‘Soul giving to a song is something else other than singing’: Gopi Sunder

I’m very much happy with the way 2013 went for me. I hope to continue creating quality and versatile stuffs for the people.

Gopi Sunder stormed into the industry by doing background scores of films like Notebook, Big B etc. Through Flash, he got into music composing. Then with films like Anwar, Usthad Hotel etc, he became one the most demanding music director of our industry. That’s why he was the busiest music director of 2013. Gopi Sunder opens up with EnteCity about this future projects and plans.

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The year 2013!

The year 2013 has been really wonderful for Gopi Sundar. With projects like Left Right Left, Mumbai Police, ABCD, 5 Sundarikal (‘Kullante Bharya’ segment) etc to his collection, it’s easy to say that he was the most busiest and popular music director of 2013. “I’m very much happy with the way 2013 went for me. I hope to continue creating quality and versatile stuffs for the people. I give the maximum to every project I’m associated with, so all are like my children. It’s impossible to pick a favourite from them. Give 100% to the work; get great results; that matters to me the most. I really hope the coming years will turn happier for me”, he adds about his stint with 2013.

Back to 80’s

His latest composition ‘Olanjali Kuruvi’ from the movie 1983 is creating a great response from the audience. What is more interesting is that, it has been sung by the legendary singers P Jayachandran and Vani Jayaram. The song takes us back to the mood of 1980’s. “Music composition depends on the subject of the movie. The experience as a sound programmer has really helped me in adapting quickly to various genres of music”, he talks about his versatile compositions. When asked about the working experience of the song, his answer was “unbelievable. He now realises how lucky the old music directors to have worked with legendary singers like KJ Yesudas, P Jayachandran, S Janaki etc. “We compose every song with a soul. If the singers are able to deliver another level of soul for that song which no one expects of, then they are the real playback singers. Playback singing is all about singing the song by understanding its mood and doing it in a way that blends completely with the actors on screen. I got that feel for the first time during this song’s recording. It’s too difficult to give soul into a new song and that’s where majority of our new singers fail. Soulful singing is one thing that they should study from our legendary singers”, he says.

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“I’m not at all a singer”, this was the reaction when asked about future singing plans. The song ‘Titli’ from Chennai Express along with Chinmayi became an instant hit. His rendition received so much praise from the audience. “I worked for the programming session of that song. Vishal-Shekhar made me sing the song and it got worked out well. It’s just that I was able to give a different voice level to the song. I believe that I wasted a great chance of another singer”, says laughingly.

Music Producer!

Gopi Sunder has decided to don a new role. He will be a music producer soon! “The right of the songs remain with me, which is the main motivation behind the decision. Actually, it’s kind of an investment too. I plan to be music producer for selected films. There are films with some really good subjects, but the producer may not be able to afford me. I’ll turn music producer for such low budget films that interests me and the right of the songs remains with me. I will only accept a decent remuneration from the producer for the background score. So, this gives me a great opportunity to work in low budget films as well. This is also a good opening for the young musicians. More and more musicians should come up. I and my label are paving a way for that. It’s a futuristic plan and will take some time to get launched”, says about his plans. The music label will be named as ‘Gopi Sunder Music Company’. The practice of music directors turning music producers is not a usual sight in our film industry. “Think different with a good motivation”, he adds laughingly about this.

Current music industry

With too many reality shows around, he’s not surprised that too many singers are getting into the industry. The competition is too tough these days and he believes it’s too difficult to produce a hit song these days. “The audience got too many options and it’s really hard to impress them. It requires a lot of effort to create a song which stays in people’s mind for long. There are good and bad singers, our job is to pick the right one. Everyone is getting a lot of chances, so naturally they get famous”.

Reality shows

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He is never interested in judging for a reality show. “In these shows, the contestants get trained by imitating a song already sung by an established singer. The marks are put based on such imitations. That is never playback singing. I’ll be surely there to judge in a venue where the singers are purely judged on the basis of playback singing. There are a lot of talented singers around us, but we are still in hunt of good playback singers. I have seen the art of playback singing in legendary singers like Dasettan, P Jayachandran, MG Sreekumar, Chitra chechi, Sujatha chechi, Lataji etc”, he adds.

Bollywood calling..

His persistent search for hits has gained him recognition from Bollywood too. He has signed three films under John Abraham’s production house. He will be composing the background score for the movie ‘Shaadi Ka Ghar’. The music for the next two films will be composed by him. However, his fans will have to wait some more time to hear his Hindi hits!


He is very much open to criticisms and takes it in a positive way. However, he is of the opinion that the people should use criticism in a good way. “There are lot of songs which makes us think a lot. There is another section of songs which is only meant for entertaining us. If a song is accepted by a wide audience, it’s evident that the song has delivered. There is no point in criticising a popular song. People are criticising us since we are doing something. So, I take it as an appreciation. If I have copied a song, I’ll openly admit it. That gives a license to argue when I haven’t done anything wrong. I believe that such openness of a music director will be accepted by the society. To give consistent hits, it requires a lot of hard work and sincerity. I am happy that I am able to keep my audience happy”.

BGM or songs?

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“Both are my favourites. But, background score is more thrilling and challenging for me. It’s never easy to do a background score for a film. Music knowledge is not the requirement for it, a minimum skill in visual communication is needed for it. It’s completely a different art where music is just used as medium for communicating. Songs play a minor part of the film, whereas it’s the background score which keeps the audience glued to their seats till the end of it. A film is a combination of background score and songs. It’s very sad that many of the award committees show negligence to background score. Background score’s role is similar to that of a cinematographer. If they are giving away awards to cinematographer, background score should be recognised in the same priority”, he adds disappointingly.

Ente Kochi and 2015..

I was born and brought up in Kochi. The best memory is that of bunking school and hanging out at Fort Kochi. The feel is something special. Still I have the same feel whenever I go there. I love to be in places which got good greenery”, he says excitedly. Many places and instants in Kochi have influenced his music. To sum up, everything in nature influences his music.

Gopi Sunder is very much excited about the coming year. He hopes to continue his good run in the coming years too. “’Ente City’ wholeheartedly welcomes EnteCity. My wholehearted wishes to EnteCity. I sincerely wish the coming year turns good for me, my industry, EnteCity and all the people. Let everyone enjoy good music and films”, he says smilingly.

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