Singer Sudheesh Sasikumar warms up with a dialog within the Chalakudy dialect earlier than launching right into a gritty quantity about what the pandemic has carried out to musicians and artistes throughout Kerala.
‘We are human being’, from the album 19, which was launched by filmmaker Lijo Jose Pellissery on his Facebook web page on July 23, pulls no punches whereas portray the grim scenario most artistes discover themselves in right now and the way they’re gearing as much as face the music. Sung within the blues fashion, the observe speaks of the concern, nervousness, unhappiness and uncertainty which have beset the world. However, the lyrics, written by Sudheesh and Steve Bell, additionally converse of resilience and dedication to survive the pandemic that has struck on the livelihood of lots of of artistes all around the world.
“In Kerala, we outlived the Ockhi cyclone in 2017, the floods in 2018 and 2019 and the Nipah virus outbreak in 2018. We were finding our feet when the lockdown was enforced following the outbreak of COVID-19. It has come as a terrible blow,” says Sudheesh.
Framed predominantly in black and white with lashes of purple and a little bit of color right here and there, the video of the music was shot at completely different areas in Chalakudy, Sudheesh’s residence city.
Song for artistes
He factors that out that whereas expert labourers and different staff have began going about their work, artistes of every kind are nonetheless struggling for need of exhibits and programmes. “Singari melam performers, instrumentalists, percussionists, light and sound technicians etc are all in the same boat, trying desperately to stay afloat,” he says.
One of the finds of the fourth version of the truth present Idea Star Singer telecast on Asianet in 2009, Sudheesh says he was trying ahead to the season of festivals in Kerala when the pandemic struck in early March. The singer and his staff MJ Creations, a tribute to his idol Michael Jackson, have been a well-liked selection of organisers of temple fêtes and cultural occasions. But with the lockdown in place, Sudheesh, like each different artiste in Kerala, has seen his earnings vanish with live shows and programmes cancelled or postponed indefinitely.
“I am surviving but there is hunger and despair in many homes. It is as if the pandemic has wiped away all arts from our midst. I felt I had to do something and that is when I wrote the lyrics of the song with my friend,” says Sudheesh.
When his pals gave him the inexperienced sign, Sudheesh requested his spouse, Niviya Sudheesh, to put in writing the dialogues that open the music and received in contact along with his pals. “They are all in Chalakudy as there is no work. All of them agreed and in adherence to COVID-19 restrictions, Aneesh Surendran shot the video at my home and near the railway station and hospital here. It was directed by Ragesh E2DC. Whether it be associate director Lithin KT or the editor Ansar Majeed, we are all good friends and they were happy to help me,” says Sudheesh.
An admirer of the late actor Kalabhavan Mani, Sudheesh recollects accompanying him to his live shows and studying from him. Although Sudheesh was studying classical music throughout his college days, he needed to cease his music classes as a result of monetary causes and drop out after Plus Two. “Many of us were earning a living as musicians before the pandemic. At present, some of us have become fish and vegetable vendors to make ends meet. I am also planning something on those lines. We have to overcome and survive this before getting back into the groove,” says Sudheesh.
And whereas the pandemic has briefly stopped the music, Sudheesh asserts that it’s going to quickly be heard once more, loud and clear.