Music is what I do 24/7 and I want it to be like that, says singer Kapil Kapilan

Multilingual singer Kapil from Kerala talks about getting into programming, composing and exploring different aspects of music production

Multilingual singer Kapil from Kerala talks about getting into programming, composing and exploring different aspects of music production

Kapil Kapilan’s singing career could be divided into before and after ‘Adiye’. The Tamil Film Viral Track Bachelor (2021), starring GV Prakash Kumar and Divya Bharathi, gave him opportunities in all South Indian languages.

In fact, it was after ‘Adiye’ that Kapil took his break in Malayalam, his mother tongue — he sang in Bhishmaparvam (‘Aakasham’), night driving (“Pathi pathi”) and Pathrosinte Padappukkal (‘Theeyanu’). He has projects in Tamil, Telugu and Kannada, the most recent being Multilingual Oh Sita Hey Ramawith Dulquer Salmaan, for composer Vishal Chandrasekhar.

“I’ve been in the industry since 2017. It took five years to get recognized. ‘Adiye’ changed everything for me. I even recently won the award for best upcoming singer!

Originally from Kottarakkara in Kollam district, he moved to Chennai after graduation to focus on music. “My father [CR Madhusoodanan Pillai] introduced me to all kinds of music. I was trained in Carnatic music since childhood and it continued until I graduated.

Kapil recounts his university life in Thiruvananthapuram [at Mar Ivanios College] inspired him to delve deeper into music. “I used to play with a band, Renegades, during my studies. It was through my friends that I discovered AR Rahman’s KM Music Conservatory in Chennai. So even though my family wanted I find a stable job, I had decided to move to Chennai and learn music,” he says.

In Chennai, he took lessons from musicians such as Sriram and Sriram Parthasarathy. After that, he learned sound engineering at Muzik Lounge School of Audio Technology in Chennai.

“After I finished my sound engineering course, my plan was to do covers. Since I knew some sound engineers, I could give them my CDs with demo tracks. I received calls from [composers] Pritam, DSP (Devi Sri Prasad]Gopi Sundar… Even though I was excited about it, I didn’t know how to go about it and so I lost those opportunities,” he recalled.

Singer Kapil Kapilan

Singer Kapil Kapilan | Photo credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Nevertheless, in 2017, DSP gave her a Telugu break with the song ‘Champesaave Nannu’ in the movie Local Nenu. In the same year, he made his Kannada debut with ‘Baduke Neenentha Nataka’ by Happy new year composed by Raghu Dixit and in Tamil’ with ‘Uyiredukkum’ from Maragatha Naanayam for Dhibu Ninan Thomas as well.

“After my first project with Dhibu, I asked him if I could work with him and he accepted. I was his partner in his next project, Kana. In the meantime, I sang for Telugu and Kannada films. My career in Malayalam however did not take off. Demonetization has stalled several projects, including films in other languages. I had sung for Raja [Ilaaiyaraja] sir too. But this film did not have a proper release,” he laments.

Testing new waters

Kapil is delighted that in the latest Tamil version of Dhibu, Nenjuku Needhi (Hindi movie remake Section 15) starring Udhayanidhi Stalin, he worked as an additional programmer. “It’s progress for me. Initially, I was doing vocal layering. But I took lessons from Dhibu in other facets of programming and production. It’s interesting to experiment with what I learned and come up with something out of the box,” he says.

Kapil adds that it’s all part of surviving in the music industry. “I may not always have reading opportunities. Music is what I do 24/7 and I want it to be like that. Nevertheless, I thought it was always better to explore other avenues. The experience in sound engineering and music production also allows me to be very useful when I sing or record a song in my studio,” says Kapil.

He plans to become a composer, that too with independent projects. “It’s a dream to do concerts of my own songs,” he says.

A big fan of veteran Assamese musician Bhupen Hazarika, especially of his Bengali songs, Kapil says he wants to sing in many languages. “I grew up listening to Bengali and Hindi songs. There are beautiful lullabies in Bengali. Even though I don’t know Bengali, I find the language moving, probably because of the composition, arrangement and singing. Also, like many other singers of the current generation, I have followed many Indian and Pakistani musicians such as Jagjit Singh, Ghulam Ali and Abida Parveen. to name a few,” he says.

Lately he’s been exploring a new genre – game music. the music.”

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