Chithral releases his latest song
By Sunali Fernando
Talk about rock music in the Sri Lankan music industry and the first person that comes to your mind is Chithral Somapala. Reigning for more than 30 years in the music industry, this legendary singer is considered the father of rock music in Sri Lanka. Although currently living in Germany, Chirthral came to Sri Lanka recently to release a new song Singhe Lokaye Singhaya. LOOK Magazine caught up with Chithral to have a chat about his latest song.
Q. Could you tell us about your latest song?
A. My latest song is called Singhe Lokaye Singhaya. It has been released and now it is airing in many radio channels.
Q. Let us talk about the production of the song.
A. The music of the song is done by me. The lyrics were done by Kelum Srimal. The song is directed by a Pakistani named Asaad Wulhak. And the musicians who played are Jeffry on bass, he is from Sri Lanka. He used to play for Yanni. Then I have Oscar Seaton on the drums, he plays for Lionel Richie. I asked the guitarist, of A.R. Rahman to play the guitar.
Q. Is there a message that you want to convey through this song?
A. At this moment there is a lot of negativity going on in Sri Lanka. We can't even lose a cricket game, people are cursing each other. They are cursing our own people and that is not a good behaviour. What I describe through the song is about our country and our race. We all belong to one country. So we should not fight against each other and create racial discrimination. This is actually a very motivational song.
I also meet a lot of youth. So I ask them 'after A/Ls what do you want to do?' And their answer is usually, 'I don't know'. That is the attitude they have and it is not a very good attutude. I want to inspire people with my music. That's my aim. People are thinking negatively all the time. I don't think it's a good thing. So I want to give them some motivation through my song.
Q. You are known for rock music, does this song also fall into the rock genre?
A. Well, I have stepped into the rock genre, but I am also a very versatile musician and composer. I have done so many different songs. I have even sung my parents' songs. So this is a song that even a little child could sing, it's a very simple song with a nice yet catchy melody. I don't make a lot of complicated music, because if you need to reach the people, it needs to be simple.
Q. Are you planning on doing a music video for the song?
A. A video has already been done. It's an extraordinary video. We hired the best commercial director in Pakistan. Right now we are at the editing process. It will be released in September.
Q. Are you hoping to do any concerts while you are here?
A. Yes I have some concerts lined up and I'm also planning to do my concerts as well. I will be releasing some of my parents' songs at my concerts.
Q. What do you think about the present situation of the music industry in Sri Lanka?
A. At the moment the music industry is suffering a lot. We are not selling any more records and people are downloading music for free. So it should be changed.
There are also a lot of songs being produced about relationships and breakups, but there are so many other fields you can sing about. I'm a nature lover, so I did a song about Wilpattu. So it would be nice to listen to something different.
Q. You were talking about how Sri Lankans have a lot of negativity now. You've been away from the country for a long time. What are the major social changes you see in the country now?
A. The new generation seems a bit lost. They don't know anymore about the history of Sri Lanka, they don't know about the racial issues and they are very selfish and stubborn at times. They are really into these artificial drugs and alcohol. When we were young, people were simpler and they were caring for each other. But I think it's the same all over the world, not just in Sri Lanka. The world is globalizing and people are becoming more robotic and less human. So all I can do is to tell people to love one another while they live.
Q. Do you have any message for the young generation?
A. What I have to say to the young generation is not to be swollen headed, listen to the elders and respect people and do something constructive instead of destructive things. Youth tend to become too excited now and do things instantly without giving it a second thought, especially when it comes to suicides, maybe because of the fast food and artificial drug they use. Their brains are not functioning properly. So all I have to say is meditate; go to a psychologist or else talk to another person about your problem, because for every problem, there is a solution. Most importantly, think positively; then you can embrace the world with a lot of love.
(Pix by Laksiri Rukman)
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