The soulful, heart-touching songs of Phalana Abbayi Phalana Ammayi; Kalyani Malik

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Phalana Abbayi Phalana Ammayi (PAPA) is Srinivas Avasarala’s film with his trademark comedy, emotion, and classical touches. The cute pairing of Naga Shaurya and Malavika Nair, and their sparkling chemistry shall be the highlight of the film. The movie is produced by People Media Factory in collaboration with Dasari Productions.

With Naga Shaurya, Malvika Nair in the lead roles, director Srinivas Avasarala carved it to perfection. The music is composed by Kalyani Malik and the songs are instant hits with the audience. PAPA is gearing up for its release on March 17, 2023, and is garnering applause from all corners as a new-age love story with romance, comedy, soulful music and witty dialogue.

Here are the excerpts from Kalyani Malik’s interaction with the media.

On the journey so far

I had my share of hits and misses in life. After the unsuccessful ‘Check’, due to various reasons including the impact of Covid-19, I had a gap in my work. However, since then I have been able to work on several projects including Phalana Abbayi Phalana Ammayi, Initinti Ramayanam, Vidyavaasulam, and two web series. Through these projects, I have discovered that there is more to life for me in terms of work. In particular, the song, Kanula Chaatu Meghama, has given me a new lease on life.

On going overboard and praising ‘Kanula Chatu Meghama’

There are different types of love songs, as love itself can take on many flavours. One particular type of love is pure and lustless, and when a filmmaker like Srinivas Avasarala creates a song scenario, the song is bound to turn great. This is one such song that became an instant hit before the release of the film, like my previous song ‘Aithe’.

On not tasting success even after creating memorable songs

I’m sorry, but I cannot answer that question. I feel I am not affected by criticism. While my life and career haven’t always gone according to plan, I have chosen to focus on my work and strive to give my best to the world of music. For me, it’s all about customer satisfaction and making sure my directors are happy with my work. My ultimate goal is to create music that brings peace to those who hear it. As of April 2023, I will have completed 20 years in the music industry, having worked on an average of one film per year. It has been a journey full of ups and downs, but even in the case of films that didn’t do well, I received much appreciation for my music. For that reason, I want to express my gratitude to the media.

On lobbying for work in the movie industry

I cannot comment on the topic of lobbying, but as a composer, it does not make me happy. In the early stages of my career, I was quite aggressive and approached many producers for work, but unfortunately, things did not materialise. However, I do not wish to portray others in a negative light, as that is not the way I work.

On working with Srinivas Avasarala

It was already a great experience working with Avasarala. I was not the original choice for PAPA. One song was composed by Vivek Sagar. The shoot was also done in London. For other songs, I did the score. I was approached by Vivek and Srinivas Avasarala to take up the project and I became lucky.

Classic vs Commercial genre of music

Although I did work on some commercial films, they did not perform well at the box office, which prevented me from establishing myself in that particular zone. Had films like ‘Boss’ or ‘Adhinayakudu’ succeeded, my career trajectory would have been different. Unfortunately, ‘Check’ did not live up to expectations, despite my speaking highly of the film, so I have since become more economical with my words.

On the role of a director in creating impactful music

99% of the credit for a project goes to the director’s vision. As artists, people can infer our personalities based on the type of work we produce. That’s true with any body of work. I am eagerly anticipating a potential national award for a song I composed in the film PAPA.

On ‘Naatu Naatu’ getting a global recognition

I am proud to have been a part of the family of M M Keeravani. Naatu Naatu has achieved such international recognition and is now in the running for an Oscar. Amazingly, an Indian song has received such a broad audience. I must commend S S Rajamouli for his incredible vision and for bringing this recognition to our industry.

On the journey as a singer

I don’t feel no one asks for my voice or asks me to sing. For Em Sandeham, Sunitha got an award but I didn’t get it. That had me disappointed. I am unhappy that I didn’t get awards. But as I said, the show must go on and I moved on with life and work.

On being active on Twitter

I am happy with the appreciation I receive on Twitter for my posts on food and music. Sometimes, I even share some good songs by other composers. To avoid any trolling, I have had to switch between different accounts and even change my username many times.

On core strengths in music

It’s difficult for me to comment on any one particular song, as I put the same amount of effort and dedication into every project. Ultimately, it’s the success of the music and the film that brings me the most satisfaction. A good story can inspire experimentation in music and showcase a director’s sensibilities. Music can be thought of as a perfume that adds a distinct flavour to a film.

On anticipating a chance to work with S S Rajamouli in the future

MM Keeravani is set to work with S.S. Rajamouli, so there is no need for a replacement. The same can be said for Sukumar and Devi Sri Prasad, as they are a perfect match. I never thought about working with S.S. Rajamouli myself.