‘Ulagam Oruvanukka’ – Gana Bala, Singer

 ‘Ulagam Oruvanukka’ – Gana Bala, Singer

Gana Bala’s 46th birthday fell on June 20, but the celebrations began eight days earlier – on June 12, when the Kabali songs hit the market. The realisation was yet to sink in for the singer, who talked on his music, despite a sea of well-wishers at his home.

‘Ulagam Oruvanukka’ - Gana Bala - kabaliorgin

He seems to share a special bond with composer Santhosh Narayanan, having done two numbers each in Attakathi, Madras and the mother of them all, Kabali. But for the first time, there is no Gana Bala solo in a Santhosh Narayanan album, and I asked him about that.

“That is what the film requires. There is nothing beyond that. There is a mutual respect I share with Santhosh. Our wavelengths have become increasingly similar after each hit. There was no extra pressure due to the Rajinikanth factor. This is my first song for him. The instructions were clear. Santhosh just wanted me to be myself in the track ‘Ulagam Oruvanukka’, meant to praise the protagonist with minimal music and with emphasis on maximising the sound effects. The subtle whistling is going to be awesome when you watch it on screen.”

Dwelling on the ‘Veera Thurandhara’ number, Bala said, “The instruction was to stick to a low pitch and the voice had to be in tune with that, softness being the key. It was relatively easy to sing in a low pitch as I am more comfortable.” When I asked if he was given any song as a reference, he said, “Santhosh never gives any reference songs.”

What about his voice? Was it ‘fixed’ later? “It is not fixed on the computer, if that’s what you mean. As a singer, I give the best options, and it is up to the composer to retain the soulfulness in the mix.”

In the passage that goes “Urimai Yaazh Meetinaan / Unarvaal Vaal Theettinaan / Ulagin Yaarena Kaatinaan”, the singer emphasises the second syllable of the last word of each line. “It was Santhosh’s idea. Fine-tuning and innovations are better left to composers. My job is to deliver what is being asked.”

I asked him if he knew he was singing a song for Kabali when he walked into the recording room. “Santhosh is not one to keep things under wraps,” he said. “I knew the song was for Kabali when I walked into the studio. And I was not nervous.”

Not surprised at the final output Bala said, “It’s better if the lines are simple for the best effect and the highest reach. You do not need heavier instruments for a ‘Gaana’ number like ‘Don’t Worry Be Happy’, my favourite number apart from ‘Aadi Pona Aavani’.”

Bala said life took a new meaning after ‘Kasu Panam Dhuttu’ became a big hit. “Now, there is a clamour for ‘Gaana’ songs. especially in movies with dark humour. That is a happy situation for people like me, who would otherwise still be knocking on people’s doors.”

Source : http://www.thehindu.com

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