Saturday, 30 September 2017

Under The Spot Light: En Veetu Thottatil- The Farm.

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I went for two Malaysian Tamil films this year and I was on the verge of giving up of ever going to watch one in the cinema anymore. I told myself that EVT The Farm would the last film I would watch in cinema and if that also disappoints me, I would stop watching Malaysian Tamil films in cinema moving forward. EVT The Farm was my last roll of the dice.

I haven’t had a great experience reviewing local films as the last one got me into a lot of trouble. However I am going to push my luck and review this film while hoping that all the points in my review would be received with an open mind. Presenting to you Boggler Blogger’s review of En Veetu Thottatil- The Farm.

Story Review

Slasher Thriller. That is how the film has been promoted throughout its marketing campaign. I had no idea previously and EVT gave me an amazing insight to that. To simplify the film, the story is about a girl mute and deaf girl who gets kidnapped by The Onai and is trapped in a maze like house. Her goal is to escape the house alive while the cops try to track down the kidnapper. The film touches a love/romantic at the early parts of the film before moving into the slasher thriller genre.

To be honest, when you watch the slasher thriller part of the film, you would feel the pain of the characters being trapped in the maze house. So much blood and violent killing to the point it you would also feel the pain of the victims. Credit to the director for creating a film that allows the audience to feel the pain as well.

My favorite portion of the film was the cat and mouse game happening between the lead character and The Onai. It was so well designed the sequence of scenes which will keep you glued to your seats and captures your full attention on what is happening.

There was a couple of downside for me with the first being the pace of the film for me especially the love portion. As beautiful it was shown I felt that portion had something missing and it wasn’t winning my full attention on the film.

Also I felt that the role of the boyfriend in the film didn’t really gel well with the film and didn’t connect the dots that well. I can see how the whole love portion brought the lead character to the location she was kidnapped but I don’t think that was strong enough to have that long of a portion just for that moment.

Also the boyfriend part was left a little hanging in my opinion on what happens to him after the investigation. As fantastic as The Onai was, I don’t think the backstory of the character does enough justice to allow us to understand why The Onai does what it does and how it picks its victims.

I felt that portion was a little rushed and short. I would have preferred if the love portion was trimmed and The Onai backstory was extended as it would have gave the audience more clarity. Another positive in the film was the opening police fight sequence. That was very well done and I enjoyed it very much. It reminded me a little of a Gautham Menon Police chase/fight sequence. Well done again it was brilliant.

The film has been selected in 3-4 film festivals before it was released here. I believe that alone should be enough to convince you that this film is a must watch. Remember it is not easy for a film to get selected for these festivals and if EVT is there, that means something. Also the public opinion on this film has been pouring in all over Facebook which tells you everything you need to know about the film quality

Rating: 3.7/5.0

Director Review
Karthik Shamalan

Brother you are gem to the Malaysian Film Industry. I was at awe watching your product. There has always been a general perception of how a Malaysian film would be and your film was nothing like that. You showed us that, we Malaysians too can produce internationally acclaimed quality films and I can’t thank you enough for that. You restored my faith in Malaysian films.

You deserve all the credit for coming up with such an engaging and gripping screenplay. I loved the arrangements of the scenes and how you balance the film between the romantic portion, the police portion and of cause The Onai portion.

The arrangement was really good as you didn’t allow the film to travel in a single mood for a long time. The constant moving around made the film very gripping to watch. In an industry where by a heroine usually has almost minimal importance to a film, I got to congratulate you for coming up with a character design of the female lead which was so impressive and bold. This character will inspire people.

Credit to you, your art director and make up team for working on the house maze and the consistency of the blood splattering on your cast. It looked and felt real and the blood stain in the house and on the character looked consistent scene by scene. Fantastic work on that part again. I also enjoyed the fact how you design your film in a manner whereby your lead character and villain had 0 dialogues yet the intensity of their scenes were amazing. Well done

You spoke many times saying you are not sure if you would ever do a film after EVT. Well brother, as a normal audience who craves for quality films, it is my humble request and I believe I speak behave of the majority by saying that you should continue to direct more films post EVT. You have the talent and quality and we want more films from you.

