Thiruvananthapuram is also the place where a lot of alternative musicians and bands are found. I personally believe that Trivandrum has the best crowd for a concert.
The aim of Amrita TV’s reality show ‘SuperStar’ was to find the most versatile singer. And no one other than Job Kurian fits into the tag better. Through a string of stage performances and cover versions, Job has found a unique place in the hearts of music lovers. Slowly and steadily, he has become one of the sorted out singers in our industry. Job opens up with EnteCity.com about his musical journey, future plans etc.
Job was working with a band in Uday Samudra Hotel when the audition for SuperStar was announced. “My intention was just to see the judges Deepak Dev, Alphonse and Balabhaskar. They were the new age musicians then. Never thought I’ll get into the competition! After getting in, my aim was to deliver some good performances till I get eliminated. However, my journey in the competition ended in the finals only. Getting to perform with a talent like Stephen chettan was an awesome experience. I was able to meet many artists through it. It really nourished the singer in me! It feels great when people identify with the show’s tag”, says Job. The rendition of songs like ‘Khuda Se’ (Keerthichakra), ‘Kaneer Poovinte’, ‘Krishna Nee’, ‘Chaudavin Ka Chand ‘etc gained him immense praise from the judges and audience. The show paved the way for his first film song. He recorded a song for the Vinayan movie ‘Blackcat’ with KS Chitra which was composed by Alphonse.
Thaalam was the first independent album from Job along with his friends Charan and Yakzon. The album ‘Thaalam’ really boosted his popularity. “Thaalam was always in our plans. It was our dream to release that album, for which we had to go through lot of struggles and difficulties. I and Charan did the composing part, whereas Yakzon took care of the arrangement section. Doing that album was an immense experience. The album is still awed by the people and we are happy that our sincerity and efforts have paid off. People like Rex Vijayan and Stephen really helped us during the making of this album”, he says. Actor Nedumudi Venu has sung a song in this album. The album got good promotion through his song.
‘Straight from the heart’!
“Kaneer Poovinte was the first song I did for Rosebowl channel’s ‘Straight from the Heart’ segment. Producer Sumesh sir was impressed by our album. To give a promotion for Thaalam, the new segment was launched. Kaneer Poovinte became so popular and is still a hit among the youth. Now, Sumesh sir’s team is in charge of Kappa TV’s Music Mojo. I got the chance to do some great songs for that programme too. It’s hapy to see that the programme is doing really well with some exceptional artists and bands”, he says. Job’s version of ‘Melle Melle’, ‘Raasathi’. ‘Vennilavo’ etc has gone viral among the audience.
Job loves to do live performances. It really unleashes the singer in him. He sings with his heart during a live performance. “I continuously did stage shows for a year after SuperStar. However, soon I realized there isn’t much scope for improvement for me as singer through this. It was after that I joined Chetana Music Academy, Thrissur for learning piano. Fr Thomas was really a great motivator. The jamming sessions there, chats with the people there etc has really helped the musician in me”, he adds. Recently he has been doing stage shows all around Kerala. He even had the chance to perform with the prolific ‘Avial’ band a couple of times. He finds performing for award nights as a special feeling. “I have performed for a couple of award nights. Performing in front of the people we admire a lot and a cream crowd is an inexplicable feeling. Performing for Jaihind TV awards was such an occasion. In a lighter note, the best stage I performed will be on my wedding. Me, my wife Athira, Stephen chettan and my friends had an awesome gig till the wedding party got over”, he says laughingly.
As playback singer!
He was getting a lot of chances to sing in between his classes at Chetana. After Blackcat, he sang for Shyamaprasad’s ‘Ritu’. But he got the perfect break through ‘Aaraane Aaraane’ from Urumi. That song was well received by the people. Then came ‘Melle Kollum’ from ‘22 Female Kottayam’ which showed another dimension of the singer in him. Then he sang for films like ‘I love Me’, ‘Honeybee’, ‘Red Wine’, ‘Idukki Gold’, ‘Thira’, ‘Ohm Shanthi Oshana’ and ‘Garbhasreeman’. It should be mentioned that all his songs got popular and the song ‘Manikyachirakulla’ from ‘Idukki Gold’ became one of the best songs of 2013. “Recently, I recorded a song for Ouseppachan sir for the movie Garbhasreeman. Working with him was a prestigious experience”, he adds.
“I started participating in competitions during schooldays in Bharathiya Vidya Bhavan. Our principal Prem C Nair was the reason why he had the best days there. His constant encouragement and support was the reason why we participated in most of the competitions that time. But it was in college that I was exposed to a wide genre of music. My friends there used to hear Western, North Indian, Sufi style etc. I was always influenced by bands like Pink Floyd, Iron Maiden, Deep Purple, Scorpions etc. Artists like John Mayer, Nitin Sawhney etc is in the list too. Micheal Jackson has always been a constant inspiration to every musician in the world. However, my all-time favorite is Johnson master. The movies like Thoovanathumbikal, Dasharadham, Ponmuttayidunna Tharavu etc makes me so nostalgic. Songs by Dasettan, Chitra chechi and the compositions of Raveendran master, Devarajan master etc are my beloved ones. My Hindi song rendition is influenced by Mohd Rafi”. His cover version of Johnson master’s songs has gained utter popularity. “I only do cover version of those songs which has touched my heart and soul. Only then I can sing with a free spirit. I do this as a tribute to the great Johnson master. The very moment we hear his song, we are taken back to the movie and the particular scene is unveiled in front of us. The scenes are blended that much with his music”, he adds proudly.
