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Interview of Pawan Ch about Love Story & AR Rahman

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Music director Pawan Ch in this interview talks about his experience of working with Sekhar Kammula and the songs of 'Love Story'. He also elaborates on his association with AR Rahman, in whose team he worked for years.

My grandfather C Nageswara Rao garu was a cinematographer. My father C Vijay Kumar garu is a cinematographer too. I was never into watching many movies. But I used to sit with technicians in recording studios. That triggered an interest in me. I joined a music course and it was a phase of self-discovery. I and others got to see whether we ought to become composers, singers or something else. Since the faculty members were trainers from across the world there, I got exposure to world music.

AR Rahman sir happened to visit the institute and I performed a couple of tunes. Rahman sir lauded my work when he listened to one of my tunes accidentally. He invited me over to his music school. I also worked in his team for many years when I got to learn so many instruments during my stint with Rahman sir. I once played a complicated instrument and he was impressed with my skill. He would also encourage me to do what I like. He asked me to act as per my convictions.

After my stint with AR Rahman sir, a lot of people started trusting me and taking me seriously. I am glad that my very debut movie album has been such a big hit. Credit goes to my director!

I tried to work with Sekhar Kammula sir on 'Fidaa', but the opportunity didn't come to me. He liked a tune that I gave but he was not ready to enlist a first-timer like me. He doesn't okay a tune easily. He not only gives the composer a situation but also explains the underlying emotions, politics, and gives references to old movies if any. That inspires us to give the best.

The response has been great for 'Love Story' songs. 'Saranga Dariya' is a folk song that Kammula sir has been listening to for many years. He wanted the folk song to be revived through our movie. Since he lives in an artistic world of his own, he gives the composer a lot of creative inputs. 'Ey Pilla' and the other songs have come out really well.

'Saranga Dariya' courted controversy but I was too busy to learn anything about it. I was totally unaware of the row. We have given credit to traditional music on YouTube.

'Love Story' is an intense and delicate movie. It's not a regular rom-com. As such, I had to work and rework a lot of tunes and on the execution. It was not easy to cope up when the film's release got delayed because of the pandemic.

I haven't yet gone to Rahman sir to make him listen to the songs of 'Love Story'. He is very strict in his judgment. So, I am too scared!

I have been working on a private album. It has been my dream to bring out several songs as an independent composer. I have received a number of movie offers but I haven't given any nod so far.

In recent years, I love Vivek Sagar's music a lot. It's encouraging that the Telugu audience are encouraging such music. Thaman garu is reinventing his style and that's great.

Updated on September 21, 2021