Music is an ocean and a music composer is often regarded as a sincere and devoted voyager who is in a never ending quest for immortal knowledge and thereby salvation. Of course, this might sound as an out-dated definition but there are talented people who still believe Music is divine and are still striving to make it big understanding the dynamics of this ‘auto-tune’ world. And Mr. Josyabhatla Rajasekhara Sarma is one such emerging composer who is quite familiar with films like Minugurulu and his upcoming Adavi Kachina Vennela is hitting soon. A double M.A and PhD holder, this composer had a rare privilege of working with legends like A.R. Rahman and Keeravani. Here is an iQlik exclusive chit chat with the talented composer:
Hello Josyabhatla Garu..
You seem to have quite a heavy academic profile?
(Smiles) Yes…I did M.A in Telugu and Sanskrit and PhD in Carnatic Vocal. I also did an M.Phil in Kuchipudi dance form. I am currently pursuing PhD in Kuchipudi dance.
Do you think academic excellence in Music is mandatory to be a composer?
Definitely not! Some people are just gifted and blessed. There wouldn’t be a need to acquire degrees in Music but we should certainly acquire knowledge from a guru. However, I strongly believe that the industry today needs qualitative technicians who have good knowledge in various forms of music. Personally, I love to study and that’s what prodded me to acquire these degrees and I wish to continue my learning even in the future.
Tell us about your journey into music arena in spite of the academic excellence..
I participated in Padutha Teeyaga, a popular show in the year 1994. I met Keeravani garu then and encouraging my interest he gave me a chance as a chorus singer. After that I got a chance to work under A.R. Rahman in the year 1997 and worked for nearly 13 films like Jodi, Oke Okkadu, Taal, Saathiya, Sakhi as a technical assistant. After a brief hiatus later, I came back to the industry and started working on random projects.
How did composing into films happen?
Chandamama Katha was my first film as a composer. It happened in its own accord and Minugurulu was my next project. I got good recognition with this film. However, it was Gola Seenu and Alexander which gave me a commercial recognition.
Tell us about your current project Adavi Kachina Vennela.
It was a great experience working for the film. The title song was quite challenging and we worked so meticulously that the current finalized tune came up after nearly 14 compositions. Even Sirivennela garu was quite happy with the output.
How was working with a legendary lyricist like Sirivennela in this film?
I’ve already worked with him in my earlier film Gola Seenu. But this is the first single card album of Sirivennela garu that I’ve worked for and obviously it is a rare privilege. I am extremely happy about it and it was a memorable experience working with him.
Please share the experience of the music sessions with the legendary Sirivennala?
Well, it is memorable. The kind of work he does, the kind of efforts he puts, the attention to details he puts in is simply matchless. He did give some valuable inputs while composing. There is an exclusive jazz song and an item number that song as well for this film. Surprisingly, Sirivennela garu liked the item song a lot and thoroughly enjoyed writing for it. He found the peppiness in it quite intriguing and added beauty to it making it thought-provoking. And that is why, he is a genius.
How was it working with the team of Adavi Kachina Vennela?
The director Akki Vishwanatha Reddy is a very passionate man. He never used to compromise on anything less than perfect. Hero Arvind Krishna is a good friend who always encouraged me. The entire team was determined to make a good film and their work was inspiring.
Your experience of working with K. Raghavendra Rao garu for the TV Show Soundarya Lahari..
I am extremely thankful to Raghavendra Rao garu for the opportunity. My guru Keeravani is quite close to him and he could have asked for the former’s help but I'm extremely lucky to have got this opportunity. He is a living legend and moving encyclopedia. I’ve learnt many things not just about cinema but also about life as a whole. He is my icon and mentor.
You had rare privilege of working with icons like A.R.Rahman, Keeravani Sirivennela, Raghavendra rao now. How is the experience like?
When you are actually saying it, I am able to realize the greatness of the opportunity. I consider myself very lucky to get such a chance.
Tell us one unique lesson you learnt working under such legends?
I learnt technical knowledge from A.R. Rahman. He is a genius. From Keeravani garu is my musical guru. From Sirivennela garu, I learnt that we must cater to the creative needs of your director however learned you are. Raghavendra Rao sir is a great mentor who taught life lessons. These people are so great that there is so much to learn from each of them.
What is one of the biggest compliments you ever received for your work?
The song “Meena…” from Gola Seenu was personally appreciated by A.R.Rahman. He wrote to me appreciating the composition. And in spite of being the busiest composer, he need not take time to appreciate me. He is a special person and that is the biggest compliment so far.
Few projects are in talks now. I would be announcing once they are confirmed.
Thank you and wish you good luck for your projects!
Thanks a lot!
Thanks a lot!