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I have done for 'Naa Saami Ranga' what its story deserved: MM Keeravani


MM Keeravani is frank when he says that he has done 'Naa Saami Ranga' because the remuneration offered was irresistible. Whether he said it in a lighter vein or not, from his interview, it is clear that the iconic composer thoroughly enjoyed composing for this Akkineni Nagarjuna-starrer. The film, set to hit the cinemas on January 14, co-stars Allari Naresh and Raj Tarun.

Nobody can say that I compose for films thick and fast. I have always been selective. The Oscar win last year for 'Naatu Naatu' was special. A film gets hype if the songs are good. It doesn't happen just because an Oscar winner has composed the music. Neither the Oscar win nor the Padma Sri has affected me in any way.

I have done 'Naa Saami Ranga' because the pay offered was very good (smiles). A producer wants to make the maximum money. That's why this is a Sankranthi release, meant to cash in on the Sankranthi fervour. I have previously worked with Nagarjuna and it has always been a breeze. The director (Vijay Binni) is new and it is always interesting to team up with a newbie.

'President Gaari Pellam' was a village entertainer. The same goes with 'NSR'. I am expecting this to be another 'PGP' in terms of the box-office reach! Nagarjuna has a certain sense of who should be trusted with a project. Once his preferred technician has been onboarded, he doesn't bother much.

This film is a remake. I have done remakes in the past as well. 'Sundarakanda' was a remake, for example. 'NSR' is full of Telugu nativity with a treatment that differs from the Malayalam original. Although this film is set in the 1990s, I have not used old-school instruments and music. This generation has to be catered to. Nativity is something the director should worry about. The composer has to be attuned to the tastes of today's generation.

All songs but one have been written by Chandrabose. I have written only the Friendship song. I am not a professional lyricist. There has to be a context for me to want to write a song. The Friendship song was not there in the script. The situation was not there in the script originally.

Festival-time release has always fascinated the producers. The public's propensity to spend is the highest during festivals. Moreover, they have time at hand because it is vacation time for schools and colleges.

Two types of individuals seek opportunities: those who want money, and those who want an avenue for their creativity. I am told Mani Sharma has expressed the desire to work with Mahesh Babu once again. Maybe, he has tunes that suit only Mahesh and nobody else. Or, maybe, he wants to make money. It is for him to elaborate on. Please don't expect me to speak for him. I speak for myself. I have done 'Naa Saami Ranga' for money!

When asked about 'NSR' being the only film with an item song this Sankranthi: I don't know what an item song is. As far as I am concerned, 'item' stands for an object. My categories are good songs and bad songs. Speaking for this film, there is no so-called item song in it. If a song features the protagonist, it can't be called an 'item' song at any cost.

Today, we know it when a song becomes viral. In the pre-Internet era, you know how was the popularity of a song measured? If it was played at weddings and wedding receptions, it would be called a hit! A director can't ask his composer to give a viral song. It would be foolish to do so. A song's virality is not in our hands.

It is wrong to say that I have always worked with only a few directors. I have composed for films like 'Jayamma Panchayathi' in recent years. I have seen many lows in my career. Some years like 1995 and 1999 were totally goners.

The Oscar was never in my mind. I had no respect for awards. On an occasion, Ramoji Rao garu desired that we win an Oscar award. Since someone of his stature values Oscar, my view changed.

I am yet to start my work for the Rajamouli-Mahesh Babu film. I have to find out from Rajamouli as to when the sittings will commence. If I call him, his phone will be switched off. I have composed three songs for 'Hari Hara Veera Mallu'.  

Updated on January 8, 2024