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A full-fledged music director at 19

N. Venkateswaran

G.V. Prakash now has big names singing his tunes



G.V. Prakash

CHENNAI: The "Chikku bukku railaye" and "Kuchi kuchi rakamma" kid is all grown up. And how!

A full-fledged music director at 19, G.V. Prakash now has big names such as Shankar Mahadevan and Alka Yagnik singing his tunes.

No big deal, some may say, about this talent whose uncle is none other than A.R. Rahman. But few know that Prakash is also a Grade 8 gold medallist in solo piano from Trinity College, London. And that he has worked as a keyboard programmer with leading music composers such as Bharadwaj, Vidyasagar and Harris Jeyaraj.

A mop of unruly hair keeps falling on his face — much like the hairstyle Rahman sported earlier — and Prakash has an angelic smile to boot. He prefers to work his magic when the rest of the world sleeps. And like his talented uncle, Prakash also started by composing jingles.

"I was performing at a cultural festival in school when officials from the School of Audio Engineering invited me to join their institution," he says. He promptly quit Standard 11 to pursue a diploma in sound engineering.

While studying at SAE, he worked on Bharadwaj's "Autograph", "Jay Jay", "Vasoolraaja MBBS" and the animated film "Buddha." He then worked with Vidyasagar on "Kana Kandaen," "Ji" and the Telugu movie "Bangaram."

He also did some jingles for HDFC, Radio Mirchi (for their first and second anniversaries) and Nokia.

With Harris Jeyaraj, he worked on "Arasaktchi," "Anniyan" and "July Kaatru." "I was actually only the keyboard programmer for "Anniyan," but Shankar sir wanted me to sing too. That is how I ended up singing Kaadhal Yaanai."

Prakash then worked on "Swades," "Kisna," "The Rising: Ballad of Mangal Pandey," "Dil Ne Jise Apna Kaha," "Rang de Basanti," "Netaji Subhas Chandra Bo se — The Forgotten Hero" and "Anbe Aaruyire" during the one-and-a-half years he was with Rahman.

"Rahman actually never knew I was a keyboard player. Only when I started working did he come to know about this. He then called me, heard my showreel and took me in immediately."

Director Vasantha Balan was also impressed with his showreel and signed him on for "Veyyil." While working on the film, Prakash was offered "Auto," directed by husband-wife team Pushkar and Gayatri. "Veyyil has a rural feel and the songs are set in different periods. One reflects the music of the 1970s, another of the nineties, and another is contemporary. But Auto is set a jolly, fast-paced movie set in Chennai. The music reflects the city's colours."

He is doing the background score and a song for Sirish Kunder's debut Hindi film, "Jaan-e-Man," a Tamil-Telugu film "Roman Letter - III" directed by Milind Rao and produced by Ram Gopal Varma, and a fusion album with ace percussionist Sivamani.

Loads of fun

The new kid on the block is having loads of fun. "I meet different people, and no person has similar ideas. They come to me with different perspectives, different situations. So all my songs have different flavours."

With his father helping him handle finances, he is setting up a recording studio. "The work is almost over, and Divine Labs will be opened soon."

Though he has little spare time, he makes it a point to watch the latest Hollywood and international films. "This is the only way to keep up with the latest technologies and trends." Big words from a little master.

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