‘Taste’ of Music!
Soon we will see Job in a new role. Job has completed composing for Rajeev Nath’s new film ‘Rasam’ which stars Mohanlal, Indrajith etc. “Music Direction was always in my dreams. I’m so excited about this project. Rajeev sir got impressed by Thaalam and other samples I gave and roped me in for the film. I have composed three songs for the film which was sung by Chitra chechi, Kavalam Sreekumar sir and me. The lyrics have been penned by Kavalam Narayana Panicker sir. I’m so blessed to have worked with such great talents”, he says proudly.
New age Reality shows!
“I feel these days reality shows are more of business. Our show was really genuine and I don’t see that these days. The contestants can’t ever be blamed. They are restricted of their freedom. They are forced to perform. I have always believed that performance should come out naturally from a singer. His real talent lies in spontaneity. The greatest example in the legendary Micheal Jackson! Still, I really respect all these contestants for the way they perform even under such pressure. Reality shows give them the best exposure, but too succeed from there you have to work hard. Luck and time is another factor. One of the examples is Mridula who was there with me in SuperStar. She always possessed great talent. But it’s just now that she came into the limelight”, he says. He’s of the opinion that new age singers are getting the best exposure when compared to the legendary singers. He urges that a singer should never get carried away by the fame and exposure.
‘It’s just promotion’!
He says that singers shouldn’t be complaining or tensed about actors turning singers. “Oh come on; just see it as a promotional technique. Take the case of films like Run Baby Run or Punyalan Agarbathis. The songs by Lalettan and Jayasurya really boosted the film. The songs are one of the major reasons why the films got popular. I’ll be very happy to see Lalettan or Mammookka singing for a film. Just enjoy that the song rather than complaining about it or analyzing the technical aspects of the song”. He assures that he’ll be happy to do such songs if the director asks him to. However he has an opinion that the songs could have been sung more times and recorded to get a better feeling.
‘Urumi was double bonus’
“Aaraane Aaraane will be a special song in my life always. I and Prithviraj were studied in Bhavans together. We really shared a good friendship and were always together since he was the Head boy and I was in charge of culturals. We met after years for the inauguration of ‘Natana’ in Technopark. That was really a great moment. He appreciated my song in Urumi and even talked about Thaalam. That will be some moments I’ll cherish in my life always. Even I’m so happy with his growth. He’s really a dedicated actor and a sensible human being. I am sure that he’ll very happy in the way I’m doing too. We are mutual well-wishers”, he says smilingly.
Job thanks god and his music directors for his songs. “I have sung around 15 songs till now. I have been lucky to work with sensible music directors till now. ‘Aaraane Aaraane’ , ‘Melle Kollum’ or ‘Manikyachirakulla’, all the song I have sung till now features different genre. So I was able to experiment with my voice well. It’s really a blessing that all my songs were well received by the audience. I have always been sincere to my profession, which has really paid off now. However, I won’t go for a song which doesn’t suit my voice. That will merely be a waste of time and effort for the music director and me”, he adds. As a music director, he has no qualms in saying his requirement to the singer, whoever it maybe. “The song should be the best. And if the singer delivers above my requirement, I’ll be double happy”, he says.
According to him, an artist shouldn’t be futuristic. “As a musician I have plans. I need to continue practicing well and focus more on own compositions and all. I love to do more live shows. Now everything is going really well, hope it continues in the future too”.
“I have performed in a lot of stages. So, I have witnessed the transition very well. At the beginning, the audience wasn’t much welcoming. That doesn’t mean the audience aren’t good. I have performed in stages where audience charmed me with their enthusiasm and support. Performing onstage is never easy. I think the scene is much better now. The audience in Kerala is easily becoming the best these days”.
‘Family support is boundless’
“I won’t have been this successful without the support of the family. I come from a family which got great taste for music. It was always my father who encouraged me in this. I started learning Carnatic music under Surendran sir from 2nd standard. Then I got trained under Perumbavoor G Raveendranath sir. I really wanted to pursue my dreams in music after completed my engineering. However, I was not able to make a decision on that. It was my father who encouraged me to chase my dreams. If some people recognize me as a singer, it’s because of them and god!”
‘EnteCity’ is so special!
“Without doubt, Trivandrum is the best place to live! This city got a great cultural significance. The crowd support I enjoy here is so positive. It really encourages me. I personally believe that Trivandrum has the best crowd for a concert. They just come to enjoy the music! This is also the place where a lot of alternative musicians and bands are found. Majority of the musicians here are my good friends and share a special vibe with them. Whether it is the Kanakakunnu Palace or Nishagandhi auditorium, the programs conducted there are of high quality and cultural significance. Evening hangouts in Trivandrum is one of the best things to have, especially to places like Althara junction. There is no such feeling than getting back to Trivandrum!” proudly says.