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Our guest on today’s todays T&C is one of a kind. He’s a Sri Lankan singer-song writer, record producer and actor who was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and raised in London.

Of course, he’s super talented, was into music at a very young age, and started playing instruments such as the recorder, piano, flute, guitar and drums. In addition, he also started a rock band with a few of his friends when he was 14 or 15, and mostly supported by his mother who took he and his brother to watch musicals and concerts.

Up to now , he has released many songs and cover versions such as ‘Remember tonight’ ,’Stargazer’, ‘Vampire’ , ‘Take it back’ , ‘Mere Naal Nachna, Kaun Tujhe’ (Finding The Light), ‘Ding Daga Dong’ , ‘Screwing It Up’ and ‘Tingo’ , while his remixes include ‘ Why This Kolaveri Di’ (English R&B Remix), ‘Chaiyya Chaiyya’ (Super Bass Remix), ‘Justin Bieber/Craig David medley’ – ‘Love Yourself /7 Days /Sorry’, ‘Wild Thoughts/Chantaje’ (Mashup), ‘Manike Mage Hithe’ (English Remix),and sound tracks such as ‘Creature 3D”, ‘Gully Boy’, ‘Vanakkam Chennai’ and ‘[Vaaliba Raja]”. He is known for his fusion of contemporary Western and Eastern sounds, combining R&B with elements of South Asian music.

These are only a few examples for his musical success, there’s a lot more. Without further delay, let’s get down for a friendly chat with Arjun Coomraswamy.


Q: How are things going for you these days?

Things are good at the moment. I was not able to do any live gigs for a year due to Covid, but since things opened up in Summer, have been busy performing again. During Covid I did do a drive-in gig (the first of its kind on the Asian scene) and a few gigs via Zoom; but it feels good to be out there among the fans.

Q: Can you recall when you made your first performance as a musician?

I think I was around 14 or 15. I formed a Rock band with some of my friends, and we performed our first gig in the school auditorium. We spray painted our hair different colours. I was this small skinny Asian boy alongside four tall English boys!

Q: What inspired you to select the music field?

My mother played a lot of music to my brother and myself when we were growing up and took us to musicals and concerts. I began playing instruments from a young age – recorder, piano, flute, drums – and then when I began learning the guitar around age 11 or 12, I realized I wanted to become a singer/songwriter. Music production came later, after University.

Q: What was the support from your family like in your decision?

My family have been very supportive. Like many parents they were keen that I finish my education first, but having completed my BA in Architecture, I think they felt more comfortable about me taking the plunge into music, given that I had a fall back option in case things didn’t work out! My mum then became very involved in my career and has been part of my management team for the past 10 years.

Q: You have won many accolades internationally?

It feels great to be acknowledged by the industry for all the hard work that goes into my career, although the main objective has never been to win awards. I am most proud that I have been able to build a loyal following around the world, who have been with me for nearly a decade now.

Q: What were the best moments of your music career?

There have been many memorable moments; to name a few: being able to do a world tour with shows spanning every continent in one calendar year; performing at amazing venues like Times Square, New York and Wembley Arena in London; signing record deals with big labels in India (T-Series) and the UK (Universal Music); creating songs that have gone viral in different parts of the world, such as my remix of ‘Why This Kolaveri di’ and the Punjabi song ‘Suit’; and most recently, holding a charity concert in London in honour of my late wife Natasha.

Q: You also got the chance to sing at the 2011 ICC World Cup along with Bathiya and Santhush?

It was a great experience. Bathiya and Santhush are legends in Sri Lanka so it was an honour to collaborate with them and other Sri Lankan artists like Randir and Umaria on the 2011 T20 theme song. It was also great fun making the video, alongside cricket greats like Lasith Malinga.

Q: What do u think of “Kolaveri D” becoming an instant hit?

I think people liked the remix because it had an organic, natural feel. I made the song and video all in a day, so it definitely had a very raw feel to it. I had never covered a song before and it was all very impromptu. It was literally filmed it in my bedroom, by my good friend Hasinth Pathirana, who has directed many of my subsequent videos. Credit goes to Anirudh and Dhanush for creating the original version which was a global smash hit.

Q: Who are the international musical idols whom you have worked with?

After remixing Kolaveri I ended up working with Anirudh Ravichander and doing songs with him for South Indian movies, as well as performing with him in Singapore, London and Paris. I have also worked with other international musicians such as Guru Randhawa, Arijit Singh, Sukhbir, Vidya Vox, Yuvan Shankar Raja, Andrea Jeremiah and Mickey Singh.

Q: Do you have any idea of doing a sinhala song?

Yes, I just did a remix of ‘Manike Mage Hithe’ and am planning to do more Sinhala fusion music in the coming year. There’s lots of exciting music coming out of Sri Lanka and it would be great to collaborate with some local artists.

Q: What is the message you wish to convey to your fans?

Thank you for all your support over the years! You guys are the reason I’ve been able to have my dream job. Can’t wait to do more music for the Sri Lankan audience.

Q: Is aything new coming up?

Yes, lots of new music and collaborations planned for the New Year and hopefully I will be back on tour soon. I recently signed a deal with TMCI agency in Sri Lanka, and I am hoping to also perform in Sri Lanka at some point in 2022.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021 – 01:00

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