Rhyme and reason | Daily News

Rhyme and reason

When we take up on the subject of music, we often talk about the industry in general, and musicians, bands, songs and albums, but we do not seem to focus much on those who are behind the scene, including producers, song writers, music directors etc.

They are the backbone of a music production. Their contribution is crucial for a successful song release. Lyricists play a crucial part, and it’s their lyrics which brings the song to life. The success of the song is based not only on the talent of the musician, but of the lyricist as well. A good audience always appreciates a good song with meaningful lyrics, and not useless set of words which are incomprehensible and produce earaches. Thus being a Lyricist requires a lot of talent, creative thinking, good writing skills and patience.

On today’s T’nC we are going to talk about such an individual, a composer, a poet, and a master of all trades. His first step in his composing career started with ‘Jeewithe Mal’ for the Sunflowers, and he has written 1500 songs for various musicians both young and senior, ever since. Some of his other songs include ‘Danuna’, ‘Dedunu Sihineka’ , ‘Roo Sara’ , ‘Papare’ and ‘Ruwaththi’ . It’s amazing how he manages to turn his expressions and thoughts into words and then turn those to a song, and his compositions are enjoyed and appreciated by everyone, both young and old.

His Alma mater, St. Anthony’s College, Katugastota, helped him to develop his writing skills, and he managed to enhance them by turning his hobby of collecting English song lyrics of what turned out to be a profession which made him one of the most popular Lyricists of the modern generation. He has been active for twenty years in the local music industry, and starting his career in 2000. Throughout the years, the experiences, challenges which he went through has made him become one of the most popular and sought after Lyricists of the modern times. He has contributed not only to produce songs, but also for TV, Radio commercials and Movie songs. He’s a man of multiple talents, and not only he calls himself a ‘Galey Ketuu Kaviya’ (a poet carved in stone) he is also a social media poet as well. The number of songs he has written throughout the years are countless, and still there are more to come, inspired by his creative thinking. Thus on today’s T’ n C , it’s none other than Shehan Galahitiyawa, the poet of our times and a silent hero of the modern youth who will be sitting down for a chat on the latest projects which he has rolled up on his sleeve , recollections , experiences and memories throughout his music career. He is married to Madubhashini, and has two daughters.

Excerpts:

Q: What inspired you to venture into the field of song writing?

From childhood, I loved to listen to music. I didn’t have any varieties of music. I used to listen to any kind of music such as Hindi, Sinhala, English and Arabic. When I was at school my class teacher asked us to start a hobby. So a lot of my classmates started collecting Sea shells, stamps, reading books etc. So I thought of starting a different kind of hobby. I started collecting English song lyrics when I was at grade 6. I collected more than 500 English lyrics. I still have that book! Karunarathna Abeysekara, Premakeerthi De Alwis, and Ajantha Ranasinghe were my favourite celebrity lyricists. I truly believe they inspired me to come to this field.

Q: Did you have an ambition of becoming a lyricist?

When I was at school (St. Anthony’s College, Katugastota) I used to write my own poems. It was only at that moment I thought I had writing skills etc. So I haven’t had an ambition of becoming a lyricist.

Q: What are the themes which you focus on to write songs?

I usually take any kind of theme. I have done romantic songs, heartbreaking, separation songs, emotional songs, and I have also written songs about my motherland, about parents and nature, etc.

Q: What do you think about the industry now?

In our music industry we have lots of young and talented musicians now. We have a creative generation of youth. These days, we focus on new platforms in our industry. I call this era a digital era. Technology has made it easy to promote our music via these platforms. Social media has created a huge impact on our industry.

Q: Is there a memorable moment in your career which you would like to recall?

Working continuously as a professional lyricist for twenty years in this Industry is the most memorable thing.

Q: What was your first experience as a lyricist?

The day my first song, ‘Jeewithe Mal, Ape Amma Innakal’, was recognized as a massive hit goes down in memory lane as my first experience as a lyricist.

Q: Which generation do you mostly cater to?

I mostly cater my lyrics to the younger generation.

Q: Who were the stalwarts of the industry when you first joined?

At that time, Hemasiri Halpita was a stalwart in the industry. He supported me a lot and gave a lot of advice.

Q: What do you think are the basic qualities in a good lyricist?

Listening to others, having a great connection with entertainment, understanding the people’s pulse, reading and listening to any kind of music are some of the qualities.

Q: Whom can you highlight as talented lyricists from the modern generation?

There are some talented lyricists existing in the music industry. If I mention names it will be unfair by others.

Q: Have you been criticized for your lyrics?

My first song, ‘ Jeewithe Mal’ was the most criticized song, because that was a song which was created as a tribute to all mothers. It was a baila song. Some people criticized it, but then you cannot create upbeat songs to pay tribute to mothers!

Q: Tell us what you are up to these days.

These days I’m composing some lyrics for two teledramas and seven movie songs to a movie called ‘Adaraneeya Prarthana’.

Q: How has the present situation affected the industry?

This pandemic has affected our music industry badly. This has been the hardest time that we have ever faced so far.

Q: Looking back at your career, how do you feel?

I feel I have done some great lyrical creations for two decades.

But I think I have to do more, especially movie songs, because I haven’t had any chance to write songs for movies.