Who are the singers and your band members?
As it is well known, I am a singer and I will be singing most of the songs. There will also be other singers. We are planning to feature Sundarayya who will be singing the Jasmine song from Joker for which he won the National Award. There are also female singers who would be doing the backing in the show like Aishwarya, Neha and Aparna. Neha Venugopal will be singing the female lead portions from some of my compositions. Aalaap Raju, a great singer, will not be particularly singing in this concert but playing the bass. He is a legendary bass musician, has great abilities. It is special to have an accomplished singer play bass for the band. All other musicians are also special like John Rohit on the keys, Vijay Joseph on the guitar, Vikram on the percussion, Nikhil Ram on the woodwind such as flute and sax and Siddharth Nagarajan on the drums (a young man who has a doctorate in drums). I have worked with some of them earlier, while some of them will be new. So it will be a totally new experience and I am looking forward to it.
You have sung many songs. Which is your favorite one among them?
I have sung many songs for other composers. If I have to pick one, it will be Adiyae Azhagae from Oru Naal Koothu composed by Justin Prabhakaran. I also like all other songs equally. Adiyae Azhagae is a special number mainly for Justin's tune and Vivek Velmurugan's lyrics; the combination was very special.
Which song was a challenging one to sing?
I don't think it is a challenge to sing any song, if you love it. Make sure you put in all your efforts. I don't think there is any song that has challenged me technically or ability wise till date.
On the music composition front, what are the projects you are working on now?
Right now, I am working on one of the biggest projects of my life, which is Dhanush's directorial and he will also be starring in it. It is produced by Sri Thenandal Studios and will be a next year release. It is a big project and it has an interesting musical space for me to do an entire album with Indian sensibilities. After Power Pandi, it is my second film with Dhanush (as a director). I also recently wrapped up music for Mehendi Circus which is a very special film written by Raju Murugan and directed by Saravanan Rajendran who has assisted the likes of Balu Mahendra. Of late, we have been seeing positive response for content based films; commercially also, it is being said that this market is going to grow bigger. Audiences are not much worried about the star cast but are keener to see how the film has come together as an entity. Mehendi Circus will be one of those kinds, something on the likes of Joker. This album will be a very special one. I have worked very hard on this. There is one other project which I am not supposed to divulge right now; an announcement is expected soon.
Can we have your thoughts on the #MeToo movement?
Anybody who is in a position of power should not abuse it or use it as leverage against something or someone as sexual favors or anything like that. We are all in a civil society. I don't think anybody can wield that kind of power. Usually, people who are in power or big position or responsibility will not have time for such kinds of abuse. People who are in an illusion of power might indulge in such acts, which is very wrong. Also sometimes, there are cases of women trying to smear somebody or trying to get back even in the case of consensual affairs. We see such cases too. I feel it should be dealt on an individualistic basis. It is good that we are all having a discussion about it. I think it has started now. It is healthy and now everyone will watch out for these kinds of things, and not take any other human being for granted. It is more of a human issue and also a biological issue. It is also related to lack of sex education and channels of approach. But for things to really change, women need to step up and call the shots right then and there, rather than wait for a significant period of time and then go talk about it. I have not been exposed to that kind of world. I am serious about my work and respect my co-workers. I don't know about these things and have not had any personal experiences on such things. I am only talking about it from a human perspective.
All the best Sean Roldan!