Krishan Maheson is a name synonymous with the Sri Lankan music industry and is responsible for introducing Tamil rap in the country. Despite being active in the local music industry since the late 1990s, Maheson’s breakthrough came in the form of J-Town story, in the album ‘Iraj’ produced by Iraj Weeraratne some 12 years ago.
Maheson, who was one of the singers in that Single eventually stamped his trademark style in the local Tamil music industry through his albums including Asian Avenue, Avadharam and singles such as Thozha. Maheson’s first solo album ‘Asian Avenue’ was Sri Lanka’s first ever Tamil hip-hop album which was released in 2005.
Incidentally, it was also the first Tamil hip-hop album released in India. The album boasted of several hits including ‘Thozha’, ‘Raja raja Sozhaa’, ‘Kaadhal Kadidham’ and ‘Ninaivugalae’.
“That was my first break in Kollywood (Tamil movie industry),” he says.
Today, Maheson is a name to reckon within the music circles, having performed with established as well as up-and-coming talents. In a move to bring out aspiring Tamil rappers to the fore, Maheson along with a bunch of fresh talents, have come up with Sri Lanka’s first ever Tamil rap cypher ‘Ilangai Thamizhan’.
“This happened when I put out a post on the social media platform and a lot of youngsters responded to it. So I thought of bringing them together and give them a platform,” he said. “It is also a cultural representation of Tamil music from different parts of the island. This is the first step and I am happy with its reach,” Maheson adds.
The video was launched on Maheson newly-launched Youtube channel, Kingsouth Records. Maheson says that he prefers to move on to the next level where he could provide a platform for aspiring artistes and therefore has launched his own label ‘Kingsouth’.
“Why Kingsouth you may ask. My aim is to widen the scope of Sri Lankan music, to take it to other countries in the South Asian region,” he says. “I want to create an environment where a Tamil song is also sung in a different language of the South Asian region. I want to create that platform through Kingsouth. That is my aim right now,” he adds. “I also want to create a platform for Tamil urban music. This does not have to be hip-hop.”
Maheson also feels that his music and passion should have some social value. He has focused on social issues in his songs and attempts to bring them out into the limelight through his creations.
“If you look at J-Town story, it was about cultural integration and coexistence of different communities. In Asian Avenue I sang about drug abuse and youth empowerment. Rap music is all about sending out positive messages to the public,” he explains.
Though talented, Maheson himself feels that he might not have reached his true potential despite his impressive successes. “I think I lost a few years to focus on work and family,” he said.
However, Maheson confesses that he is more interested in the creative process than actually singing, which is why he is focusing more on creativity than singing. “It is going to be a cultural exchange. For example if I do a song in Tamil, I could also do the same song in the Nepalese language,” he boasts.
But despite this Maheson has an impressive line-up in the future where he would be collaborating with top notch music directors of South India including Vijay Antony. Having worked with Antony on hit songs such as Makkayela from the popular Tamil flick ‘Naan’, Maheson will also collaborate with the composer for his upcoming South Indian Tamil movie ventures Shaithan and Yemen which are both in production stages.