Celebrating Musical Legends: Kalyani Malik’s Unique Tribute Through Independent Music Videos

Music composer Kalyani Malik has recently graced the music world with a heartfelt homage to the icons who shaped his passion and career in music. Through three distinct music videos, each representing a different language—Telugu, Hindi, and Tamil—Malik pays tribute to the composers, singers, and lyricists who left an indelible mark on his musical journey. These independent projects, published on his YouTube channel, Umami Music, feature lyrics penned by renowned writers MM Keeravaani for the Telugu song, Madan Karky for the Tamil song, and Shagun Sodhi for the Hindi song.

Explaining the essence behind this endeavor, Malik states, “The music I grew up listening to shaped my interest and encouraged me to be a composer. This initiative is my way of celebrating legends who are no longer with us.” Known for his stellar compositions in Telugu cinema with hits like Aithe, Ala Modalaindi, Ashta Chamma, Oohalu Gusagusalade, and Phalana Ammayi Phalana Abbayi, Malik’s latest project diverges from cinematic compositions to forge a direct connection with listeners, exploring music in its purest form outside the constraints of film.

The music videos of four-minute durations each showcase images of 23 legendary composers, singers, and lyricists, evoking nostalgia and reverence. The Telugu track titled ‘Sangeetama’ is emotively rendered by Lipsika Bhashyam. Padmalatha brings the Tamil song ‘En Vaanilae’ to life, while Shagun Sodhi lends her voice to the Hindi version ‘Sukoon Hai’. These songs stand as both a tribute and a bridge to the past, honoring the greats who influenced Malik and countless music lovers.

The idea for this tribute took root a year ago, soon after Malik launched his YouTube channel. He elaborates, “It was tough to list everyone, so I chose those who are not among us today.” Despite financial and logistical constraints, Malik was determined to produce a respectful homage on a minimal budget. The video features photographs of music legends, alongside mention of some of Malik’s favorite albums and compositions.

In selecting lyricists for these songs, Malik faced several hurdles. For the Telugu version, after reaching out to multiple lyricists without substantial progress, he turned to his brother, MM Keeravaani, who is also an Academy Award-winning composer. “Annayya wrote the lyrics within a day. He also suggested Shagun Sodhi for the Hindi version, since he had known her father (Surinder Sodhi) during the making of the Hindi film Special 26,” Malik shares.

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For the Tamil song, Malik collaborated with Madan Karky, a respected figure due to their previous work on Baahubali. Karky was so impressed by the idea and Malik’s dedication that he wrote the lyrics overnight and didn’t charge any fee for his contribution.

Production of the videos presented yet another learning curve for Malik. Opting to edit and compile the videos himself, he turned to YouTube tutorials to learn the necessary techniques. “It was a learning curve to do it all by myself,” he reveals, reflecting the dedication he poured into this passion project.

Looking ahead, Malik is not stopping there. He is currently working on another independent music video in both Telugu and Hindi. Meanwhile, he has composed music for an upcoming Telugu web series that centers on a poignant father-son relationship, with more details to be announced soon.

Reflecting on venturing into independent music, Malik describes the experience as both liberating and challenging. The freedom from the structured demands of cinema allowed him to explore his creativity more profoundly. “While composing for a film, someone listens to the tunes and gives feedback. I had to step back while composing independently, revisit the music after a few days, and gauge whether it was good enough to be put out,” he explains. The positive reception of his songs, notably shared by actors like Prabhas and Adivi Sesh on social media, has validated his efforts.

The name Umami Music, Malik reveals, uniquely blends personal significance. It encapsulates the names of his wife (Uma), his son Mayur (M), and himself (I from Kalyani Malik). “I wanted a name that would be unique. A friend suggested naming the channel after my wife, and then this idea took shape,” Malik concludes.

Kalyani Malik’s initiative is a touching reminder of the timeless impact of music legends and the power of independent creative endeavors in honoring their legacy.