Success of ‘Kuweni’ | Sunday Observer

Success of ‘Kuweni’

25 February, 2018
Ridma Weerawardane
Ridma Weerawardane

The song, ‘Kuweni’ by Ridma Weerawardena went viral and became number one trending video in no time. Since the lyrics, music and video of the song are of a different genre it led to some serious discussion among people. “The song grabbed a lot of attention once the audio was released and it needed this kind of video to justify it. The video is in line with the historic Kuweni-Vijaya story but it is changed and made more appropriate for today. It is the modern adaptation. The storyline can actually be applied to any timeline. It must be mentioned that the interpretations given by our viewers were quite interesting and we are still overwhelmed by the response,” says Ridma.

This week we bring you what Ridma Weerawardane revealed to us about the success story of the song ‘Kuweni’, of his future plans to take up singing as a profession and why no one should underestimate the intelligence of the audience.

‘Kuweni ’ is one of the very few songs which actually made it to the list of trending videos with good content.

Q: How would you describe the response and the experience when it went viral?

Honestly we all are still shocked about the immense feedback received for ‘Kuweni.’ We were not sure how the audience would take the video and never thought that a lot of people would even bother to try to understand the concept behind it. It is very nice to see so many people coming up with different and interesting interpretations to our song. I could not fathom when the song became number one trending video.

Q: You mentioned that you did not expect this kind of response to your song. Why would you say so?

One of the reasons was that the music video of the song ‘Kuweni’ is not a conventional one and is different to that of other videos that the audience has experienced. Before releasing the video to me, Charitha and Bharatha had already decided that we will have to be ready to take whatever that comes our way, be it criticisms or positive feedback. Doing a music video is a gamble. Once it is done, it is done. You cannot undo it. However it became a hit and it kind of brought about some kind of hope for this off beat videos.

Q: Did you ever dream of becoming a singer when growing up?

I work as a Merchandising Manager for a foreign company and music is my hobby. As a boy I was the singer at most of the family gatherings and similar functions. Music has always been a part of my life but I never had this notion that “one day I want to be a singer” attitude. I believe that if it happens it happens therefore I did not chase after it.

Q: A lot of artistes believe that our audience does not have the capacity to enjoy a quality production and that their taste is questionable. What is your opinion on that?

What I understood from the feedback is that people are very curious. I genuinely did not think people will give this much of attention to every minute detail of the video and analyse it.

If they are not intelligent enough we won’t be seeing this many of interpretations to our song. They are very inquisitive. We have always underestimated the audience and the interpretations. Questions they ask about the song, ’Kuweni’ have clearly proved how smart the audience is.

During the past couple of years I have seen some positive change in the music industry and they are trying to bring in different genres together.

When we released our song, ‘Kuweni,’ some people said the genre is not something they are used to and that it is a bit strange. But they do like variety.

Q: Any plans to do an album?

It is a very conventional thing to do an album. But I will probably do one once I have about two or three more songs. I am anyway working on some with Charitha, Ranil and with a few others as well. I want to do something that I am proud of and something new. The lyricist and music producer should have the liberty to experiment and come up with a fresh and novel concept. I think that is what worked for us.

Q: Do you wish to be a full time singer any time soon?

At the moment it is more like a hobby but I hope to make it my profession eventually. It seems very positive with the feedback. I had no idea that I will have such a fan base. To be honest this is very surreal. So yes I have plans to take up singing as a full time thing but I will take it slow and take it as it comes. All the things that worked for me happened like that. I think it is because I was chilled out with those and my expectations were not high.

Q: What is the next project? Any new songs to be released?

The immediate thing is that we will be doing a music video for the ‘Naadagam Geeya’ and a few original tracks soon. Also I hope to work on my own melodies. There are some melodies I have recorded but had not had the time to work on those. So I will be focussing more on those while doing some originals with my usual lyricists and music directors and with others too.

Q: Whom would you wish to thank for supporting you all this time?

I am very blessed to have such a supportive family, relatives and friends to encourage me. They have been there throughout my difficult days. I would especially like to mention my friend, Imran. I would not have done half the things I have done without his support.

Also Anoja Weerasinghe, Sangeeth Wijesuriya, Yazmin Yousuf, Dinupa Kodagoda, Anu Madubhashini. I want to thank Ranil and Charith for the amazing melodies and Bharatha for creating a unique and a memorable video for the song, ‘Kuweni’. Also the lyricists Chandarsena Thalangama and Nandana Wickramage. My friends in my dance team, also all the well wishers who have encouraged me and been there for me throughout, those I have failed to name in person. If not for all these people nothing could have been possible and I am forever grateful to them. Thank you and keep supporting me in the future as well.