We caught up with super talented composer Devi Sri Prasad who has composed music for over 50 films in Telugu, Tamil and Hindi, during his visit to Dubai for the annoucement of the Celebrity Cricket League season 2 at the Jumeirah hotel in Palm Jumeirah. The simple and down to earth Devi Sri was very kind to share with us (movierecycle.com team) his experience over the years, his collaboration with Salman Khan and his upcoming projects. We have to say we were bowled over by humbleness of this great musician. Let us take you through the details of our Interview below.
My Journey in the south so far has been very smooth thanks to God and thanks to all the people who has supported me throughout the journey right from my first film.
I did my first first film when i was 17 years old which was a big break for me. Then on i was offered some of the biggest films from Telugu with some of the biggest names in the Industry like Chiranjeevi, Pawan Kalyan, Venkatesh and Nagarjuna. I was also fortunate to have worked outside Telugu as well and again with some of the biggest names in Tamil like Kamal Hassan sir, Surya and Vikram.
I feel fortunate and happy to be credited as one of the music directors who is composing for the Superstars of Telugu and Tamil at the same time. Another big achievement for me is the song i did for Salman Bhai's movie ready. 'Dhinka chika' went on to become one of the most liked songs from the movie and turned out to be a big hit among the bollywod audience.
How did you get your break for 'Dhinka chika' song from the movie "Ready"?
One fine day I got a call from Tseries head Bhushan Kumarji and he told me that Salman fell in love with the song i did for the Telugu version of the movie and he wanted the original composer to do the song in Hindi as well. As soon as i got the call i agreed to it, because for me it was an honor.
Will we get to hear more of your compositions for Bollywood movies soon ?
I definitely would like to work more for hindi films. Its always been my dream as well as my goal. After 'dhinka chika' i have been getting lot of offers from hindi, but my commitments in Tamil and Telugu has been holding me back. For ready it was an unprepared sudden jump, but now i would like to take my time and not to hurry with anything. I was infact offered to do two songs in Bodyguard immedietly, but the timeframe was very tight and i was also busy with the projects in hand. So I couldn't work in that film, but Salman said we will definitely work together in future so I guess we will.
What are the major projects in the pipeline for you?
The projects i am currently working on are the remake of Dabangg with Pawan Kalyan, a movie with Nagrajuna, another one with Allu Arjun and one with Ram Charan Teja. In Tamil i am doing a movie with Karthi and I am also working on Singham2 which also have Surya in the lead.
How is your interaction with Salman Khan after 'dhinka chika' ?
Its been very good. I remember the first time he received me itself was in a very warm manner and I was really surprised. We first met when i was invited to Mumbai to perform at the music launch of 'Ready', I was standing at the backstage to perform and then Salman comes and says 'hey, so you are the guy behind the song' so I offered him a hand shake but he refused to shake hands and he said c'mon and give me hug. He hugged me tight and said i loved the song and thanks for giving it to me. So it was a wonderful experience meeting Salman.
We heard that you are great stage performer as well, can you share with us your experience ?
I do a lot of stage performances, infact down south i am credited as one of the persons who introduced stage performance to the music scene. Before that it used to be like an orchestra where singers used to come take the mic sing and go. I do shows in a very different way like the western shows. I was always fascinated and amazed by Michael Jackson, I grew up watching his videos and songs. So i got influenced by that culture, even in school i used to sing and perform. Even now for movie audio launches producers wont leave me until I perform at the event.
Who is your Idol, someone who you look up to within Indian music industry
Its definitely Ilayaraja sir, he is not even an Idol but like a god to me. There is no poster of gods in my studio, I have got only one photograph and thats Ilayaraja sir.
How was your experience when you first met Ilayaraja?
When i first met him i was very scared. It was an experience which cannot be described. You go to the temple to see God, but you cant stand next to God, for me it was something like that.
What was your experience in making Vikram sing all the songs for Kanthasamy
It was different. When the director came and told me that we should try one song with Vikram, I was like 'Vikram? does he sing?' but Vikram is a very very nice guy, very down to earth he is not at all like a star, so the first word he told me was 'Devi I will try, but you dont have to keep the song just because I am singing it.' That was my first concern as well because I was asking the director what if it dosent fit in, how will we tell him as it will make him feel bad. Not because he is a big star but if you tell anyone that they sing bad they will get offended. But he is such a sweet guy, so he came and said 'even though i am trying it, if you dont like it tell me and please change it'. I said OK, but then i was amazed at hearing his voice, he is a rocking singer.
So after we did one song when we were working on the second song for some reason we felt that his voice will suit that song better. Then there was another song which was more of a dialogue, since it was dialogue there was no other choice but to do it with his voice only. So we composed three songs with him and out of the six songs two were on female vocal so i said if we have done three songs with Vikram why not do the fourth one as well with him and that's how it happened. But he really did a great job and i made him sing in Telugu as well for the same movie.
Which work of yours is very close to your heart
I allocate enough time for each of my composition and that's my way of working. So almost all my songs are close to me. But to answer your question there is one song called 'Nuvu Nuvu' from the film 'ghatgam', its a romantic number and its one of my biggest hits . Because that song changed so many peoples lives or atleast that what they say, like people fell in love because of that song, one girl even send me a letter saying I am getting married because of this song, so there are lot of experiences attached to the song.
Other than that there is one another song of mine called 'Aa ante amalapuram' which is also a big hit among my audience and also the song 'Daddy mummy' sung by Mamta which is also very close to me. I was surprised when Baba Sehgal came to meet me and he told me that he heard that saong in a club in Amsterdam, the Telugu version was played there.
Which are the songs that you will be performing at the CCL tournament in Jan
We havent decided on the songs yet, it will be a mix of Tamil and Telugu and definitely 'dhinka chika' because Dubai has got a big hindi music loving audience so it will be a good song to perform.