And finally, I clapped and cheered so much for the very last scene you put out. It was a fantastic touch and I was out of my seats for that. I was just so happy to watch that final scene. Thank you again. You are the brain of the film.

Rating: 4.3/5.0

The Cast
Jaya Ganason

Lady, you deserve a standing ovation for your performance in EVT. I was wowed by your performance. So much class and commitment expressed by you in your role. The fear you emoted in the film was so convincing that the audience too traveled with your fear and pain.

Playing a character which is mute and deaf is not an easy task as you have to rely fully on your eyes, expression and body language to tell the audience what is going on and how you are feeling and you aced it well.

The whole proposal scene was just top class. I loved the fact how your cheeks were kind of shacking and vibrating during those scene. Such small detailing but adds so much of value to the scene. You have now set the bar on how a female lead character can perform. Without a doubt you were the heart of the film.

At this part here I have to give lots of credit to the person who dubbed for Jaya Ganason. No dialogues just expression sounds but it was so damn good. The dubbing from you plus Jaya’s expression worked so well together. I know it wasn’t an easy to thing to do and congratulations to you. You would have needed to be fully in character just like Jaya to understand how the character feels and expressive it with your voice. Wonderful job. I am tipping you to win the best actress award for next year's Festival Filem Malaysia.

Rating: 4.5/5.0

Mahesh Poobalan & Mohana Raj

Mahesh Poobalan plays the role of Detective Kabilan who is recovering from a traumatic experience of his own, is assigned to solving a case whereby people have been going missing. He plays his role convincingly as a relentless cop who would not stop until he cracks the case.

I enjoyed the complexity he expressed dealing with his own dark past while at the same time pushing hard to solve this case. By now everyone would have loved his scene where he says “How do you feel now” and that includes me as well. He did justice to his role and brought out what is needed.

Meanwhile Mohana Raj plays the character of Dev who is the love interest of Sujithra (played by Jaya Ganason). Although I didn’t really feel the relevance played by his character in the film that much, I must say Mohana does enough to perform in the role he was given. Relevance of the character is not in his hand therefore I don’t just him for that and only judge him for the way he performed.

The heartbeat scene and the way he reacts to Jaya’s proposal would be his highlighting point in the film.

Rating: 3.0/5.0

K.S.Maniam & The Onai

First up K.S.Maniam sir, credit for you for taking up a role which someone your age would not want to take up. You played a role which people could laugh about, hate you and also feel for you (credit to Karthik Shamalan for the character design). Goes to show that you are capable of playing different type of roles that draws different reactions from the audience.

Everyone is so curious to know who The Onai and I loved the way how it was all revealed in the climax. Just like Jaya, you too had no dialogues and had to rely fully on your body language. Unlike Jaya, who could rely on her facial expression to translate her reactions to the audience, you on the other hand was fully masked and can’t do that.

Despite that, you were able to struck fear in peoples hard, by just the way you walk, the way you move and of cause the sound you made. That is just wow how you were able to do that. I was told you put on an additional 27 kg for this role and that shows dedication. You were definitely another star of the film.

Rating: 3.5/5.0

The Music
Shameshan Mani Maran

In a film which only has 30 % dialogues, music plays a far bigger role than any other normal film. I am glad they picked you for the job because you went on to give life to the film.

As much as I enjoyed your songs in the film, the little background score and music in the film between the scenes gives life to it and allows us to understand what is going on. Your music gave so much meaning to the scenes and that was the key reason on how the audience were able to connect with the film.

Shameshan Mani Maran, you are the soul of the film.

Rating: 4.5/5.0

Final Verdict: Engaging, Violent & Traumatic. An experience you have to watch to understand

Final Rating: 3.9/5.0

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Friday, 29 September 2017

Under The Spot Light: Spyder

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I’ve got to admit, what a relief it is to be doing movie reviews again. It has been nearly 3 months since I last wrote a film review. Due to certain circumstances I choose to stop and now I feel it is the right time to start back again. 

