There is something alluring about the music of Mollywood in the 90s. Most of the films were set against a village backdrop and the music truly managed to capture that mood. We think of those songs with a sense of nostalgia. Through the songs of Sreehalli, music composers Rajesh Babu and Shimjith Sivan have tried to bring back that melodious time. “The movie is a musical that takes place in a village. There are six songs written by three lyricists and sung by nine singers,” says Rajesh. The songs, depicting various situations, are written by Beeba K. Nath, Nishanth Kodamana and Sudhi. “Yesudas, Chithra, M.G. Sreekumar, Biju Narayanan, Karthik, Sreekanth Krishna, Sunil Kumar, Sreya Jayadeep and Sindhu Premkumar have lent their voices,” adds Rajesh.
The music was launched by director Priyadarshan at a function held in Chennai. “The title Sreehalli would remind every Malayali about Priyadarshan’s movie Thenmavin Kombathu,” says Shimjith. All songs except one are melodious. “One is a fast number portraying urban life,” says Rajesh. Since it is an attempt to recreate the music of the 90s, the composers say they have taken references from tracks of that time. “But we have not copied,” they assert. “Each mood has a raga. We just took that and later improvised it for our context. Then, we selected singers based on their strengths.” They could do music even better as they had the visuals of Sreehalli ready by the time they started working on the project.
“The makers showed us visuals first and then we created music for that,” says Rajesh. But the lyricists didn’t get that privilege. Beeba, who wrote two songs, says, “They didn’t show me the scenes. They just told me that I will have to write songs keeping the feeling of a father-son relationship in mind. I got one day to write the songs. Later, we all sat together and arranged the whole thing.” Sreehalli, a directorial of Sachin Raj, is the Rajesh-Shimjith team’s second venture after Mattancherry. They are also working on a few other projects. “Right now, we are working on Take it Easy, Pappadavada Premam, Vellaripravu and Pullu,” says the duo, who is also launching a music band called Kozhikodan Halwa. Formed in 2016 on Kerala Piravi day, the band was dormant for a while.
“We are bringing it back as a platform to promote new talents. We also wish to donate a share of the profits from our performances for a social cause.”