EXCLUSIVE: Sri Charan Pakala Talks About His Music Journey, Influences, Working With Adivi Sesh, Major Movie, His Upcoming Projects And More

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Music is the soul of Indian cinema.  Movie without songs and background music is simply not a movie.  Today, we at Telugu Filmnagar had the pleasure to bring the music director Sri Charan Pakala on board with us.  Sri Charan composed music for the hit movies like Kshanam (2016,) PSV Garudavega (2017,)  Krishna And His Leela (2020) and more.  Sri Charan is also the music composer to the much anticipated Adivi Sesh starrer Major and Satya Dev’s Thimmarasu.

In this exclusive interview with Telugu Filmnagar, he dished us on his music journey, influences, common collaborations and many upcoming projects and so much more.  Check out the interview below: 

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  • What is keeping you busy these days? What projects do you have lined up?

Work, work, work. Currently I am working on Major and Thimmarusu.  After that, Siddhu Jonnalagadda’s Dallas Lo Desi Dongalu and Narudi Brathuku Natana are lined up.  Then there is the remake of Evaru in Kannada, Sundeep Kishan’s SK28 and a couple of movies in the pipeline.

  • How did your music journey start?  Were you interested in music as a kid too? How did you get your first chance?

I have been a music lover since childhood.  Grew up listening to Ghazals and watching movies.  I am a huge fan of Chiranjeevi garu.  I came into the music scene unexpectedly.  I used to play sports and chill with my friends without any focus.  Suddenly, after my 12th I picked up Guitar and gave it a try and taught myself.  Then started playing in bands and making music for social awareness documentaries.  At the same time I met Ravikanth (director of Kshanam) and composed music for his short films.  I met Sesh at the same time as well, and when they were searching for composers for KISS movie, he referred me.  We got in touch and that is how my music journey started.  With that one song, Ee Kshanam.  

  • What’s the story behind the Ee Kshanam song?

Sesh asked me for a demo and I arrived at Hyderabad, Ravikanth tagged along as well.  I asked Ravikanth to write the lyrics.  I made him both write and sing for that song, which is Ee Kshanam.  We even won an international award for that movie.  Then Kshanam came along.  I was also working on Guntur Talkies at that time.  We remastered the Ee Kshanam song and used it in the Kshanam movie.  

  • How was it working for two different movies at the same time?

It was challenging.  Guntur Talkies was very mass and quirky, while Kshanam was serious.  Both the movies were opposite in genres.  It was both fun and tricky.  Now, I got used to it.

  • Who are your favourite artists? The artists you look up to?

I used to listen to Jagjit Singh garu, Mohammad Rafi garu, Illaiyaraja garu, Keeravani garu, Rahman garu, Mani Sharma garu growing up.  The heroes and the music of Telugu cinema influenced me.  I used to play in a band as well.  Metallica, Iron Maiden and Nirvana, these kinds of bands were the influences.  I try to bridge both Western and Indian music.

  • What is your process? How do you get inspired?

It starts with songs, the director would give me situations and what kind of style he wants.  I tend to work based on that.  Make a demo and send it to the director and make any changes if needed.

  • How do you overcome creative block?

It happens.  Especially during these times when we are stuck between four walls.  I buck up and somehow make my way out of it.

  • What do you like composing the most? Romantic melodies or bgm for thrillers?

I like melodies a lot.  I like to do romantic movies and comedies.  Since intense movies became successful, people think I’m more interested in thrillers and serious movies.  But, I would love to do melodies and love stories.  Krishna And His Leela was such a breezer.

  • You used rap in Krishna And His Leela. Would you use rap again for one of your movies?

100%. Pakka.  Most likely, I will use rap in one of my upcoming projects.

  • Is there any other genre of music you want to try?

I want to try oora mass and folk.  I want to explore.  Make music for pure love stories and comedies as well.

  • You and Adivi Sesh worked for 4 movies together and now are working for Major.  Tell us about your association with him.

It started with KISS, but we connected more with Kshanam.  You tend to get attached after such a long process.  We have a similar thought process.  Sesh is not only an actor but also a brilliant technician.  

  • How is it working for Major, a biographical movie?

When you are making music for the story of a national hero, I just wanted to ensure that the music has energy and emotion.  It is coming out good.

  • How was it working in Kannada for the movie Humble Politician Nograj with Danish Sait?

It was fun.  That is one industry I would like to be a part of.  Very nice technicians.  I also have an association with Bangalore.  Love the place and its people.  Making my Bollywood debut with Major as well.

  • How did Ladi Ladi happen? How did Priya Prakash Varrier come onboard?

We met through a common friend.  She was shooting in the same place I was in.  We thought Priya Prakash Varrier might look good for this song.  I got to know that she sings as well.  She listened to the song and immediately came on board.  She sang Ladi Ladi in a single go.  That was pretty impressive.  So, that’s how it happened.

  • You did a bit of acting too, can we see you act more?

I would love to.  If I like the role, I will take on it.  I might act in the future, even if the role is small.  

  • You composed for web series as well.  How was the experience?

It was very lengthy.  I did three seasons of Pelli Gola and it was pretty successful.  I plan to take on more web series.  Pelli Gola had a very mass and folk song.  I took my iPad to Amalapuram thinking to record some sounds.  I was in the cab and came across this Bhajan group in front of a temple.  Their singing was authentic and memorable.  I picked a song from their song book, picked up my guitar, jammed with them and recorded the song.  That was how the Pelli Gola song came about.  I want to re start with independent music, start my band with original compositions.  In talks with Mango Music Originals, sooner or later something should come up.

  • How do you find new talents and work with them?

I like to work with new people and accordingly I find them.  As a fresher, that is how I got my chance.  I randomly find them and if they are good, I bring them on board.

Sri Charan Pakala dished about so many exciting things through this interview.  We at Telugu Filmnagar will look forward for more of his future endeavours.

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