SPB just a rare breed

SPB just a rare breed

Article Title: "SPB just a rare breed"
Source : The Hindu, Feb 19, 2006 "Good songs are the ones that come from the soul"

He has been the voice of many who hogged the limelight in the celluloid world. Blessed with a beautiful voice, he possesses the talent to impress people of any age group with his singing skills. Starting his career in the film industry in Telugu movie 'Sri Sri Sri Maryada Ramanna, he has so far sung 36,000 songs. From M.G. Ramachandran to present day heroes, he has rendered his voice to many leading actors. Not only in Tamil Nadu, he has won fans all over the country by giving super-hit numbers in several Indian languages.

S.P. Balasubrahmanyam / SPB, who recently visited the Pear City to participate in a music nite, shared his views on film music with R. Vimal Kumar during a freewheeling interview.

"Its indeed disheartening to see some young playback singers nowadays aim at achieving instant success without learning the nuances of music and rely heavily on technological innovations such as 'punching' system that enables the mistakes to be corrected at will," regretted the noted playback singer. "Such singers will burst like a bubble soon," he says.

While advising youngsters to imbibe basic knowledge in music before taking into playback singing, he says with a beaming smile, "I myself was never trained to be a singer. In fact, SPB was just a freak happening."

However, he feels that technological changes were the need of the hour and how it was being used matters.

"If a singer goes wrong during the take, it should be corrected but not to the extent of every single line, which will hide the originality of the singer and the song would be lost. Good songs are the ones that come from the soul," he adds.

Similarly, technological novelties in the background music should never overtake the gist and soul of the song, according to SPB.

"Melody and lyric should be forerunners," feels Mr. Balasubrahmanyam and cites A.R Rehman as a good example, who had optimally used the technology without sacrificing the melody in the song.

But he is of the opinion that melody quite often takes a back seat these days and hence many hit numbers last only till the movie is in the box-office / theatres. "Such songs can be termed as filler songs."

When the conversation veered towards his career, he fondly remembered December 15, 1966, the day when his first song was recorded. "It was for the movie 'Sri Sri Sri Maryada Ramanna', a Telugu movie," he recalls. As the saying goes "every journey of thousand miles starts with a first step," that movie was indeed a launch pad for a great career in which he had already sung more than 36,000 songs.

He concluded the chat with the admission that the famous 'breathless song' starting 'Mannil Entha..' featured in the movie 'Keladi Kannmani', was not taken in a single take.

"Of course, it's not possible to sing a full song without breathing and thanks to technology, it appeared breathless," he says.



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