanee… and Pinneyum pinneyum… (Krishnagudiyil Oru Pranayakalathu). Songs like those endeared Vidyasagar to the Malayali audience, who always cherished melodious music.
“It is disappointing to note that you no longer find enough of melodious music in Malayalam films,” he says. “It is alright to ape Western music, but we have to ask ourselves if that is what we need in our films. Remember, the West’s rock or pop was created for their languages, not ours.”
He says it is not just in Malayalam cinema that music is fast losing sheen. “It is happening in Tamil films as well,” he says. “It is unfortunate that you don’t have as much scope for poetry in Tamil cinema these days. My popular songs like Nee kaatru naan maram… (Nilaave Vaa) and Malare mounamaa… (Karna) had superb poetry. And it is such meaningful lyrics that enhance a song.”
He says the directors also have an important role to play when it comes to getting quality music for a film. “I was lucky that I could work with directors like Kamal, Lal Jose and Sibi Malayil,” he says. “They understood music and gave me a free hand.”
Vidyasagar says that he would love to work with the younger generation of directors in Malayalam cinema as well. “There are many talented young directors,” he says. “I would be happy to do music for them. I believe people would still welcome quality music.”
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