G V Prakash learnt mridangam to play his part in ‘Sarvam Thaala Mayam’

Being a music composer by profession, G V Prakash Kumar is excited to see himself as an aspiring mridangist on screen in Sarvam Thaala Mayam, a film by noted director Rajiv Menon. Speaking to News Today, the musician-turned-actor shared details about the upcoming musical drama that will hit the screens next weekend.

Q: Though you have been part of over 10 movies already, how was it being a musician for the first time?
A: I am basically a pianist and keyboard player. For me, playing a percussion instrument like mridangam had only been part of my songs, that, too, by other musicians. First I had to learn that art and so I was sent to learn to play it from the legendary Umayalpuram Sivaraman. Rajiv sir was keeping an eye on me every day – whether I was attending the sessions properly. It took almost eight months for me to learn the instrument. Since the movie is totally shot with live sounds, whatever you hear in it was played by me.
Q: In the song Sarvam Thaala Mayam from this film, it is said it was filmed across the country. What’s special about that?
A: That would be a musical treat for everyone. We travelled to various parts of the country to shoot with people who play the percussion instrument of their culture. For instance, in Kerala, there will be Chenda Melam. Likewise, I meet a lot of musicians and would get to know how they play their striking instrument. As a musician, it was a learning curve for me for over a fortnight when I came across some 15 types of native beats.
Q: The last time, it was Ilayaraja in Naachiyar, and now, another legend, A R Rahman, has composed for this film. What were their responses to a young composer’s performance as an actor?
A: I was not bold enough to ask the opinion of both of them. But, I heard through Rajiv sir that Rahman sir was impressed with my acting. Rajiv sir even mocked that Rahman added an extra dosage of the original score after seeing me on screen –  not sure whether it was true.
Q: It’s been quite a while since we listened to a G V Prakash song. Any plan to return to the music studio?
A: I’ve signed a good number of good films. Actually, my movie Jail by filmmaker Vasantha Balan, who introduced me as a composer through Veyil, will have my songs. As of now, I am working in the music department for most of my upcoming films. Hopefully, I will be signing movies of other heroes by mid-2019.

Santhosh Mathevan