City-based composer makes waves in the west through music

Chennai: When Chennai-based composer, Vinod Krishnan moved to the US ten years ago, little did he knew that his passion for music would widen and his opportunities reach for the sky. Today, the singer-musician is well recognised for his collaborations with IndianRaga, an educational startup founded at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Vinod was selected as a senior fellow for South Indian Classical music and has created many viral video productions that showcased his excellence in Indian music, pop, acapella, jazz, among others.

* Journey as a little kid
In a chat with News Today, he narrates about his musical journey and about his latest song, ‘Kaalai pozhudhil’. “There is a strong musical presence on my mother’s side,” says Vinod. “I was enrolled in music classes right from kindergarten. Before anyone or anything could inspire, I was already singing.” He adds, “Inspirations came later.” His ideals include A R Rahman, Ilayaraja, Amit Trivedi, among others.

* Romance and songs
He reveals how his latest romantic song, ‘Kaalai pozhudhil‘ came about. “It was a poem written by my friend before she got married,” narrates Vinod. “I composed it just before I got engaged to my wife. So, there is a lot of romance fueled to this song.” He notes that he then decided to bring out a ‘proper version and a narrative video’. “I had also matured as a music producer over the years so I felt a bit more emboldened to make the song more relevant to today’s audiences,” adds Vinod. “It is partly a reflection of my observations in relationships in my life and those around me. So it’s a first in many things – foraying into narrative, writing an engaging story, crowdfunding – all at the same time.”

* Creative process
Vinod explains how he starts working on a new project. “Sometimes it’s based on a certain idea like relationships. Sometimes, the creative team at IndianRaga with whom I collaborate, come to me with ideas and we brainstorm and iterate,” says Vinod. “In many of those projects, we cover an existing song, so lyrics exist. We focus more on improvisation. You’ll see a lot of that with my IndianRaga productions. For Kaalai Pozhudhil, the lyrics came first and then I composed. There’s either more focus on the musicality or the emotion. I try to fix the main melody first, in any song that I am composing and let it seep in to see if I truly feel the emotion. Then arranging music is a whole other thing that comes later.”

* Future project
Vinod has started working on his other future projects. “My recent project ‘Ninnaye Rathi Endru‘ will be re-released in association with BehindWoods,” he informs. “Kaalai Pozhudhil is expected for a July release. I have two IndianRaga projects in post production now and will release in the coming weeks, so it’s a busy summer.” Watch his new song on Youtube at https://youtu.be/A_ZRTxRuB7k

Mohammed Rayaan