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Why singer Pradeep Kumar turned producer for this road film

Watch | Why singer Pradeep Kumar turned producer for this road film

‘Nalla Perai Vaanga Vendum Pillaigale’ (NPVVP), a popular MGR song from 1967 film Nam Naadu, is the title of an upcoming coming-of-age Tamil film. And, it has another musical connection: it is produced by popular singer Pradeep Kumar.

Pradeep Kumar and Prasath Ramar
| Photo Credit:
S Shiva Raj

Shot in many locales near Madurai, Mayavaram and Poompuhar, this film revolves around a few small-town boys taking a trip and what happens during the journey. Directed by Prasath Ramar, who earlier helmed Siddharth-starrer Enakkul Oruvan, this film, featuring theatre artiste Preethy Karan and several newcomers, is set to hit screens soon. Excerpts from a chat with Pradeep and Prasath:

A still from the film

A still from the film

Fans are aware of your work as a singer and music composer too. But producer…well, how did that happen?

Pradeep: Prasath and I first met during the recording of the ‘Mogathirai’ track in Pizza. I was supposed to score the music for one of his projects back then, and was keenly keeping track of his scripts because I love his writing. When he worked on his debut film, Enakkul Oruvan, I was part of it as a singer, thanks to composer Santhosh Narayanan. At one point of time, when I read the script of NPVVP, I wanted to do it as I felt it was an essential story that audiences need to be told.

Tell us a bit about the journey of the film and how you zeroed in on its cast and crew…

Prasath: It is a road film that happens on a single day; based on an incident that happened to a friend of mine, but we have tweaked it to suit the language of cinema. As creators, we think of several one-liners, but only a few ideas call out to us. NPVVP was one such idea.

Apart from singing for many composers, you have composed for a few projects too. How did the musical soundscape of NPVVP fall into place?

Pradeep: When I was the composer for this film, Prasath said there were not going to be any songs (laughs). But after I became the producer, I insisted on keeping the songs! It is a fun film but very close to reality, so the fear was that songs might dilute the screenplay. But the film grew on us, and at one point of time, we started getting ideas for the songs, like the ‘Kadala’ track or the ‘Raasa Magarasa’ song. They fit magically into the course of the film. Thanks to my experience with bands like La Pongal and Yodaka, I feel my strength is in presenting traditional elements in a contemporary manner, and I could tap into that forte for this film.

Shooting the entire film on the road must have been challenging…

Prasath: Yes. In fact, during the Mayavaram-Poompuhar road schedule, it was the time of Vinayaka Chaturthi processions and we found it tough to pull off shooting on a few days. The biggest challenge was to get the actors to blend with the public and the environment we were shooting in, and I think we have succeeded in that. As a filmmaker, my goal is to ensure that the two hours that audiences give to our project is worth it.

You have a thriving career as a singer, and you are a producer now. What are your future plans?

Pradeep: I am soon planning to release my first independent album that will feature songs that I have written and composed. I also hope to finish work on a musical documentary that has been in the works for a few years now.

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