Every year, during Onam or Kerala Piravi or any occasion that celebrates the Kerala culture we play the song Kera nirakal aadum from Jalolsavam...Vida parayukayaano from Big B is a perfect fit for a sad situation or a tribute to the departed. And Aaromale from Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya will haunt every forlorn lover forever.
All these songs have left an indelible stamp on the hearts of the music lovers in India thanks to the composing and singing (AR Rehman composed Aaromale) talent of Alphons Joseph. Born to a musical family in Thrissur, Alphons catapulted himself into fame with the trendy songs in his début film Vellithira and managed to secure a fan following in both Bollywood(he lend his voice to the Hindi remake as well) and Tollywood with the song Aaromale..
Music buffs may be upset over his absence from the film music scenario given the fewer number of films he has been associated with in recent times. But Alphons is not sitting idle reminiscing about his past glories.
Alphons is still in the thick of action but on a different arena of music, embarking on a much nobler mission of music research and education. In a freewheeling chat with Friday Mania, Alphons elaborate on what inspired him to try his hands on the experimental projects that he is busy with now.
One of the biggest fault Alphons finds with the Indian music industry is its overwhelming dependency on the film industry. “ In India we still think film music is the only form of music,” Alphons says. “This situation has to change.”
An aspiring music composer or singer must possess a solid knowledge about a wide variety of music genres from across the world, he says. Apart from that in today’s world he or she must be well aware of the way the industry works.
A musician must have a sound knowledge about music technology, the business of music, how to communicate with a director or producer to seal a deal and the financial aspects like taxes. “But our music education system is too nascent to equip the musicians with these essential things.”
The Indian music education system is restricted to Carnatic music only. The syllabuses in most of the colleges shun the western and other genres of music. To study western music the students have to resort to private institutions.
A musician coming from this type of educational background will surely stumble finding it hard to meet the demands of the film industry.
Alphons’ vision is to develop a world class education system in India that will surpass these hurdles. Cross Roads Academy of Music & Technology is Alphons’ venture in music education which is a first step to his ambitious projects.
Alphons was struck by the idea of a music preschool while on a visit to California. He fell in love with the idea and now he has adopted it to his institute.
According to Alphons, a music preschool enables the kids to get introduced to the basic aspects of music at a younger age. In a music school they will get a chance to see what a key board or violin look like and they would be able to differentiate between the sounds originating from different instruments.
This is not restricted to music instruments but also other basic aspects of music. This helps one to recognize whether the kids are really meant for music or not. “At least they can recognize and tell various instruments by their name by the time they reach school,” Alphons says.
Music for Pre-born babies
Alphons has recently associated with a team of doctors to develop music for pre-born babies. For this experimental project he worked with the doctors and in line with their instruction created his own music that had a soothing impact on the baby in the womb.
The project is successfully completed and the music will be released soon. Alphons regards this project as an amazing and most satisfying experience in his life.
Apart from all these innovative projects he is also involved in serious research on music. Alphons also tours the world with his gospel music band Rexband. The band is known for their contemporary gospel music and their blending of Western music with Hindustani and Carnatic.
Alphons has devoted his life to music and when his dreams become reality it will be a new dawn in the Indian music industry.