One man, many talents

Singer, songwriter and actor thomson andrews speaks on starting his career with Rahman, and his excitement about working in k'town.

Thomson Andrews is a singer, songwriter, performer, recording artist and actor. A professional performing vocalist and trained Hindustani classical singer, the artist is many things at once. He has also established himself as a contemporary playback singer and made his debut in Tamil films with the film, Amara Kaaviya, for which composer Ghibran composed the numbers. Now, Andrews has crooned his second Tamil track, Un Parvaayil, for the film Nisabdham.

Sharing his experience of working in films, Thomson says, “It’s a humbling journey and a beautiful experience to be associated with the best movies and projects in my music career. I learn so much from every creative person I meet — be it a music director, audio engineer, script or lyric writer to the director and editor. Each time I work on a new project, it’s creatively challenging as everyone in the team is aiming to do something we’ve never done before, raising the bar.

That challenge motivates me to stay updated and give my 200 per cent. It’s due to this kind of work culture and passion that I’m always ready for the toughest job, long hours of dubbing in studios, sleepless nights, composing. It’s fun and rewarding when you finally see your credits at the end of a movie in a theater.”

Thomson started his career by working with Academy Award winner AR Rahman, and he says beyond being a genius in music, AR Rahman is a humble being — “I was dubbing for him at his Powai studio, Mumbai, years ago. Post that night, I happened to ask him how he stays so humble and his response truly enlightened me as he explained — ‘Just like a tree that bears fruits is prone to bend due to the weight of the fruits on its branches; we too become humble as we keep achieving greater heights; it’s just simple and it naturally happens’.”

Talking about how he got to sing a song in Nisabdham, he quips, “I was working very closely with flute maestro, Naveen Kumar, on a project a year back. He works very closely with Rahman sir and tours with him and Naveen happened to suggest my name to Shawn Jazeel, the music composer of the film Nisabdham, as he was looking for a fresh voice. Shawn contacted me after he heard my Hindi film songs and my original composition single, People Ain’t Things, and asked me to fly down to Chennai.”

Though he works predominantly in Bollywood, getting the Tamil diction was not that challenging for him since he has good acquaintance with the language, Thomson says. “My song, Un Paarvayil, in the film, Nisabdham, is a romantic duet between a man and a woman and how they meet, fall in love, become a family and their love for their daughter. Shawn Jazeel and I worked very swiftly and we finished the song in few hours. I am quick at grasping languages and diction due to the 40 advertising jingles I’ve sung in as many as 12 languages for various brands. Also, I’m half Tamilian and half Malayali, raised in Mumbai with relatives in Chennai. Tamil, being one of my native languages from my mom’s side of the family, is an added bonus. I am always exposed to Tamil television channels, which surely helped me in the familiarity of the speech and dialect of Tamil songs.”

For Thomson, donning different hats becomes possible since he is in love with all the things he does — “I am used to multi-tasking. I love being musically occupied and busy only because I’m doing what I love and that’s my secret to managing time. I stay away from negativity. Also, prayer keeps me calm, humble, at peace and gives me patience.” He finds the working styles of Bollywood music industry and Kollywood different.

“Bollywood music industry operates very differently in comparison to the Chennai music industry. In Bollywood, singers do sessions and playback work based on referrals or directly showcasing their work to composers without involving a middleman. Chennai has a kind of music union for singers and musicians, I’ve heard, wherein agents or supervisors represent singers/musicians and these agents pitch you to composers who are looking for talent or specific voices.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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