Every artiste has an idol or an inspiration in the form of another, critically acclaimed artiste or performer of the same field.
Their goal would be to someday see their icons face to face and let them know their existence.
But not all of them get the opportunity to work with their idols.
Krish Manoj is blessed with both these opportunities. Not only did he get the chance to meet them, but he also got the opportunity to work on a single, that is now out and well received.
He is a proud young artiste these days. Not because his recently released song ‘Yeanadi Penne’ is doing well, but because his dream of working with both icons had finally become a reality.
“This song is very special to me because I got the opportunity to work with two people I consider my greatest inspirations. Aryan Dinesh Kanagaratnam (alias ADK) and Iraj Weeraratne,” Krish Manoj told the Nation.
Krish Manoj was into music even during his school days. “I knew what I loved and what I wanted to do. It showed in my studies too as I was useless in academic activities,” he added with a chuckle.
How he started
In fact, Krish Manoj’s career is only a few years old in Sri Lanka’s music industry. His first ever song was released in 2013, in his school in Hatton. Before that he had sung for jingles of popular brands.
“I was friends with Romesh Sugathapala who was also introduced as a singer by Iraj through ‘Hithumathe’. He was composing a jingle for an advertisement and it so happened that the person who sang for it could not sing the tag line as he was not comfortable with the Tamil. That is where I came in. Romesh and I collaborated for several jingles and then he suggested that we do a song, and that was what was released in 2013,” Manoj said.
“I used to look up to ADK and Iraj for so long for what they have done for the local music industry, and now it is a dream come true to work with these icons,” Krish Manoj added.
‘Wassane Heene’ had its share of criticisms owing to its content and some scenes in the video. When asked whether he felt apprehensive about the song’s acceptance among the Tamil audience, Manoj said that he was confident that the listeners would accept the song because of its strong message.
He did admit that there were some criticisms. “But I was not disappointed because I knew what the song was all about and was sure of the strong message in the video,” he said.
“The song has a good message, the same as the Sinhala song. So I knew it would be accepted. The people have accepted it,” he added. He however added that though there was criticism, no one had insulted him or the song.
The Tamil version has an interesting story to it.
Manoj says that he has been friends with the composer of ‘Wassane Heene’s melody, Chamath Sangeeth for a few years.
Sangeeth had sent the melody to Manoj and the latter had written the Tamil lyrics and completed the song. “The song could not be released digitally as we could not get sponsors. So we gave the song to some Tamil radio stations to play it,” he said.
However, things turned negative when some gossip sites picked up the Tamil version and reported that ‘Wassane Heene’ was a copy of a Tamil song.
“Iraj suggested that we do the song with the same melody and lyrics but with a different orchestration so that his name would be cleared. I also agreed and that’s how this song came about,” Krish Manoj explained.
Iraj was also very particular about having ADK on board for the rap portions. “But we couldn’t get hold of him for about two to three months as he was busy with several projects. But finally everything fell into place,” he added.
Tea Kada Pasanga
Krish Manoj also leads the group called ‘Tea Kada Pasanga’, which roughly translates to ‘Tea shop boys’. The group consists of some young talents.
The group consists of aspiring youngsters including Ratheesh, Seenivasagam, Jeevandhan, Jeev, Nirosh and Rahul.
Krish Manoj credits ADK as the reason behind the formation of the group. “I was a part of a Whatsapp group for Sri Lankan musicians. ADK was then added, but I never communicated with him as there was no reason for me to do so. However, I had uploaded my first song on the group and ADK had texted his feedback and we’ve kept in touch ever since,” Krish Manoj reminisces.
However, Krish Manoj said that the group was deactivated due to some issues and ADK initiated a small group which he could mentor. “That’s how ‘Tea Kada Pasanga’ was formed,” he said.
The group has made its mark in its short span of existence and is hoping to do more in the future. “We are happy where we are now. I am grateful to all who backed us and who continue to encourage us,” Krish Manoj said.
For almost all Tamil singers and artistes, the ultimate goal is to make a mark in South India. Manoj too has similar aspirations and is working towards it.
He is a man with a plan. “I want to achieve more and broaden my horizons. I am looking at opportunities to work in the South Indian Tamil cinema industry. I’m working towards it and I hope that it will become a reality soon,” he says.