I was waiting for the right film to start writing back again and then comes A.R.Murugadoss’s Spyder. Having been impressed by the trailer, I decided to write about the film and here comes my review.

Story Review

A.R.Murugadoss sticks strongly to his formula in Spyder, which has proven to be successful for films like Thuppakki & Kaththi. The film follows a template like the following:

Mass hero entrance – A love development portion between hero & heroine -  Villain entrance- Cat & Mouse chase between hero & villain- Scenes between hero and heroine & a song to give a little pause to the intense chase- Climax with a social message.

The order may vary a little but this is the usual template he goes with and it has proven to be successful over and over again. It works for Spyder as well and credit goes to A.R. Murugadoss sir for coming up with an engaging screenplay which is also very easy to follow upon for the audience.

Spyder makes an ideal commercial film filled with social message and empowerment thus making it a good family watch over the weekend. However there a couple of loopholes in the film which I felt could have been justified better or avoided.

I don’t know why but when I was watching the films, it kept reminding me a lot about Thuppakki. Maybe they both had a similar formula or it is just me hallucinating things. I just kept thinking, “How I wished Vijay did this film. It would have been so amazing.”

The smooth writing and screenplay is able to cover up some of the loopholes in the film making it less obvious as you are travelling together with the characters in the film.

Rating: 3.8/5.0

Director Review

For me personally, A.R.Murugadoss is the king of commercial films in Kollywood. Most commercial films has a fixed template, whereby given to a poor director, the film can turn out to be boring and not engaging.

This is where A.R.Murugadoss is one step ahead of the competition. He takes the template of an ordinary commercial film and puts in his signature touches and gripping screenplay writing which makes his commercial films a real treat to watch.

Despite my love and respect for A.R.Murugadoss, I felt there is two things which he could have done so much better. First is about the way he writes his heroine’s character. The heroine is almost a mere passenger riding on the film.

Imagine if R.J Balaji who is playing a friend role to Mahesh Babu is impacting the film more than the
heroine, then you know something is not right already. Instead of having a heroine just to dance in some songs and provide a break from the film intensity, I hope in the future A.R.Murugadoss writes in a way where the heroine actually has a role to play in the film and impacts the outcome if she wasn’t there. In Spyder, with the heroine or without the heroine you would get almost the same result.

Second, a film like Spyder screams for great VFX effects to justify the story line. I am not sure why but certain scenes the VFX work looked very poor. Despite it being a great and intensive scene, the poor VFX effects would disconnect the audience from the seriousness of what happening and making them laugh.

An example would be the rollercoaster scene. Great scene but the VFX just took away all the thrill. There could be a couple of reasons why the effects turn out that way and I don’t know why. I hope in the future maybe more money and detailing could be invested on that portion to bring to live the scenes.

Another credit goes to the art director for erecting the sets of the climax scene. I’m sure a lot of work would have gone into making it happen and the results on the big screen was amazing. Hats off to the art director.

Rating: 3.5/5.0

The Cast
Mahesh Babu

The Prince has now stepped foot in Kollywood and there couldn’t be a better pick then Spyder to make your grand entrance. Mahesh Babu is already a huge household name in the Telugu industry has now made in debut in Kollywood and he looks like he is ready to give the big commercial stars of Kollywood a run for their money.

He has the looks, the style, the moves and most importantly the quality to be a big name in Kollywood. He brought justice to his role in Spyder playing the role of an intelligent man trying to help the helpless without exposing himself.

Mahesh Babu wins big time on the serious intense scene as his facial expression seems perfect for the confusion that is happening around him. The serious look and deep tone trying to unravel the tangles into capturing the villain was a real treat to watch.

However that’s also his weakness in the film. I felt even in the love portions and humor scenes he was playing off the same expressions and voice tone. A little variation and better body language would elevate the film higher. In a nut shell The Prince has arrived and watch out Kollywood’s big boys, because he is here to stay.

Rating: 3.5/5.0


S.J.SURYA. Remember the name. It is the same guy who acted in films like New and Anbe Aaruyire. It is the very same guy who back then I said that he should never act in films because he is such a poor actor. Today I take back my words and bow down to this man for his performance in Spyder.

