Hyderabad: Music composition, singing and lyric writing — it’s rare to find all three talents in one person. There are a good number of fans for Charan Arjun’s musical compositions on YouTube. A native of Telangana, Charan started his career as a lyric writer at a very young age in Telugu cinema.
He penned the lyrics for the song ‘Idhemitamma maaya maaya maikam…’ in actor Rajasekhar’s action entertainer ‘Aayudham’ in 2003. Later, he wrote ‘Intandanga unnave evare nuvvu’ and ‘Dhada Puttistha’ songs for Akkineni Nagarjuna’s ‘Don’, and continued penning lyrics under the name Chinni Charan for movies like ‘Shambo Shiva Shambo’, ‘Kedi’ and ‘Konchem Ishtam Konchem Kashtam’ until he found a right platform to showcase his other talents as composer and singer.
“All the songs I wrote could somehow attract audiences but my dream was to become a music director in the mainstream cinema, so I kept learning ropes working with industry experts like Mani Sharma, Sandeep Chowta, Yuvan Shankar Raja until I found my ground,” says Charan Arjun.
Even while writing songs, the music composition would come to him naturally. “But I was often told to focus only on writing lyrics. My hidden talent of composing tunes or scoring good background music to a situation in a scene weren’t explored. That bothered me a lot. That was the time social media was picking up and I thought I should work independently and started giving wings to my expression,” says Charan.
To start with, Charan chose to bring out theme-based songs that have overarching feelings and deeper emotions. His songs also depict Telangana’s rural and folk culture. His first independent work was ‘Ettunde ra ooru ettunde raa…’, which was well-received by audiences.
“My idea was not just coming up with folk songs or festive ones. So, I wanted a song to have an underlying story, without getting too preachy. ‘Nuvvo raayi neno shilpi’ that came in 2019 had a massive response. When I thought I should revive my career in the mainstream, Covid-induced lockdown came as a big blow. But my efforts didn’t go waste. I amassed unexpected image and encouragement through my work on social media. I kept writing songs and composing tunes and now followers keep asking me to write a song on a particular event or a social issue,” the music composer says.
Helping hand to home-grown talent
Charan has set up a platform called ‘GMC Janapadam’ besides many other YouTube channels to bring out hidden talents of Telangana to the fore. “It could be any artiste, singer, writer or a photographer from Telangana. In the process, I introduced a 60-year-old singer Kanakavva to viewers. Anchor-turned-singer Mangli and ‘Nalgonda Gaddar’ Narsanna, too, have sung a few songs that I’ve composed. In a way, YouTube has become a stage of self-expression for me,” he adds.
Charan says that he reached a stage where audiences would not let him relax. So he keeps coming up with at least a couple songs in a month.
To render a helping hand to aspiring home-grown talent in the field of music and art, Charan started ‘Charan Arjun Cultural Foundation’. “The idea behind setting up the platform was to create opportunities to aspiring singers. We could see singers languishing in poverty come from rural areas to Hyderabad in search of work. The platform catches hold of such talent and introduce them to the industry through social media,” he sums up.
In the recent times, the pat on the back came from Megastar Chiranjeevi when Charan came up with ‘Chiru Sanjeevini’, the song portraying the Megastar’s film journey and social work. Senior character artiste and writer LB Sriram acted in two songs that have been written by Mamidi Harikrishna — for which Charan composed the music. He is currently working on ‘Sinni Sinnoda’, a folk song, and another private song titled ‘Shikaram’. On the movie front, he is composing music for upcoming film ‘Thaggede Le’ in ‘Dandupalyam’ series.