After an extensive Part 1 where Anirudh spoke about Remo, heavy EDM-influence in his music and international collaboration with Diplo, here is our Part 2 of the birthday special interview, where he talks more about ‘Thala 57’, Thaana Serndha Koottam, working with Simbu, controversies, relationship with Dhanush and also breaks an exciting news for us. Do read on..
What to expect from ‘Thala 57’, Thaana Serndha Koottam, the Mohan Raja film and Rum?
“‘Thala 57′ will have an international action film’s feel. The music would be in the James Bond zone. Siva wanted such a kind of music and it is a stark transition from ‘Aaluma Doluma’ to this. An action film also gives me heavy scope for re-recording. The film will be out next summer.
Thaana Serndha Koottam’s music will be rustic and Indian in flavour, like Naanum Rowdy Dhaan. It will have lot of musicality, like NRD.
I haven’t started work on the Mohan Raja film yet. He has given me some super reference ideas and has done a lot of homework for this film. It has a very very good societal script. I actually wanted to take a break from working with Siva, back to back, but the story hooked me big time. It is a big film and the producer RD Raja is very passionate.
Rum’s audio would be launched in early November, the final mix is going on now. It will be a youthful album and a neat assortment. The remaining 4 songs will have a couple of melodies too and would differ from the 2 released so far.”
You worked with Simbu in Rum for ‘Peiyophobilia’. We know him as a prodigy and an all-rounder. How do you rate him as a musician?
“He knows a lot of music and is capable of scoring music for a film too. He can play the piano well. But, I don’t think he’ll take that stress of composing, even though he has what it takes to be a music director. We have jammed a lot for fun but a film together is yet to work out. There are many factors which go into me signing a film. I am in a position where I have to stand out in every film as a hero, and that’s a big pressure on me. Each film has to have that scope for me. But our union in films will happen for sure and will surprise all.”
You had mentioned earlier that you would sing for other composers, free of charge. Does the same stance continue now too?
“The same stance continues and I still sing whenever someone calls me, and for free. But, I have reduced it, as I have sung for almost every composer around. Only if they are really particular about having me on board, I take it up.”
What’s the extent of your contribution to your lyric writers? At the recent Remo thanks meet, Vivek and Ku.Karthik genuinely credited you…
“Due to my style of working, I fit in some gibberish words and dummy lines into my songs, based on what strikes me at that point of time. If the lyricists are fine with it, we lock it. I am not a reader, and am not mature enough to come up with deep, meaningful lines. But I can come up with simple, relatable lines.”
Will the acting bug ever bite you? The likes of GV Prakash and Vijay Antony are doing well …
“Never. I cannot imagine myself acting in films, I can’t wake up at 9 am and go to shoot. I don’t want to irritate the producers. I won’t be good at acting, I don’t know how to do it and I am not passionate about it. I will mark my appearance only for music videos. I have got enough heroism and adulation in music itself.”
How do you feel when people address you fondly as ‘Rockstar’? It seems to suit your ‘stage performer’ avatar, more so …
“I am just 12 films old and I wasn’t feeling comfortable with the tag. D gave it to me in Maari, out of love, but I took it out in the next film itself. I am not for such tags.
But, I very much want to be a performer. We jam as a band in my studio itself and it’s a totally different feeling, compared to sitting in front of a box and making music. Till 2017-end, my tour schedule is packed. The one in Chennai will be a free-for-all concert and it will happen on Pongal or Valentine’s Day. The details are being figured out.”
With all this addictive adulation and stardom at such a young age, how do you keep yourself grounded?
“My friends keep me grounded. They are all my school, college, band mates and are non-filmy types. All of them work with me now. We don’t discuss cinema and they don’t treat me as a star. We spend a lot of time on the PlayStation. I want to eventually make music directors out of them. Already, Vivek-Mervin, Nivas and Leon have branched out. Ananthu and Sajid are up next. They are all very talented.
Of course, my upbringing matters too. I have to credit my parents.”
You have faced your share of controversies over the past year or so, with the ‘Beep Song’ row and rumors on a split with Dhanush? How do you face all this?
“These negatives help me enjoy the positives more. Every year, I land up in some controversy or the other and it is good in a way. Regarding my friendship with D, there is no break-up, as rumored, and we keep talking. Like everyone else in any relationship, we also need our space. It’s just a matter of time before we are back together for a film. A ‘DnA’ comeback after a year’s gap would be massive in every aspect. That’s the sketch (laughs). There is a nice understanding between us.
I keep all these issues to myself and would like to maintain a smiling face. These are part and parcel of life in the public space. I’ll continue to be happy go lucky.”
“After missing out on A..Aa, Bruce Lee The Fighter and Dhruva, I will be making my Telugu debut with the upcoming Pawan Kalyan – Trivikram film. The film will not be in the regular Telugu space. Trivikram is a chilled-out person and convinced me that this film will suit me and stand out from the usual Telugu norm. I was lured. Let me see how it goes, Kaal Vechu Paarpom (smiles). And regarding Bollywood, something like Aashiqui 2 or Rockstar would be an ideal launchpad for me.“
Interviewed by Kaushik LM