Ever since Isai, the man has transformed himself as a gem of actor, a gift to the industry. If Mahesh Babu is the hero of Spyder, then S.J.Surya is the star of the film. He will take your breath away and you will be looking forward to see him on screen.

Such an amazing presence and evilness he brings out to life. Playing the role of a guy who looks very disturbing, he brings out the mannerism and body language which is very similar to Heath Ledger’s Joker and nails it perfectly.

The stronger the villain, the better the hero will come out looking and the better it is for a commercial film and this is exactly what happened in Spyder. A.R.Murugodass deserves a lot of credits for designing this character and S.J Surya deserves all the applauds and praises for bringing the role to life.

Rating: 4.5/5.0

The Music
Harris Jayaraj

It is safe to say that the songs from Spyder can be considered to be a good hit upon releasing and my favorite was “Boom Boom” A Harris Jayaraj music album is always well balanced with a good melody touch and the same can be said for Spyder.

I particularly enjoyed the BGM for S.J.Surya’s portion. It felt different and added a nice touch for the villain. Although Mahesh Babu’s BGM was equally nice, I couldn’t resist to feel that as if I have heard the tone of the music before. Again it may not be true and just be my mind playing tricks on me.

Rating: 3.7/5.0

Final Verdict: Spyder is one for quality commercial film fans

Final Rating: 3.8/5.0

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Thursday, 28 September 2017

The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride 2017

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The usual impression we have in our mind when we see a large group of bikers dominating the road is that these people are “Mat Rempits” and up to no good. Such is the perception of bikers has been formed in the ordinary Malaysian minds. I’ll admit that I myself am guilty for thinking the same about bikers.

On the 24th September 2017, my impression on bikers changed for good and now I seem to have a huge amount of respect for them. It was a Sunday morning, and I was in Petaling Jaya to feast on some fantastic breakfast. When I was around Petaling Jaya, I saw a large group of bikers and who caught my attention.

Nope, not because they were riding in a large group, but the fact that these bikers were all suited up and riding. You read it right, suited up formally and riding together. I followed them a little bit and reached to their meet up point at the Triumph Fast Bikes PJ.

The writer in me got curious as I wanted to find out what was happening here. So I parked my car and decided to randomly walk up to them and ask them what is happening there. After introducing myself as a blogger and a little asking around, I managed to catch up with Stanley Clement, president of Gear7mc, who is one of the co-organizers for the event and this is what he had to say.

The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride (DGR) is organized worldwide with the goal to increase awareness on prostate cancer among man. In Malaysia, Naked 13 is the group responsible for bringing the DGR here in 2012 and there has been a ride happening every year on the last Sunday morning of September since then.” Said Stanley.

Back in 2012 there was only like 20 riders who joined and this year we have got 420 bikers officially registered for the event. While the route changes every year, this time we are starting the ride from Triumph Fast Bikes Pj, heading to IOI Mall Puchong and then to IOI Mall Putrajaya, which gives us a nice riding distance.” Continued Stanley.

As long you are a biker and want to ride for awareness of men’s prostate cancer, you can join the DGR regardless if you are in a motorcycle club or not. Bikers are perceived as menace on the road, but actually if you look around, we are all professionals, well dressed and wanting to do some good by raising prostate cancer awareness. Hopefully this initiative also helps change the impression about bikers.” Said Stanley finally.

Riders of DGR Malaysia 2017
I also had the opportunity to meet the founder of Naked 13, Mr. Akbar Shahari. He was one of the founders of the club back in 2012 and this is what he had to say.

In 2012, Azhar, one of the other founder of Naked 13 came across Mark Hawwa who is the creator of DGR. That was when we organized the first DGR in Malaysia which the route started in Kampung Pandan up to KL city, Menara Kl & Dataran Merdeka and we had less than 20 riders.” Said Azhar.

However in the following year, purely through word of mouth sharing, we had 300 riders. This year is the biggest DGR in KL yet as we collaborated with Gear7mc & Rascal and we are really proud of it. This is a very unique convoy because it is not normal to see bikers dressing up in a suit as if they are going for a meeting and more riders should join us in the future.” Said Azhar again.

