A debut single that spells creativity | Sunday Observer

A debut single that spells creativity

A student of CIMA and in management level 20-year-old Shavinya Illankoon has released her debut single “To the Light”. Not only the single, she was also involved in creating a video of the song for airplay. That she was heavily involved in creativity there was no doubt as you will read.

This is your debut single and you are immersed in your CIMA, how did the desire to release a single come about?

This song was written and composed by one of my cousin sister’s very good friend, Chami Kariyapperuma 21 years old, who approached me to sing the song. We met last November and discussed as to how we want to do this. We had a friend Ken Lappen to professionally do the audio track for us and got straight to work in January.

He was a great person to work with; always listened to our ideas and came to decisions which met both his and our expectations. He had a lot of patience with both of us, especially Chami, and created the perfect track for us in three weeks!

Where your music is concerned there is no doubt that you are familiar with music on a formal level. Are you trained professionally?

I am a student at Ashanthi’s School of Music (ASM) and have been training for Trinity Rock and Pop exams for 2 years under Miss Ashanthi. I’m also part of the ASM gig choir and have performed with esteemed artistes at events and TV shows such as Indrani Perera, Samitha Mudunkotuwa, Randhir, Bathiya n Santhush and of course, with Miss Ashanthi herself.

My dream is to, first off, make it to the international pop industry as a successful vocalist and to one day have my own record label because I see a lot of talent which doesn’t get enough recognition and I want to give that chance to them while approaching the whole “managing artistes” in a friendly, more approachable style with more freedom. I’m hoping to finish my CMA by the end of next year and fly abroad for music.

How did the video become a reality considering the fact as you tell us, time was a scarcity for you?

Planning the video was strenuous. We called up Backyard Motions’ owner, Savindu Sanjana. In April, we started work on the video. Unfortunately, due to the Easter upheaval, we had to halt the production and postpone it to later. It was really hard to find free time because Chami studies at the University of Colombo and she’s packed all five days most of the time with lectures. But when we do get a day off, we meet up and re-plan everything and think about everything all over again. We decided to make our video look more realistic so that it’s related to the general public. We decided to go with a concept which is more universal and we brought it out in an abstract manner. So we made sure to show a bit of nature and the ocean etc, in the video. We got back to work in August after exams and finished off the video work by the end of September. We used different locations to bring out the effect we want and also made sure to show how it’s possible to shift from darkness “to the light”.

The inspiration to create a video requires a load of imagination and loads of creativity. How did you tackle this area?

Chami was inspired by a book she read once, about a girl who was diagnosed with cancer. It explained as to how there are uncontrollable things in life and how we have to accept and let them go without worrying. The girl goes through phases of numbness, denial and then later accepts her fate.

We released the Official Music Video on October 11 and ever since, the response has been wild! So many positive responses coming our way and Chami honestly never thought that this song would come this long way. We see people listening to it on their Instagram stories and also, the Vice President of the Chicago branch of the Grammy Recording Academy liking our song and checking out our work, which was a huge surprise to us because these are the kind of people we look up to.

I’m sure readers would like to know more about Chami Kariyapperuma who has been a rock to you throughout your endeavours. So could you elaborate?

Chami is studying Industrial Statistics and Mathematics at the University of Colombo while learning Digital Music Composition at Hit Factory Audio Institute.

She learnt the piano and music theory until Grade 4 and is skillful playing any song by ear. She was an esteemed member of the Kandy Girls’ High School Brass Band and has played a major role in conducting many music scores. Being influenced by artistes such as Coldplay, and low-key musicians like Alexis Murdoch and music producers such as Siddhartha Khosla, she believes that music should be more honest because “this is the scale which shows the depth of music”. Her Certificate course at Hit Factory Audio Institute also helps her to be more creative when producing music and also to be unique.

I’m sure like it happens as always there must be several music addicts you would like to say ‘thank you’ for seeing you through this creative project?

I’m glad you are giving me the opportunity to express my appreciation and I’d like first of all to thank my cousin sister Sajanee Bulumulle for this matchmaking to create music. If not for her, this project wouldn’t exist and I wouldn’t have met a friend for life!

We cannot forget our thanks to our parents for giving us support in every possible way; be it transport to financial matters to emotional support.

They’ve been there for both Chami and me whenever we meet an obstacle and have helped us overcome them through simple, rational solutions. Then Ken Lappen for his patience and for making the backing track for us. He made this dream a reality and gave us his best work! Thank you also to Savindu Sanjana from Backyard Motions and his crew for the video, cinematography and all matters concerned with it.

He was able to fully understand the concept we were trying to give out to music lovers and made a beautiful video for us! Thank you to the actors who took part in the video; Jeremy Nigel and Amal Haniffa.

They took time off their schedules to come for the shooting and added more colour to the video. Also, to my sister, Chami’s cousins, my aunt and uncle and anyone else who I have failed to mention.”

All that’s left for me to say is, reach out and get yourself a copy!

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