Tamil with a Europop vibe — just one of the fun surprises in Suchitra and Ranjith’s first single
My head whips back and forth, almost like I’m at a tennis match. That’s how fast the banter is flowing between city-based singers KG Ranjith and Suchitra Karthik Kumar. Ranjith is late for the interview and Suchitra is not about to let him forget it. “In fact, his laid-back, easy-going side comes through in our new Tamil single, No Time For Love,” says Suchitra, just as Ranjith pipes in, “And you will see her slightly panicky, perfectionist side.” The first single by the duo has already caught the attention of MTV Indies, which is exclusively airing it all this week. “Sun Music plans to air it next, after which we will upload it on YouTube,” smiles Suchitra, the voice behind the two-hour Sunday show, Flight 983, on Radio Mirchi.
Light and peppy, with a distinct Europop vibe to it, they explain that the song combines many of their personal favourites. “I’m a huge John Mayer fan; so you can hear the guitar and the blues. Suchitra loves The Beatles, especially their songwriting. And both of us follow contemporary European indie music,” states Ranjith, even as Suchitra adds that it all came together organically. “Ranjith was messing with my keyboard when he came up with the tune. The moment I heard it, the words kadhalika neramillaya (no time for love) popped into my head. And so we developed it—like a conversation between two people,” she says. The video shoot (by Cycle Gap Films) followed soon after. Suchitra laughs that the entire set was created from things picked up from her house (making her husband, theatre actor Karthik Kumar, wonder if they were shifting).
In the making
With indie music flourishing in the country, the duo agrees that several bands are creating great music. But they also feel that ‘indie’ is “a polluted word, thanks to a few artistes with money to burn but no talent”. Ranjith says that for them, however, the single was a way to unlearn what they knew as professional singers—to “pare down the sound and play true to what we wanted to express.” And with three years’ worth of banked tunes (“till now, we’ve just jammed and stored away our songs”), he says we can expect more singles—the next perhaps with a reggae folk vibe.
The two are also busy with their professional commitments. Ranjith, who has sung for upcoming Tamil film Yatchan, is working on a few untitled projects. Suchitra is working on another single (produced by Motherjane guitarist, Rex Vijayan). She is also putting together a quirky novella for children (on animals) and cooking up a storm, with some help from chef Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbooks.
Surya Praphulla Kumar