Ramya Nambessan: in a digital space, I can use my creative freedom to create the best art possible
She has been the voice behind some memorable hits such as Ande Londe, Muthuchippi Poloru and Vijana Surabhi in Malayalam movies. And now Ramya Nambessan You are ready to explore your artistic talents even more through digital space, and the first adventure in that direction is your last independent single Kuhuku , from the Kambala pattu of the indigenous peoples of Wayanad. Ramya tells us about the song, why it is important for artists to explore the digital space and more.
How did this initiative of Ramya Nambessan Encore start?
I always thought about having a digital space, but I didn't know how to do it. That was when I went to Wayanad with friends and had the opportunity to meet the natives there. We had the opportunity to listen to his Kambala pattu, which is based on his folklore and way of life. This is how we had the idea of turning it into a song. Sudeep Palanad is the composer and Shruthi Namboodiri created all the content. When everything went well, we thought we would visualize it and that's how cinematographer Neil D’Cunha joined.
The main reason is to show how artistically I can portray myself in this space; how can I register as an independent artist through my songs, dances or short films. I think an artist is socially responsible and I want to use the platform to talk about these issues and promote independent art forms.
How has the feedback been, especially because Kuhuku’s a folk song?
Initially we were worried because when you take a song from a community and recreate it, there is a sensitive element in it. But people received it well and everyone was happy to have brought that song to the public. They loved the lyrics, and many have also asked for the lyric video to know the words and what it meant.
When dating an independent song, you must have had many entries. Could you tell us about the process?
It was the same when I did the song, Ande Londe in the movie Ivan Megharoopan in 2012. Even now, many people don't know what their lyrics mean. When you are singing a colloquial song, you are experimenting by default. He worries if it will work or not, or how he will visualize it. It is a delicate process and that included everyone in my team. I am very grateful to Shruthi and my cinematographer Neil because we had to finish all the shooting in one day and there were many obstacles, including rain. We knew we didn't want to lose the essence of the song because of the images, but at the same time the elements of the weather were against us.
I also produced the song, so I had that tension while acting on it. I was constantly aware that we had to finish filming at 9 p.m. So it was a learning process. At the same time, it was important for us that when we didn't want to hurt the feelings of the community when we released the song. We composed and visualized the track, taking this into account.
How important is it for an artist now also to be commercialized in the digital space?
I think that anyone who can influence people should use space. There are people who listen to us if we can provide them with a good art and, through that art, transmit socially relevant messages. As an artist, it is a space where we can explore ourselves. In the cinema, there are so many instructions that you should follow while acting. But in this space, I can use my creative freedom and my individuality to create the best possible art. I think that all artists should take this initiative and only when there is competition, we get good art. It is a challenging process because every day people expect better content. It forces us to be alert all the time. As far as I am concerned, I have accepted that challenge and that is what gives me the energy to live.
What is happening in terms of movies?
He had sung a song in the Underworld of Asif Ali for composers Neha Nair and Yakzan Gary Pereira. I am also part of Midhun Manuel Thomas ’Anjaam Pathiraa. In Tamil, I have about six films, including those by Prabhudheva and Vijay Antony.
Do you have time to practice music in the middle of the performance schedule?
You must devote time to music. Now I am training with a teacher and every time I have time, I practice. Also, every time there is a recording session, I try to go prepared. Because I am also acting, my schedules often do not allow me to practice music religiously, but I try to do it for a few minutes every day.