Award for Anura | Sunday Observer

Award for Anura

It’s not always that musicians and drama artistes are recognized for their valuable contribution to their country and one artiste who is literally overwhelmed is musician and singer, Anura Jayasinghe of La Ceylonians fame. He was felicitated recently at the National Literary Arts Festival organized by the Ministry of Internal Affairs Wayamba Development and Cultural Affairs, at the BMICH.  
“I am really happy to be recognized for my artistry and what’s more after 50 years my country has recognized me. It should have happened earlier but then, better late than never! Music and Art has always been my life and I love it. I’d like to take this opportunity to say Thank You to the Secretary to the Ministry of Cultural Affairs D. Swarnapala and also to Ravibandu Vidyapathi,” said Anura.  
Where did it all begin for you?  
“It was the late Noel Ranasinghe, the leader of La Ceylonians who opened the door for me when he invited me to join his group in 1967. Soon we were a name in Sri Lanka. We have to say thank you to Mount Lavinia Hotel for encouraging us to start off the Bar BQ  Nights and table to table singing. I can confidently say that our music is on the world map today because of Mount Lavinia Hotel.   
You mentioned ‘World map’ did the group have the opportunity to travel abroad?  
“Of course, I can proudly claim that we did travel. With Air Lanka we travelled many cities of the world to promote Sri Lanka. 
Air Lanka was the first airline to have “Live in-flight music” in their inaugural flights. We toured the Taj chain of hotels sponsored by Air Lanka”.  
As a senior artiste what would your claim be to be recognized thus?  
“I am a senior artiste from the Western music field for the past 50 years, and I can proudly claim that I am the only artiste from Sri Lanka in the world music category. I was the first Sri Lankan artiste to record jingles highlighting the danger of drug abuse among young people. I am the first Sri Lankan artiste to introduce Sinhala and English songs to French Radio and TV, in 1987. This in turn led to the production of the first Sri Lankan CD ‘Welcome to Sri Lanka’, which was produced by the French Arion Label.”  
Anura Jayasinghe today is a happy man and he would like to share his singing skills with today’s youth, teaching them the intricacies of correct and successful singing styles.  
“I cannot end this conversation without saying my thank yous to my support musician friends, Rohan Silva, the late Asoka Ratnapala, Lakshman Perera, Nilantha Ariyaratne, Stanley Welgampola, Dayananda Perera, late Angie Ranaweera, late Lylie Godridge and late Neville Fernando.”