Unravelling Bhoomi

Bhoomi, the minimal series composed by Roby Abraham and sung by our very own gorgeous nightingale, Madonna Sebastian and Deepak Kutty is nothing short of enchanting – it is almost as if the music lurks in your soul, long after you have heard it! The album that features a little girl innocently playing with mother nature – among the green grass, fragile flowers and sparkly streams takes you on a trip down memory lane. Social media is abuzz ever since the release of this music album that is refreshingly melodious and soul stirring! Ritz catches up with the free spirited diva and melody queen as she talks passionately of her musical sojourn!

Interview: RIYA SONNY DATSON

Photography: SHAFI SHAKKEER

Makeup: SAMSON LEI

Costume: JAZ’AASH DESIGN STUDIO

Location: GRAND HYATT KOCHI BOLGATTY

There is something very compelling about ‘Bhoomi’ – the more you listen to it, the more you want to listen, tell us about its making.

Bhoomi is a composition by Roby Abraham. Roby and I have been working together for five years now. In fact, my first song was with Roby for the film, ‘You too Brutus’. Though we formed a music band called ‘Everafter’, I think it is after a long time that we are doing a song with a true ‘Malayali’ feel. We chose ‘Bhoomi’ as our theme as Mother Nature has always been our source of inspiration, energy and art. Our entire team is grateful to her for that. We believe in a minimalist style of music as we like simplicity. You will notice that element even in our title. We are working on more songs in the same genre.

Do the visuals in ‘Bhoomi’ convey a meaning?

Honestly, we always go by our instincts. While we were hunting for shoot locations, there were places that interested us and we just followed our gut feeling. The visuals show a little girl playing by herself, talking to herself – almost as if she is sharing her thoughts with Mother Nature. As the video progresses, there is also a scene where she is lying on dry parched earth. It symbolises the child’s strong connect with Mother Nature even in her unadorned form.  It reflects the bond that we share with Bhoomi. It can be interpreted in many ways.

Tell us about a memorable experience during the making of the album.

My sister, Michelle is the child featured in the video and that makes it very special to me. This is her first acting venture and I think she did a pretty good job of being herself! One of the memorable things would be the part where she is painting by the lake. The painting shown in the video was actually done by her. The colours blended so well with the theme that it felt as though it was all meant to be. Another interesting coincidence was that the entire video was initially planned to be shot in a black background but due to technical issues, we had to stick to a white background. Eventually, we realised that white was indeed the right choice as it added to the whole feel of the music.

I have come to realise that though we might not always make the best choices, things eventually work out in our best interests. I think it is because we are a peaceful bunch and we happily settle with what comes our way without too much thought.

How challenging was it to make the video as you were also shooting for films around the same time?

When we get back after work, we spend a lot of time with music. We randomly sing, we JAM, we talk a lot about music and our songs happen organically. It is just something that we do together and there is no pressure involved. We put our heart and soul into it literally, so we enjoy every bit of it.

How has the response been to the video?

We always make our videos without any expectation and we generally don’t even follow up. But this time we received a lot of positive response from our fans and social media which was very inspiring.

You released a melodious Tamil song ‘Puthu Puthussu’ earlier this year…

Yes, we had released a couple of Malayalam songs earlier and there were a lot of requests for songs from the Tamil audience. I wanted to do a song with more rhythm but since we are a minimalist troupe, we decided to go with a melody.

We saw you dancing with so much energy and vigour in ‘Brother’s Day’. It was a real treat for the Malayali audience  – would we be watching more of that?

It is very nice to do things out of your comfort zone. I always used to feel very rigid and conscious when I was told to dance. But slowly, I realised that there is no point in being tensed and that we just need to let go and have fun. I am actually beginning to enjoy it. I hope I get better at it and will be able to do justice to my roles.

We saw your selfie with ace director Mani Ratnam. Are you working on his next project?

I was shooting for a movie produced by Madras Talkies that is Co-written by Mani Ratnam Sir. That is why I went to meet him. The shoot is almost done, I just have another 2 more days of shoot.

What are the projects in the pipeline?

There is a Kannada movie and another Tamil project which I have just wrapped up. There are also a couple of projects in the pipeline that is going to keep me busy now.