Rewarding to get my Kollywood break due to my own music: Rangarattinam singer MS Krsna

Multitalented musician and singer MS Krsna of ‘Odathey, oliyathey’ fame makes his movie singing debut in Pa Ranjith’s upcoming movie ‘Natchathiram Nagargiradhu’ with ‘Rangarattinam’.

Odathey, oliyathey, Oli unnai thedi varum (Don’t run, don’t hide, Good things will come your way) These motivating lines penned by MS Krsna for his single ‘Odathey Oliyathey’ took the youth by storm for its inspirational positive vibes and peppy composition. The philosophy behind the lyrics, which Krsna strongly believes in, has proven to be his success mantra. His first break in Kollywood came knocking at his door after popular composer Tenma heard the song. Krsna is excited about his Kollywood debut with the energetic number ‘Rangarattinam’ for Pa Ranjith’s upcoming movie Natchathiram Nagargiradhu.

The rising star enthralled the audience with his mesmerizing voice at the recently held audio launch for Natchathiram Nagargiradhu in Chennai. In a chat with TNM, the singer talks about his experience working with Tenma, his love for Indie music, and his upcoming projects.

Tell us what inspired you to take up music as a profession and when did it all begin?

I was surrounded by an environment of music at home and developed an ear for the art. When I was 12, I got inspired to play the guitar after watching the protagonist performing in Back to the Future. I did not consciously choose this as my career. I loved engaging with music and the rest just evolved over time.

At what point of time did you get inspired to do the ‘Odathey Oliyathey’ video?

I always wanted to do music videos. I strongly feel that independent music is a medium where you can express who you are as an artist without any boundaries. After writing and composing the music, I approached filmmaker and editor Ken Royson to direct the video, which was shot in my alma mater, Abacus Montessori.

How did ‘Rangarattinam’ come knocking on your door?

Composer Tenma, who liked my original music, approached me. He felt that my voice suited the song for the movie he was working on at that point of time. Getting my first Kollywood break, through my own independent music, has been a rewarding experience. It was awesome to share the stage with him and other independent artists during the audio launch.

‘Rangarattinam’ garnered over one million views in 24 hours, which is indeed overwhelming for a debut artist. Did you ever expect this would happen?

I knew it was a lovely number and I was very happy to have sung it. I never expected anything, but I knew it had a good vibe which people could connect with. However, it is a culmination of factors such as a talented composer, movie director, cast and crew that led to this success. It felt nice to receive so many positive messages.

So how was it working with Tenma and his team?

He is an experienced and independent artist himself. It was nice of him to choose a team of many independent artists. I had fun working with him and we both fed off each other’s energies in a positive way. He gave us the creative freedom to add our own elements to the song, which was very encouraging. We had a fun session while experimenting with various takes of the mouth trumpet and the kazoo that I played for the song. I look forward to working with him in the future.

You said in an earlier interview that you will take up assignments that are close to your style. How close is ‘Rangarattinam’ to your genre?

It is a stroke of good fortune that I got a song which perfectly fit my kind of voice and my style of music. It is very difficult to get a good start with all factors in the right place. All credit goes to Tenma for choosing me. I’m grateful for everything.

While you got your break in the industry with a peppy number, are you open to other genres of music as well?

I’m definitely open to exploring all kinds of genres and eager to break my own boundaries. I have also sung for another movie and then there’s my upcoming single, both which are very different from what I have ever done before. However, it is important to start off with something that is within the comfort zone because that’s when your best comes out. In that sense, this was a happy beginning.

You are a lyricist, singer, composer, an all-in-all package. What do you enjoy doing the most?

To be honest, I really don’t look at them as different things as long as I’m in the creative space. I have worked as an assistant director for three years and I look forward to directing my own music video someday or even some scripts. I enjoy doing everything.

Do you believe talent alone is sufficient or a godfather figure is required to go places?

I know many people who don’t have godfathers or mentors who have made it big. I think it’s important to go beyond one’s talent and have the drive to push oneself to get your talent to the right place. However, I found the right mentors at the stage when I really needed them. They have watched me grow and are always there for me to fall back on. They leave the last piece of the puzzle for me to solve and I enjoy every bit of it.

It is a cut-throat world and a lot of insecurities could come your way. Does that affect you in any way? What is your take on competition?

I think all artists are insecure in their own ways, but healthy competition is good. I only focus on getting the best version of myself, I’m not bothered by anyone’s success or failure. There are more collaborations happening and a lot less animosity in the independent music space. At least my generation will build friendships rather than competing with each other.

Will we see more of your ‘In Reel Life’ series which was a major hit on Instagram during the lockdown?

The reels were an outcome of my song writing exercise that I challenged myself during the lockdown. Currently, my hands are full with projects but I hope to come up with some more soon.

You recently went to the US on a project with veteran Odissi dancer Bijayini Satpathy and renowned music composer Bindhumalini. How different is the Indian indie music scene from that in the US?

It is pretty different as indie music is the primary form and norm of music entertainment in the West and with that comes a lot more creative freedom. There is a system and infrastructure in place for independent artists. In India, the independent music scene is evolving in parallel with film music.

How was it being a part of the soundtrack of Ms.Marvelthe popular American TV miniseries?

I was very excited and it was great connecting with international composers and musicians. Being part of international productions and projects is one of my interests in the coming years.

Who is your idol in the field?

John Mayer, the Western singer, musician, lyricist, is one of the musicians who inspired me to play the guitar. His journey as an artist is really interesting. I look up to veterans Ilaiyaraaja and AR Rahman. I really like the works of Kerala composer Sushin Shyam.

What are your upcoming projects?

A full-fledged metaverse concert is in the works apart from another movie project and more independent music videos.

Where do you see yourself five years down the line?

My main focus is to refine my musical expression as a musician and technician. I look forward to sharing a lot more of my music, with each release hopefully being more surprising than the previous one.

Deepa Venkatraman is an experienced journalist who has contributed on entertainment, lifestyle, startups and human interest to publications such as The Indian Express, The Hindu, The Week, Open magazine, amongst others.


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