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Sunday, 17 May 2009

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Strange as it may seem X-treme the three member band led by Kosala Kalubowila want to be “a wedding specialist band”. But that doesn’t mean they do not play at other festive occasions.

“We do play at special functions, but weddings are our speciality”, says Kosala who has been performing since 1996 with X-treme. He is the keyboardist and the other two members are vocalists Nishantha Wijesinghe and Irosha Gamage.

“We have played for more than 1,000 shows and at a wedding we are able to cater to everyone’s needs with our set of selected songs. What’s more our sound is well suited for such occasions.

There has been a lot of criticism that bands playing at weddings have a high volume range and as such the guests are unable to carry on a conversation with each other which is frustrating.

So I thought we need to be different and I always ensure that the sound level is just right not only to enjoy the music, but also for guests to converse with one another. Our repertoire is wide. We sing in three languages - Sinhala, English and Hindi”, comments Kosala.

In your English repertoire what are your influences?

“My boys and I concentrate on love songs from the books of Englebert, Elvis Presley, Toin Janes, Beatles, Pet Shop bays, Lionel Richie, Jim Reeves etc. ‘We sing Reggae, the likes of Jimmy Chiff and Maxi Priest and country that of John Denver and the Bellamy Brothers. Of course our Sinhala repertoire reflects most of the popular songs and the ever popular baila.”

Kosala during his early years at Mahanama College, Colombo was interested in music and threw himself into every musical activity in school.

Thanks to his teacher Ostin Munasinghe, he was active in many fund-raising projects, as an outstanding member of the Leo Club. Digital Music became an attraction to him and he furthered his knowledge under the guidance of Ranga Jayoda. Now he is happy that a number of young singers seek his knowledge in composing songs for themselves.

“My heart fills with happiness to see and hear these youngsters performing on various TV channels in Sri Lanka and gaining popularity.

In my thirteen years of music life apart from composing music for up and coming singers I’ve also composed jingles and TV commercials. A highlight in my music life was when I worked as the producer of “Dialog Kit Challenge” for MTV. His aim is to help singers and bands to record and release their CDs on low budget basis.

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