'My music has a universal approach'
Deccan Chronicle.| Sashidhar Adivi
Says Devi Sri Prasad, the man of the moment whose music track in Pushpa is rocking the whole country.
Devi Sri Prasad
It would not be an exaggeration to say that it is after 27 years, (Roja (1992) and Bombay (1995) that the entire song album of a South Indian film is being appreciated across the country. That distinction belongs to Pushpa, and Devi Sri Prasad, or DSP as he’s popularly called.
While he had earlier composed single tracks for stars like Salman Khan in Hindi, this time he shook the country with his pulsating music for Pushpa.
Tribute to parents, guru
DSP says he’s overwhelmed by the reception. "Credit for my success should go to my parents and my late guru Mandolin Srinivas garu. My father (Satyamurthy), a dialogue and screenwriter, was my first critic. He gave his judgment instantly," said the composer. Photographs of Ilayaraja, his late father, his guru and Michael Jackson adorn DSP’s recording studio.
No more regional barriers
Earlier it was felt that Bollywood has a superior attitude towards cinema, technicians and actors from the south. However, DSP disagrees. "The North had great respect for the South. Legends like Sr NTR garu and Shivaji Ganeshan garu were respected. The likes of Rajinikanth garu, and Kamal Haasan garu have given big hits in Hindi too," he recalls.
Music-wise, he says the late SP Balasubrahmanyam sir, Ilayaraja garu, AR Rahman garu, Chitra garu, etc., command a great following while filmmakers like Mani Ratnam, Shankar, Rajamouli, and KRRji rocked the Hindi industry too.
"I feel we had stopped crossing the borders and haven’t taken our cinema to the north audience. Baahubali reignited the power of South cinema. Films like Pushpa, KGF, etc., have redefined the way the North looks at South music and films," he says and adds that he’s glad that the concept of Pan-India films have blurred regional barriers.
Music is universal and has no language, he avers. "Michael Jackson blurred the lines between cast, religion, nationality, etc. He united cultures and became an icon" he notes.He however stresses that knowing multiple languages and the literature of different languages helped him compose lyrics to suit various ethnic backgrounds.
Approach to music
In his over two-decade-long journey, DSP has come out with several chartbuster albums. When we ask him the secret to his longevity, he says he never felt like a composer but rather, always considered himself a music lover.
"Whatever you love becomes part of you; what you believe reflects in your work. There are several songs that have done well in the North and South — that’s because of the approach to the song," he says.
"My music has a universal approach. When you enjoy something and put nice words to it, it works. Music can move hearts – be it Seetimarr or Sami Sami or Oo Antava Oo Oo Antava, it’s the approach and believability in the song that holds the key," he adds.
DSP says he is drawn to music and cinema because of creativity but stresses that the moment he calls himself a composer, his position becomes a designation and the work becomes technical. "So I don’t allow that to happen," he says.
Pressure is a mindset
The composer asserts that he is here to entertain. "If the artist is under pressure, how can he even entertain? Pressure is a mindset," he claims. While people from all walks of life listen to music to calm down, what does DSP do to unwind? "I listen to music too," he replies.
He is a nature lover too and sees Nature as a source of inspiration. He loves beaches and other scenic landscapes.