When the notes come alive

Inside Sandalwood

When the notes come alive
Arjun Janya grew up listening to the music of AR Rahman. The inspiration was not limited to music alone; Arjun wanted to walk, talk and emulate Rahman in every sense. But there ends the comparison as Arjun has carved a niche for himself as an innovative music director in the Kannada film industry.

He doesn’t shy away from experimenting with tunes to create something that people have not heard before. Though among the most sought-after names in the Sandalwood circuit, Arjun never really set out to be a musician.

 “It was after I watched the movie ‘Roja’, which had Rahman’s songs, that I decided that I wanted to be a musician,” he says. The young musician says that there was something about Rahman’s music that changed his life forever.

“To begin with, I found Rahman’s music very refreshing and original and I could really feel every beat. It’s hard to find musicians who write, tune and sing songs that touch people’s lives,” he says.

He states that his openness to learning and eagerness to experiment with different tunes is what has got him thus far. He recollects that he went to a music school and learnt every conceivable instrument and trained in vocals as well.

“I didn’t want to stick to a particular instrument and a lot of people have said that I have a raw voice which is rare to find. One of the first things, that I picked up at the music school is to feel the music. I not only learnt to play an instrument but perform as well,” he shares. 

He feels putting musical notes together is like solving a complex puzzle. “There’s a lot of calculation that goes into finalising the time of the beats and the switching between notes. A lot of calculation is involved in stringing two distinct notes together to make sense,” he states.

Arjun’s work caught the attention of cineastes after the release of Sudeep-starrer ‘Kempegowda’ won him the best music director award and soon after, he bagged the State award for best music director for ‘Alemaari’. Arjun says he particularly enjoyed working for projects like ‘Ricky’ and ‘Romeo’.

“The lyrics required that the tunes be lively and even though not all their songs have become a hit, most of them have managed to grab a lot of attention,” he says.  

There’s really no one particular thing that inspires Arjun to make music. He says that he works in at least five different film production houses in a day.

“I don’t work on one single song at one time. Not all production houses have the same demands. They all want music that not only helps them sell their product but that which offers something to remember for the audience,” he adds.

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