Tyler From Rascal Moto Club
This year's DGR was being organised by Naked 13, and co organisezed by Gear7mc and Rascal Moto Club, and I manage to spoke to Tyler from Rascal Moto Club and this was what he had to add about DGR 2017.

"It's such an honor to attend a prestigious event such as DGR. Solely because it is to increase awareness to the common public to understand about prostate cancer and also at the same time as responsible bikers, we raise funds to support the research on prostate cancer." Said Tyler

As I was just walking around Triumph Fast Bikes PJ, there was one bike which caught my attention. The main reason for it is because the bike has 3 tires. Now that’s not something you would come across every day. I managed to track down the owner and caught up with him a little bit.

I ride a Harley Davidson Trike. It is a rare bike here in Malaysia and the last I checked there is about 13-14 of us who has it here and I am one of the main person riding this on the road as most of it are belonging to collectors. So there is only about 4 of us riding it.” Said Tarquin Hashimi who is half Dutch half Malaysian.

Tarquin with his Trike
When I see bikers, the first thing that comes to mind is a group of guys. Well that isn’t really the case here at the DGR as there were a number of women bikers present too and I manage to speak to Teoh Xiao-e from Penang.

Right: Xiao-e
I think women should explore the world of bikes and what riding can bring to their life. It’s a whole new world and a totally exhilarating feeling. I feel very free and happy when I ride and this is a good place to make new friends too.” Said Xiao-e

I did not join them for the convey as I am no biker, but I am really grateful to stumble across them and find out what an amazing job these bikers are doing in terms of raising awareness towards men prostate cancer.

Big shoutout to Triump Fast Bikes PJ and Zenith Watches for sponsoring the event & IOI Group for providing the venue for the bikers to lay over.

To find out more about the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, you can visit their website at or check out for Gear7mc at or Naked 13 and Rascal for more information.

Me with some of the riders

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Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Boggler Blogger's First Live Concert Experience: MILFF 2017

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There are two things everyone should do in their life. First travel alone to any part of the world and second, attend a live concert.” –Sukesh Pandian- 2017.

For those wondering who this Sukesh Pandian guy is, well he is no big shot or anyone famous. I am Sukesh Pandian, the writer of this article.

Nevertheless, I strongly believe that everyone should do these two things at least once in their life time or more if you can. That’s because the experience you attain from it is really life changing and you will thank me later for it.

I’ve been travelling alone many times before but I have never attended a life concert before. My goal was that the first ever concert I attend must be an A.R. Rahman concert but all that changed when I had the opportunity to attend MILFF 2017. I have to thank all my lucky stars for grabbing this opportunity to attend the event.

Malaysian Independent Live Fusion Festival 2017 or better known as MILFF 2017 took place on the 9th September 2017 at KWC Fashion Mall and was organized by Mojo Projects. After a successful outing in 2016, Mojo Projects brought MILFF 2017 for the second time.

For music lovers, the organizers assembled huge star cast to perform but for a music illiterate like me, only Vijay Prakash & Sid Sriram was the pulling factor for me and wasn’t aware much about rest of the cast.

Huge credit for Mojo Projects first and foremost for picking a location like KWC Fashion Mall because of its indoor setting and ample of car parking space. But most of all thank you for starting the show right on time. You did not take your audience for granted and I truly appreciated that from the organizers.

Shylu of Jatayu
The opening act was conducted by a band call Jatayu. For those
who are wondering what Jatayu means, the name Jatayu was inspired from the Indian epic Ramayana. The moment they started playing their music, the crowd was awed by it. Such brilliant and beautiful Carnatic fusion music gave me goosebumps from the start.

Sooraj Santosh
Then the ever amazing Sooraj Santosh joined in to perform with Jatayu and there was a treat for the local fans. One of our artists, Dan Shiv had the luxury of performing together with Sooraj Santosh & Jatayu. 

