‘Uyirin Nadhiye’, that first song on the list, sounds like Rex. Trademark Rex Vijayan, taking you back to the music of Neelakasham Pachakadal Chuvannabhoomi, to Chaappa Kurishu and North 24 Kaatham. But then songs two and three of Mayaanadhi don’t sound like Rex. These are slow and ghazhal-ish, these are more Shahabaz Aman. “We sat together and made those songs,” says Rex, who has once again composed for a film, shedding his inhibitions, stepping away from his comfortable space of independent music.
But then Avial’s much-loved guitarist says film music can be independent too, it can be enjoyed outside of a film, like the soundtracks of Hollywood movies. “Aashiq ettan (Aashiq Abu) wanted a ghazal vibe for two of the songs in his film. So Shahabaz ettan, an authentic ghazal singer, and I sat together to make them. It is a fusion of our styles,” Rex says. “I would play the guitar and he would hum a tune, we’d both add our inputs.”
Rex met Shahabaz for the first time when they sat together for the composition. “But it is like I knew him for years.” They made Kaatil and Mizhiyil Ninnum, just the way Aashiq wanted. “I have never learnt any kind of music, forget Hindustani,” Rex laughs. “It is never a one-man show. For Mayaanadhi and my previous work for Parava, there was Yaksan and Neha to help me. It is with Neha that Rex sang Uyirin Nadhiye. “In the end, it is a happy feeling, creating something together.”
He also sang in Parava, Pyar Pyar. It is during the composition of Parava that he interacted with Dulquer Salmaan in the studio. He had sung in the film too, Ormakal. “There is no feeling of a superstar. He is so grounded, easygoing. Even if we say let’s stop, he’d want to keep trying till the song is perfect. I didn’t think he would do the falsetto in the song, but he is very dedicated like that.” Rex didn’t ask Dulquer to sing because he was a star. The song — the theme — comes on the screen to connect to his character, to remember him. “It is quite emotional and it seemed apt to use his voice. It was Soubin, the director’s idea.” Even as he gets busy with movies, Rex doesn’t take breaks from the live tours of Avial. They’d be making new songs soon, he says....