Mr Sriram, tell us about your family background to our Indiaglitz browsers.
Sure. Let me greet your browsers first. Good morning. Ours is a remote village called Doddipatla on the banks of Godavari river near Palakole of West Godavari district. My father was a college principal and my mother is a normal homemaker. We are two – me and my elder sister Uma. She was studying physiotherapy.
How did you get interest in literature, lyrics?
The location of our village on the banks of Godavari, the surrounding greenery atmosphere and the gardens and orchards in a village, made me to develop interest in literature. Moreover, my father used to take me to the literary meets called Kavi Sammelans. Moreover, I used to script verses right from my childhood and my parents used to correct the mistakes if any in them and encouraged me to write the verses and poems. Like this, I was able to develop interest in scripting literature and lyrics.
How were you able to manage literature and regular studies?
When I was pursuing my Intermediate education in Gitanjali College in Vijayawada, I used to script patriotic songs. My friends who read those songs, encouraged me to listen to western songs and observe their style and asked me to write songs on those lines. Like this, both my studies and literature went hand in hand.
How did you develop interest in film lyrics?
When I am doing my engineering in Bapatla Engineering College, I had a chance meeting with Satyam, who scored music for 'Deyyam' directed by Ramgopal Varma. He gave me a tune and asked me to pen a lyric and I immediately wrote a verse. After watching my instant response, he encouraged me to pen lyrics. Like this, I was able to develop interest in scripting lyrics for films.
How did you got opportunity in films?
While doing my third year engineering, I discontinued it in the middle and reached Hyderabad to become a lyricist. Music director Satyam introduced me to producer Koganti Ramakrishna. He was busy in producing a film 'Kaadante Avunanilay' at that time and asked me to write a lyric for that movie. He liked the lyric and encouraged me to write all the lyrics for that film. Like this, I got an opportunity film without much struggle and I have become a lyricist with a single card in my debut itself.
How did you get a chance in 'Andarivadu' of Mega Star?
A scene in 'Andarivadu' is being shot in Koganti Ramakrishna's house and the latter took me to Chiranjeevi and introduced me to the Mega Star. He also gave the audio cassette of 'Avunante Kaadanilay' to Chiranjeevi on the occasion. Incidentally, the Mega Star listened to the songs from the cassette during a two-hour car journey and gave me an opportunity to script a song for 'Andarivadu'
What are the films you worked after that movie?
Addala Chanti of Friendly Movies once called me and told me to convince Devisri Prasad and promised to arrange a single card for 'Oka Voorilo…'. Like this, I was able to grab another opportunity of a single card. Later I scripted all the songs for another film, 'Yevandoy Srivaru' under the direction of E Sattibabu.
How you got a chance to work for 'Stalin'?
Once Allu Aravind called me to his Gita Arts office and script a lyric for 'Happy'. I penned a youthful song – 'I hate you'. Later, Chiranjeevi asked me to script the introductory song for him in 'Stalin'. Then I wrote 'Paraare… Paraare…' for that movie. It took almost 15 days to write that song because they lyric should have several elements. We have to keep the expectations of his fans, Mega Star image, the commercial values of a song of a top hero in view while scripting a song. Of course, I also wrote two more songs for that movie later. After 'Stalin', I scripted songs for 'Andala Ramudu' in which Sunil played the hero.
Of all the songs penned by you, which one does you like the most?
My song 'Apudo Ipudo Yepudo…' in 'Bommarillu' earned me good recognition. I wrote the song in just three hours time. Though I took 15 days time for a song in 'Stalin', it was the song in Bommarillu which was written in three hours which brought me a good name and recognition. The reason behind the success and recognition is the simple language and the depth in the meaning. I realised this after the song became very popular.
Shall a song should be written first and it has to be tuned latter or a lyricist should script a song to suit an already prepared tune? Which one do you prefer?
I don't feel difference in it. I prefer both ways. In a two and a half hour song, if something had to be explained through a song, the lyric should be penned first and it has to be tuned so that the song would come out well with an expected theme and meaning. In case, if the producer and director plan to make the audiences to dance to the tune and give a good movement in them, one had to experiment with the tune, as it needs a good beat. In this case, a lyricist should script a song to suit the tune.
Who were responsible for the lapses in pronunciation in songs?
The singers from other languages. If we have good singers, there is no chance of such situation. Moreover, there was a drastic speed in songs these days. Take for example: 'Bommanu Chesi Praanamu Posi…' We know how slow the song is. In such song one could take good breath and do pronounce it in a proper way. But these days, preference went up to the scenes and beat. Like this there are several reasons for the lapses in pronunciation of songs.
What was the difference between old songs and new songs on literary terms?
The experience in the old writers helped them to imbibe natural flavour in their songs. But everything has become artificial these days. However, there are great lyricists these days too, like Sirivennela Sitarama Sastry who scripted a song like 'Nee Swaasalo cherithe…' with great literature even now.
What kind of hard work a lyricist should do literarily?
A lyricist should know well about 'Prabandha Sahityam'. A lyricist should learn on how to convey a vast and wider meaning with less number of words and at the same time, the song should be very easily understood even by common men.
What are the projects on hand for you now?
I scripted five songs for 'Yamadonga'. I am working for 'Nava Vasantam' of Mega Super Good Films, another film under the direction of Karunakaran, and also writing songs for two to three top heroes.
What is your aim or target as a lyricist?
As of now my aim is to ensure at least some of my audios remain super hit every year.
Thank you, Mr Sriram, for sharing your experiences with our browsers
I too thank you for giving me an opportunity to meet audiences through your website.