Interviews

'Puneeth Rajkumar was a great source of encouragement'

2nd Mar 2022 09:15 AM | A Sharadhaa

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We are all set for the release of Puneeth Rajkumar-Chethan Kumar’s James, which will be on March 17. The team released the introduction song, titled Trademark. The glimpse into this Charan Raj-composed song features a power-packed dance performance by the late actor.

With James being planned as a pan-Indian film, the team released the song in five different languages. Apart from Puneeth, the song also features Charan Raj, composer and rapper, Chandan Shetty, and heroines -- Rachita Ram, Ashika Ranganath, and Sreeleela.

Charan Raj says that the lyrical video is more like a promotional video, but the film version will definitely have a full-fledged dance by Puneeth. Charan shares that working with Puneeth in James, which marks his first collaboration with the actor, was a dream come true. “However, I never expected this to become such an emotional journey,” says the music director, who has composed five songs for the film. “Puneeth always gave equal attention to music and was a big support right from the time we began the compositions for James. He came across as a great source of encouragement. This would be something every collaborator with Puneeth would say. He was a person who always supported young talents. He would be one of the first to call me, and appreciate my music,” says Charan Raj, adding, “I miss all of it now.”

Charan Raj recalls his interaction with Puneeth about James’ music album. “Puneeth gave his inputs about the songs, and discussed it with the team. But the special moment was when he had invited me home for lunch, which was just a month before he passed away, and spoke about music. He had many plans and wanted something different for James. I can only say that his loss has created a big vacuum.”

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Charan Raj says Puneeth Rajkumar had a good taste for music. “He would listen to the music created by various composers and singers, and he would suggest us to listen to the same. He also had a lot of interest towards independent music directors, and international music.”

For James, Charan Raj has composed a title track, an introductory song, a romantic number, an energetic patriotic song on soldiers, and a pathos song. When asked what was the biggest challenge in composing for James? “Since James is an action-packed movie, it required a lot of focus. The music of James is heavily influenced by hip hop and funk rock,” says the music director, who has managed to bring out 5 tracks each in five languages. My personal favourite is the pathos track and the soldier track.” The lyrics to all the songs in Kannada are penned by director Chethan Kumar. “We have well-known singers Raghu Dixit and Sanchith Hegde singing most of the songs in all the five languages. The patriotic song in Malayalam is sung by Kapil Nair,” Charan told us.

With Charan Raj focused on the music album, popular composer-filmmaker V Harikrishna will be handling the rerecording of James.

Charan Raj emotionally admits to missing the Power Star. “During the process of composing, I had to watch the footage of Puneeth Rajkumar, and every moment of watching him on the screen was painful, “ says Charan Raj, who revealed that the second half of James is high on emotions.

James produced by Kishore Pathikonda stars Priya Anand in the female lead, along with  Sarathkumar, Srikanth Mekka, Anu Prabhakar Mukherjee playing pivotal roles.
 

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