Simon started off his career as a debutant music director for the movie Ainthu Ainthu Ainthu/555. He is energetic, hungry for making good music & he’s here to provide some different music. We got a chance to interview Simon & now’s it’s your time to read his story.
1. When did you realize that music was not a pastime or passion of yours but a feasible career choice?
When I started my engineering course, I simultaneously took up my first recording for the singer Jolle Abraham even without knowing the seriousness which is involved in making music. Back then it all started as a fantasy and a fun thing to do but eventually I got addicted to what I was doing. Very soon – even before I can realize – it has become a part of my life… now I can’t even think of doing anything else other than music.
2. What gave you the courage to pursue a music career considering that you never had any formal training in music itself?
I believe music is not something that has to be studied. It is an inborn talent which just has to be expressed. The minute we start looking up to the grading system, we start feeling that passing the highest grade in music qualifies us as a great musician and we lose the essence of expressing ourselves through music – which in fact I believe, is the actual qualification needed for a musician. Instead all the energy is wasted on projecting how much we know and not how well we can express.
The best example is when you see an 8th grade pianist who stops playing when the score sheet flies. His mundane learning stops him from expressing the music which he always knew.
3. How do you begin to compose a song? Do you begin composing by playing around on the piano or humming or something else?
I don’t follow any process as such when I compose. Once I hear the script, it gets registered in my mind and I keep recalling the script and an idea just springs up my mind. It could be when I’m riding, walking or even sometimes when I’m playing the piano and I build upon it.
4. How was it to convince parent/relatives when you were leaving a prestigious engineering career to compose music?
If I have to tell the truth, I never considered a career in engineering as prestigious. It took 10 years for me finish my degree in engineering. I did it just for the sake of my parents. Once I completed it, they got what they wanted and they dint bother much about my career choice.
5. Who and what are your musical influences?
I’m a Huge fan of Stevie Wonder… major influences are Steele Dan , Yellow Jackets , Blood Sweat and Tears, David Foster, Dave Brubeck and McCoy Tyner. I’m also a great admirer of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Pandit Ravishankar ji ,A.R.Rahman and Yuvan Shankar Raja.
6. What are your upcoming projects?
I am currently hearing scripts and like the one by director GNR.Kumaravelan.. I might be going ahead with that project soon.
7. Considering that composing songs is such a spontaneous task, does the job of trying to provide tunes for movies become stressful?
Not just music composition… All jobs can become stressful if its not well handled. I like to keep the stress to the surface and keep the music going because I believe it’s really hard to do anything creative with a stressful mind – as long as I’m responsible for the music I make, I think that should do.
8. What is your mother tongue and what other languages can you speak? Do you find that influences your tunes at all?
My mother tongue is Tamil and I speak English, a little bit of Malayalam and Hindi. Knowing the language or even a few words in the language in which the song needs to be composed helps me obtain dynamics in my composition.
9. What aspect of the song do you give the most importance in general (lyrics, tune, etc.)?
I can categorize first the lyrics, next the tune/melody and finally the arrangement & programming part of it.
10. What are your hobbies other than music?
I love Trains and I love to watch trains and of course playstation.
11. How did you get your break in the film industry? How did it help your upcoming projects?
It happened when I met director Sasi with my demo cd after his movie Poo – from there we started working. Director Sasi played a crucial role in changing me from a musician to a music director.
12. What are some qualities that music directors, in your opinion, should possess?
In my personal opinion, the music I make must makes me as well as everyone around me happy. So happiness is one major quality which not just a musician but which everyone should posses. The other important quality which a musician needs is patience. Last but not the least “responsibility” is a must because a huge amount of hardwork of many men is entrusted in a movie. I, as a composer, should do my best in order to help others efforts not to go in vain.
13. What is your advice for aspiring music directors?
Today I see a lot of young musicians inclined too much towards the software platforms and technical aspects of music more than music itself – softwares just help make music and they are not music in itself. We need to strike a balance. I would advise them to put 90% of their time and effort in music and 10% in the technical side concerning it.
14. What do you think about Musicperk.com?
I’m very sure this whole venture should be a dream of someone who is immensely passionate about music – it’s very nice to see a website that is so musically inclined and gives genuine reviews. Congrats and keep up the good work.