He is attending a couple of really good music festivals in the US and enjoying lots of love and warmth from a huge cross section of his European listeners. Still, deep down, musician Mangal Suvarnan aches to get back home. Home is Dubai for this Kannur boy. Though he belongs to Kerala, apart from some hardcore music buffs, others have not heard him much. The just-released song from the movie Who marks his debut in Malayalam cinema.
Obviously, the first thing we want to ask over a WhatsApp call is why it took so long for him to get here. In a cheerful voice comes the reply, “I have not got a chance. My music is largely English driven,” he says. That was when Pearle Maaney, one of the lead actors in the movie, had a chance meeting with him. Pearle and director Ajay Devaloka wanted the real Mangal for their movie. “She came over to me during one of our programmes. They were insistent on me making a song I am good at,” he recollects. The song Who are You in Who is very much Mangal-like.
Towards the fag end of 2017, the artiste hogged the headlines for collaborating with the one and only Rihanna. His remix of Consideration received one loud round of applause from music lovers. Plus, he was signed by the Armin Van Buuren label Armada Captivating. It is only that he took time to come to Malayalam cinema. Mangal was always here weaving music albums. Just go to YouTube and find Reshma Menon’s cover version of Shalabhamayi from Kalimannu. His name can be seen in the credits for redoing music.
Mangal has, without making too much of noise, made music in another film as well, Ordinary director Sugeeth’s latest work, Kinavalli. “It is actually a Carnatic verse. I am not sure which varnam and all it is. It is so popular,” he says. Know what he did to it? “I tried electronic beats on it. On the very Carnatic platform, there are heavy beats and flute,” he says. Coming to his works, this is his rationale — the biggest competition is with oneself. “Each time we have to outdo our previous works while keeping the audience and artiste’s integrity in mind,” he signs off....