Yuvan Shankar Raja - On a Creative Trip

After scoring music for several hit songs, Yuvan Shankar Raja is coming up with an album and a film.  A sought-after music director, many of Yuvan Shankar Raja’s songs are rocking musical charts.

His recent hits include Saroja and Aegan. This son of maestro Ilaiyaraja will soon launch a production house and is also working on a music album for Sony.

The talented youngster talks about his current projects and future plans.

Did you always want to get into the field of music?

I wanted to become a pilot and travel all over the world. But I grew up with music around me. My brother Karthik Raja was learning the piano while my sister attended music classes. As for my father, music is life. When I was in school, my mother asked me whether I was interested in music. I started learning from Jacob master. One day my mother asked me to compose a song. I did so just to satisfy her. Producer Siva of Amma Creations listened to the track and liked it. He wanted to know if I was interested in composing music for films. I told him I had to get permission from my parents. My parents gave the go-ahead and Aravindan, my first film, happened.

Comparisons with your celebrated father are inevitable. How do you handle them?

My father is beyond comparison with anybody, leave alone me. I cannot imagine getting anywhere near him. But my brother Karthik is more talented than I am and I feel he should have got a break before me. He is yet to get a good team to work with. I am confident that he will certainly be able to do it and prove himself.

Singing, acting and now producing films.

I am passionate about music. While composing a song, I would sing the track myself for the producer and the director. . On many occasions, they insisted I retained the song in my voice but I would say a polite ‘no’. But sometimes I accepted their suggestion and sang some songs. Then some acting offers too came my way and I simply accepted them. It fetched me appreciation. The reason behind starting a production company, Pink Stone Pictures, was to make the kind of films I like. S. D. Sabha will direct my first film as producer. Siva is the hero. The rest of the cast and credits are being worked out.

What do you think about remix songs as you too have done some?

I do remix numbers only after getting a ‘no objection’ from the concerned music director, even if it is my father. If the songs are liked by the audience, why not?

Music directors rarely agree to do albums. You are working on one. What kind of album is it?

A bilingual (Hindi and Tamil), my album is aimed at youngsters. It will have songs in different styles. In fact, I plan to compose a song like the one my father did for Mumbai Express. It will have no background music. My album will have a story interspersed with songs.

When we are technically sound why should music directors head westwards to do the final mixing of songs?

We do not have state-of-the-art equipment as it is very expensive. We also do not have people who can handle it. I learn more when I go abroad. I get inspired. And life is all about learning.

My list

Favourite songs he has composed

  • ‘Irava Pagala’  (Poovellam Kettuppar),
  • ‘Munpaniya’  (Nanda),
  • ‘Idhu Kadhala’  (Thulluvado Illamai),
  • ‘Ariyatha Vayasu’  (Partthi Veeran)
  • ‘Ninaithu Ninaithu’  (7G Rainbow Colony)

Music directors he likes

  • S.D. Burman,
  • R.D. Burman,
  • Ilaiyaraja,
  • M.S. Viswanathan
  • Naushad

Voices he admires

  • Lata Mangeshkar,
  • Asha Bhonsle,
  • P.B. Shrinivas,
  • S.P. Balasubramaniam
  • P. Suseela
  • S.R. Ashok Kumar


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