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Originals, her forte

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Her velvety voice and proficiency in singing subtle variations would bring a tear to one’s eye. The inborn ability refined with music education has bestowed her with a very flexible singing tone.

Nipuni Nayanathara Thennakoon, a promising young songster and a music teacher at the University of the Visual and Performing Arts, has already made her mark in the Sri Lankan music field.

A decade back she was crowned as the best vocalist in ‘Deyata Kirula’. Since then there was no stopping for this young diva.

Nayanathara is an artiste born lucky. Her mesmerizing and unique voice kept requests pouring her way to record new songs. This golden opportunity has paved her the way to voice around 30 new songs for radio, films and teledramas in a very short stint.

Dharshana Wickramatunga has made melodies and music for the majority of her songs. In the hands of veterans in the music field, this gem of a songstress is being shaped to become a force to be reckoned with.

Q: Singing original songs is your specialty. How did it start?

My mother encouraged me to sing after identifying my talent and she encouraged me to participate in national level competitions. I recorded my first song at the age of 14. Rambukana Siddharatha Thera and a team did a CD named ‘Piyumaka Lassana’. I sang two songs for that CD which were penned by Mahagama Seelananda Thera. I became ‘Deyata Kirula Gee Tharuwa’ in 2012 organized by the SLRC and Rajarata Sevaya.

Originals, her forteQ: You seem to be rowing your boat upstream by sticking to melodies that reminds us of songs of the 70s decade.

I am a village-bound person and was brought up in a quiet environment. That would have been the reason for this. My father used to listen to Pandit Amaradeva’s songs. My mother was a dancing teacher who also loves songs. As a child I, too, automatically got used to liking those songs. I did my music degree at the University of the Visual and Performing Arts. I was fortunate to meet with music directors, melody makers and lyricists who were groomed in the same manner.

Q: Do you think having good looks is advantages for a female artiste?

Yes, it certainly does and no one can deny that. However, a girl should have brains to manage offers coming her way and identify people with genuine thoughts. Also the most important aspect is to study the subject professionally that she is involved in and to become a professional in the chosen sphere. I have studied Indian Classical Music and other genres of music like Western and Karnataka and I am still learning.

Q: What attributes do you think that contribute towards the success of a song?

A song is something like a three-legged stool. All three legs have to be firm to have the grip and the stability of the stool. The perfect harmony between the melody/music maker, singer and the lyricist would breath life and credibility to a song. All three attributes should synchronize perfectly to make a song successful.

Q: Who were the lyricists, music directors and singers who have dueted with you for your songs?

Dr Rohana Weerasinghe, H M Jayawardene, Nawarathna Gamage, Darshana Wickramatunga, Rohana Dharmakeerthi, Nimesh Kulasinghe and a heap of other music directors make music and melodies for my songs.

Rambukana Siddhartha Thera, Mahagama Seelananda Thera, Ravi Siriwardene, Kapila Kumara Kalinga, Chandi Kodikara, Shakuwi, Vajira Pulasthi, Sugath Somaweera, Chamila Serasinghe, Helanthi Muhandiram and many other lyricists have penned lyrics.

I was very lucky to sing duets with Darshana Wickramatunga, Edward Jayakody, Lakshman Wijesekera, Karunaratne Divulgane, Chandana Liynaarachci, Kasun Kalhara, Desika Kamalanjana, Seneviratna Wanninayake, Suneera Sumanga and Pahan Mallawarachchi.

Q: The song ‘Sianasena Thol Athara’ penned by Chandi Kodikara has became viral in You Tube.

It is an innovative lyric. This song sheds light on a mother’s emotions when her son reaches marital age. Chandi Kodikara, being a popular novelist has thought out-of-the-box to pen this song. Anuradha Abhayasinghe made the melody and some soothing music for this song. The lyric, melody and music helped me to use my voice with emotion to breathe life to it.

Q: Unlike in the past decades, we now see a new breed of singers who are also educated well in music becoming active in the field.

Yes. There was a time, after obtaining the music degree young musicians and singers ending up as music teachers. Most of them stopped their musical career from that point and continued only as teachers. Now thanks to social media and TV channels, new singers get the exposure to showcase their talents to the world. When this happens, they are noticed by music directors, film directors, tele drama directors and TV programme producers.

Q: You have acted in tele dramas too. What made you to bring a full-stop to acting and devote fulltime for singing?

One must position herself/himself to do one thing that she or he can do best. Then it is easy for people to identify that individual as an artiste or whoever. I identified my ability as greater in singing than in acting and my passion is singing. Hence I decided to excel as a singer.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021 – 01:00

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