Come October 19 and the Royal Albert Hall in London will be echoing with the musical score of Baahubali, composed by the extraordinarily talented composer M.M. Keeravani.
Reacting to news of the honour, Keeravani says, “When I was informed that the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra would perform my score in Baahubali live as an accompaniment to the film’s screening by producer Shobhanadri Yarlagadda, I was initially disbelieving, then humbled. I don’t know of any other Indian film that has been honoured this way. Later, when I started to absorb the good news, it made me feel really satisfied with all the efforts I had put in while scoring the background music of the film.”
In an industry with declining musical trends, the composer stands tall as a beacon of hope and has stayed steadfast to his vocation. “Remaining true to my vocation and my refusal to fall back on derivative art has kept me ‘uncompromised’,” he explains, adding, “My wife Shivali has been my best fan, critic and support. I couldn’t have remained true to my vocation for so long without her.” Not many may know that the ace composer scored the classic song Gali mein aaj chand nikla in Zakhm. On who his favourite directors in the Hindi film industry are, Keeravani replies, “I can’t name just a few because there are quite a number of projects that have elevated my music. But in general, I am very happy with my association with Mahesh Bhatt, Rajamouli, Neeraj Pandey and Ram Gopal Varma.”
Interestingly, the talented music composer is closely related to Baahubali director, S.S. Rajamouli. “Yes, he is the son of my father’s youngest brother Vijayendra Prasad. Rajamouli and I have worked together in several films, including Baahubali,” says Keeravani, who lists the soundtracks of Jism, Sur, Zakhm, Paheli and Special Chabbis as some of his favourites, not to forget the Baahubali series for the background music.
However, the modest composer says he would rather speak about others than himself. “My favourite composers and singers keep changing from time to time, but right now, I am in love with the vocals of Vishal Mishra and Shruthi Pathak,” he professes.
Not surprisingly, Frank Sinatra, Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhosle rank as his all-time favourite performers, while he lists A.R. Rahman and Sachin-Jigar of Badlapur fame among the composers. As for the older lot, Keeravani says that he loves the tunes of S.D. Burman, R.D. Burman and Madan Mohan. “I also recently discovered the great works of Sri Sudhir Phadke and have come to adore him ever since,” he adds.