The crowd loved them and showed their appreciation with loud cheers and claps. By the time Jatayu ended their gig, I have already became a fan of their music. It was just that beautiful. It was perhaps the fastest one hour of my life. They left the stage taking away thunderous cheers from the crowd.

Aalaap Raju
Next gig was conducted by Aalap Raju and his band. If Jatayu’s performance was beautiful, Aalap Raju and his band’s performance were so energetic with a touch of beauty. They were belting out Ghana songs like “Kaasu,Dudde, Money Money”  and “Pettai Rap”. It was also great to see Stylomannavan sharing the stage with Aalap and his band.

Aalap Raju surely won the crowd when he changed his voice for Pettai Rap and crowd almost lost it. He was amazing. The point they touched people’s heart was the segment when the replayed Illayaraja’s BGM.

On screen they played scenes from film’s Illayaraja composed and they recreated the magic life on stage. “Sundari” from Thalapathy and “Thenpadi” from Nayagan were so beautiful it can move you to tears. Thank you Aalap Raju for instilling such beautiful memories in my mind.

Next came on stage was the great Vijay Prakash. I loved his personality on stage and the way he was engaging with the crowd. Throughout his gig he was connecting with the crowd and that drove the crowd even louder.
Vijay Prakash

Being a huge fan of “Hossana” I froze when he sang that song, but that wasn’t the highlight of the night. Shortly after that he sang “Om Shivam Om” from Naan Kaduval. My god, his performance for the song would literally send chills to your spine. Once again I had goosebumps and when he finished that song, the entire crowd stood up and gave him a standing ovation. Performance of the night hands down.

Sid Sriram
The next performance was perhaps the most awaited performance of the night. On comes Sid Sriram
and the crowd screams their lungs out. It is impossible to find a person who doesn’t like Sid Sriram and there is a strong reason why. The guy is blessed with an amazing voice and when he sings, you forget everything in your world.

Apart from singing the songs he had sang in cinema like “Thali Pogathey”, “Maruvarthai” and “Adiye”, his take on “Nila Kaigirathu” was so beautiful.  Once again it is another goosebump moment. The fans love him and he shows them his love with his voice. And then came on stage our local boy Balan Kashmir, previously shared the stage with Vijay Prakash and now performed together with Sid Sriram himself. Felt so proud seeing our home boy sharing the stage with two big artists.

Vijay Prakash & Balan Kashmir
Sid Sriram too has a great personality on stage with the way he interacted with crowd. He made KWC Fashion Mall perhaps the most positive place in the world yesterday with his songs an engagement with crowd. I love the fact on how he paid tribute to a musician who recently lost his life and also credit his success to his mum. It was blissful moment watching this great man performing.

With that, we came to the final gig of the night. It was almost 11 p.m. and they saved one of the best bands out there for the final performance. Before the show, if you were to ask music lovers who you are looking forward for the concert, apart from Sid Sriram and Vijay Prakash, the next name you will hear is AGAM. It is not surprising when Sid Sriram himself is a huge fan of AGAM.

Harish of AGAM
AGAM is a Carnatic Rock band and they are one of a kind. With every performance, the crowd grew louder and louder and I had such an amazing experience just sitting, closing my eyes and listening to them. Their performance on “Uyire” towards the end of the show was a huge highlight.

Just like that 6 hours passed so fast and I couldn’t believe my first ever concert has come to an end. It was such an amazing and beautiful experience. Thank you Mojo Projects for organizing this event and I am already looking forward to MILFF 2018. I end my post today with the same quote that started this post.

There are two things everyone should do in their life. First travel alone to any part of the world and second, attend a live concert.” –Sukesh Pandian- 2017.

** Photos of all artist performing during MILFF are courtesy of  Remnesh Kumar and Vishnu from Ark Photoplay 

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Thursday, 7 September 2017

In The Limelight: Aalaap Raju

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MILFF 2017 is happening this Saturday, the 9th of September 2017 at StarXpo Center in KWC Fashion Mall, starting at 5.30 P.M. Of the many talented singers that is going to be performing that day, I got the luxury of catching up with Aalaap Raju.  

