Undoubtedly the most hip and happening music director in Tamizh cinema who has composed for movies like Veyil, Aayirathil Oruvan, Madrasapattinam,Va Quarter Cutting and most recently, Aadukalam.
When did you begin to seriously consider music as a career?
In high school (+1). I was the Cultural Secretary and used to also play the keyboard at culturals. That was when I realised that I must explore music as a career. Incidentally, I now work with the same people I played music with back then – my sound engineer Sri Hari, flautist Navin Iyer and singer Saindhavi.
How did your first break come about?
My first break in cinema came through a jingle I had created for Radio Mirchi's first anniversary. They asked for my showreel and when Vasanthabalan heard it, he liked it. He recommended me to Shankar Sir and that's how I ended up creating the music of Veyil.
Has it been smooth sailing?
There are always challenges. People had doubts about my capabilities, probably because I was so new and so young. I listen to people when they express themselves, but I stick to what I believe is right.
Tell us about your fans.
I have fan clubs that people start out of interest in my work. In fact, Jagadish, who manages my Facebook and Twitter accounts is doing it just because he wants to!
Another fan, Nadia from Coimbatore has so many of my pictures. She keeps sending me collages and mugs with my pictures. When the Madrasapattinam team travelled there to promote the film, she was interested in meeting only me, not the rest of the crew.
One fan came all the way from Delhi to meet me because he loved the song, 'Veyilodu vilayadi...' from 'Veyil'. He doesn't understand the language, but hears the song a hundred times a day because it makes him happy!
Why did you choose Chennai as base?
I am very attached to Chennai. It is home. I keep moving depending on where my work takes me, but if I'm away for too long, I miss the city and my grandmother's cooking. Moreover, this is where my friends are.
What's a typical work day like?
This is a creative field, so the timings of a corporate professional don't apply. I'm almost always at the studio and my friends drop in there to visit me. In the mornings, I hit the gym, then meet my clients and once work begins, I go on till midnight. At times, I have gone for an entire week at work without sleep!
We hear you're composing music for a Bollywood movie. Tell us more.
I've just completed three songs for the 3D movie, Joker, starring Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha, directed by Shirish Kunder and produced by Farah Khan. The audio release will be around September this year.
Any advice for those looking to make a career in music?
Be confident. But look at yourself from the outside, like a mirror is being held up to you. And be truthful.
What is the secret of your success as a music director?
Focus. And the fact that I know the pulse of the audience. I have a clear judgement that if I enjoy hearing something, then others will love it too.
An edited version of this interview was published in Taxi Magazine in 2011.