RP Patnaik, a recipient of three Filmfare Awards and three Nandi Awards, was a star composer in the 2000s, having composed for movies featuring star heroes like Mahesh Babu and Uday Kiran. Besides directing films like 'Broker', 'Tulasi Dalam' and 'Manalo Okadu', RP also played a blind man's role in 'Seenu Vasanthi Lakshmi' as a lead actor.
After doing 'Chitram', 'Family Cirkus', 'Nuvvu Nenu', 'Jayam', 'Avunanna Kaadanna', 'Lakshmi Kalyanam' and others with director Teja, the composer now awaits the release of 'Ahimsa' this June 2. The film stars Abhiram Daggubati in the lead.
In this interview, Patnaik talks about his journey, the latest collaboration with Teja, his future plans, and more.
On any given day, I work for 18 hours. I was in hibernation in recent years. I have been doing films in Kannada. I am also into script-writing for a project to be directed by me. When SPB garu was alive, he used to reprimand me, prod me and egg on me to restart doing music more often. The thing with me is that I have to thoroughly love the subject for me to compose tunes. After SPB garu passed away, pangs of guilt overtook me. It was because of his songs that I entered the film industry. I wanted to fulfil his wish. I have always been directly motivated by his genius. 'Ahimsa' happened to me 11 days after Balu garu passed away.
I have never done anything in which I had no conviction. That's why I like all my works so far. As you all know, I am not a trained musician. It is cinema that gave me the opportunity to give timeless tunes. I believe in the eternity of soul. I believe I was someone in my previous birth and that someone knew music. He is fulfiling his desire through my body.
Every new film is a new attempt. The sitautions are different, the story is different. The story of 'Ahimsa' takes palce in the backdrop of a forest in the second half. It's a refreshing story. Teja completely believes in my talent.
Since I don't know music, I draw my tunes from a limitness number of ragas. I have always been unrestrained in my choices. I don't believe in trends. I go by the flavour of the film while giving a tune.
'Priyatama Telusuna' was not a big hit when the audio of 'Jayam' was released. After the movie was released, the song acquired huge popularity. I believe the songs of 'Ahimsa' have a similar destiny. I believe in timeless music. My songs composed 20 years ago are still loved by the liseners today. A song should not make the audience walk out fo the hall. If it happens, your music is worthless.
A song in 'Ahimsa' is sung by Sid Sriram. Choosing him was a collective decision.
I don't do small movies whose budget is smaller than my remuneration. They ask me to work for free. I am not up for such requests! Music has become an expensive craft. Technicians and singers are demanding more nowadays.
Directors are ready to cast me in their movies. But acting is not my cup of tea. I did only two movies out of volition. The rest of those acting assignments were obligatory in nature. I am willing to act in a web series, though.
My identity is music. But I love writing. I write really well. I can keep writing and writing even by skipping meals. My thinking begins where others' thinking ends. That's why my stories are novel.
Visuals in 'Ahimsa' are arresting. You will find a number of virgin locations in it. The hero plays someone who believes in non-violence initially. Slowly, he moves towards Krishna's philosophy.
I want to direct a movie on the electoral system. I am looking for a producer. It will be 100 times better than 'Broker'. After that movie's release, the election system will lundergo transofrmation. It is not against the rulnig party or the opposition. It's about elections as a process.