Aalaap Raju burst into the limelight with the song “Enamo Aedho” from KO which also saw him fetch the Filmfare Award for Best Male Playback Singer in 2011.

Below is the transcript of the conversation between me and brother Aalaap Raju. Happy reading!

Question: Hi Bro, have you been to Malaysia before?  Is this your first visit here?

Answer: Yes I have been here numerous times for both personal and musical trips. This place is not new to me at all. Starting from so many venues like the PETRONAS Twin Towers and the other usual tourist spots. My favorite is also the local Malay food like Satay. I’ve got a lot of good memories in KL.

Question: Can you share with our readers a little background about yourself and your music career?

Answer: I am actually from a musical family. Both my mom and dad are singers (Jayam Raju & Latha Raju). At the same time my dad is also a music composer while my mom was a dubbing artist too and actress too. This is my roots and music has always been in my blood but I only entered the music world very late in my life (around the age of 20-21). Despite coming from a musical family, I am completely self-taught on singing and guitar playing.

Question: Building from what you mentioned, if you weren’t into singing when you were younger, what was your area of interest and how did singing come along?

Answer: It was sports and mainly cricket. I had this big dream that I wanted to be a cricketer but things changed when I figured out what was deep within me. Actually it wasn’t me who figured it out but it was my friends. It was just like when you are hum a tune while having a conversation like this and someone hears you. It was that casual and my friends figured it out and said “Dude why aren’t you singing?”

That’s how it started and I began participating in collage cultural shows. With that my interest shifted to base guitar specifically and singing. I took it more seriously and put in a lot more work because it was completely self-taught and I had no one to tell if it is right or wrong. I had to figure all this out by watching videos or going for live concerts. It is OK now but I would love to achieve much more.

Question:  As you mentioned, you come from a musically rich family. When you were young, did your family ever pushed you into music and how did they react when you entered the music scene in your 20’s?

Answer: My parents are very chilled actually. They wanted me to concentrate more academically when I was younger. Unfortunately they have seen the sour side of things in the music industry from their stand point. So they didn’t want me to go through the same thing but when I got into music, they didn’t stop me. In fact they were surprised that one fine day this guy is singing and playing guitar. They were really surprised and when they first heard me singing they were taken aback. The fact they weren’t pushy as a parent made it all the much easier.

Question: How did your breakthrough happen?

Answer: I was working in the IT industry for 6 years and when I figured out and made the jump, I was welcomed in the music industry because people had start noticing me as a musician. I would work in the office and go for recording in formals with my ID card. It used to look stupid but it’s ok because I was trying to manage to prove a point. And when I finally took a 2 months sabbatical (unpaid leave), I worked on an album and made a demo. That demo fetched me a song like Enamo Aedho. That’s how it happened

Question: What pushed you to make the switch from Aalaap Raju, the IT guy to Aalaap Raju the singer? 

Answer: To answer you in a single line, what pushed me was pure passion. That’s it. NEVER EVER LET GO OF YOUR PASSION.

Question: Have you ever had a moment any embarrassing moment while performing life on stage.

Answer: To be honest, the embarrassing moment I had was on a musical front whereby it is acceptable to a certain ratio. The maximum I have done is that I swallowed lyrics. It’s like when your mind goes blank while singing a song which you may have sung a thousand times. It is so unbelievable that it can happen on stage. It is more like a word flipping not the whole line. Or maybe when I am trying to address the crowd and my mind goes blank and I somehow manage it by telling them to clap something like that.

Question: What is the proudest year you have had in your career?

Answer: I would pick 2010. I became a father that year and I sang two back to back hits with Harish Jeyaraj, which was “Enamo Edho” & “Engeyum Kadhal”.  On April 18 2010, I started my own studio. That year was full of jumps, bumps and surprises which started reaping benefit the next year. For me 2010 was a big year.

Question: Final question, 20 years from now how would you want people to remember you?

Answer: First and foremost, for me what is important is that people remember that Aalaap Raju is good person. It may sound very cliché but believe me good karma is everything. Anything above that is a bonus. That’s very important to me and I would do anything to be that person.

Boggler Blogger With Aalaap Raju
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