Emulation, the essence of cover songs - Sureshni
SURESHNI WANIGASURIYA has the uniqueness and exclusivity that come
from people who work hard on their music. There are a number of
important factors that make true singers.
Among them the incessant urge to sing, and the commitment to practise
each and every song with equal intensity are foremost.
“The appearance of a female vocalist is also important. But this can
boil down to nothing if she cannot sing properly . So, practise, she
must,” Sureshni told “In Tune” in an interview on being asked what
advice she has to offer for an upcoming female vocalist.
Sureshni has been in the local Western music scene for nearly two
decades during which she had played with top Western bands like Sohan
and the Experiments. Sureshni was with the Experiments for about eight
years. She was the Experiment’s first female vocalist.
“I was with Ecstasy, Aquarius and Europa before I joined the
Experiments,” she reminisce.
Sureshni is currently playing with Tribe, a trio led by Thilak (drums
and vocals) and member Sukumar on the keyboards. She is the main
vocalist. Tribe plays at the Library of Trans Asia Hotel. Tribe plays at
the Trans Asia lobby on Tuesdays.
Sureshni is an undisputed crowd puller wherever she performs. This
perhaps is the reason behind Sureshni being hurled to heights of
stardom. She has maintained the consistency of her stardom throughout
the years because she’s got it- a voice with tremendous carrying power
backed up by her lively personality.
Sureshni comes from a family with musical background, her aunt
Lankika Perera (vocalist) and uncle Chanaka Perera (bassist and founder
member of Goldenchimes.
I asked Sureshni how she became a full time singer.
I was never planning to enter music in a big way. I never wanted to
do this as my job.I was going out with my aunts for shows and recording.
I used to sing harmony with them. Things just turned out that way.
Are you particular about selecting your songs in terms of their
No. it does not matter to me . I sing songs of all music genres be
they pop, rock, or techno. I am particular about what is required from
me by the band (Tribe)and the crowds we are supposed to entertain.
I want to sing. That’s what I want to do. With Tribe I can sing any
song I like.
Apart from your regular performances at lobbies and other places, How
do you go about making something for your personal music interests?
Well, I have done four tracks with me on vocals, including two cover
tracks, Sha La La La and Hastamanana and two Sinhala tracks Karadiya
Walalla and Vasantha Kaalaya.
I gave these tracks to several radio stations and TV channels. This
was sometime ago, But I am without a clue as to what happened to them
thereafter. I reminded them a few times. I don’t like going behind
people too much.
I really like doing new tracks. I must say that this situation got me
more or less discouraged.
The times have changed . The people want to listen to new stuff like
rap and house. Do you like rap music?
I like rap music to a certain degree. but not much. I used to sing
techno stuff, still do.
I would say that rap and techno effect can last for a short period.
To tell you from my experience at places where we play we get more
requests to play those songs of the 70s, 80s and 90s than rap and
techno. The new songs in the sense there are remixes of the old tracks.
There are remixes of old tracks like “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”.
People still do request them.
Do you have to sound like the original singer when you must sing
someone else’s song?
Yes, for the most part. you can have your own style. But you have to
take extra precautions not to harm the quality of the original song.
Besides people expect you to sing like the original artist. They might
say otherwise later. But this is what they expect from cover songs more
How do you practise your singing? Do you practise with the band?. Yes
I do, But I like doing my singing practices on my own.
How do you select your songs?
I would not take a song I cannot sing. But normally If I decided to
do a cover song, the chances are I can do it.
In War and in song
Ex-Naval officer and singer Panduka Samarasekera hands over his
maiden CD album to Defence Secretary Gothabhaya Rajapaksa.
EX-SERVICEMAN of Sri Lanka Navy Panduka Samarasekera last week handed
over his maiden CD song album, “Thurki Palasa” to Defence Secretary
Gothabhaya Rajapaksa at the Defence Ministry.
Panduka was nominated for the Best Young Artist of the Year Award at
the H. R. Jothipala Award Ceremony, which was held a few months ago by
the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation.
Panduka was shot on his shoulder and leg by the terrorists in a
confrontation which took place between Sri Lankan security forces and
the LTTE in November, 1990.
The incident took place at Karainagar Ceynor Jetty in Jaffna, which
restricted him to light duties in the Navy.
Thus, Panduka urged himself to give vent to his hidden ability,
The ex-serviceman said that he was happy to be received by Defence
Secretary Gothabhaya Rajapaksa, who had praised his courage as a
serviceman and latent aesthetic sense.
Why need recording malls?
Ne-Yo and Jay Z
I AM a big fan of hip-hope, R & B, rap and pop music from my
childhood. When I was in Grade Ten I used to go to a record bar which
was located close to our school and used to get my favourite singles
recorded from them. First they used to record on cassettes.
Then on CDs. The songs recorded were originals by international
artists from Michael Jackson to Ne-Yo.
In those years music videos were not very popular.
However, from recent times it appears that we have started watching
music rather than listening.
Today you had to watch Ne-Yo and Rihana move their bodies in
attractive outfits as they perform their songs. You must watch 50 cent
sing ‘window shopper’ looking at expensive shoes display in a big
It has come to point that there is no point listening to a song
without being able its to watch vedioclip. It is more or less a
situation of food without beverage, if one has to listen to a song the
visuals must be there.
In Sri Lanka we have professional recording outlets to get our
favourite songs recorded on cassettes and CDs. There are good record
bars in Colombo providing this service. In fact one can hardly afford to
buy all the songs of his or her favourite artist.
The situation being so and with the presence of high tech computer
There is no place in Sri Lanka to record our favourite music video
albums. It is sad to see why that professional record bars and other
recording outlets do not provide this service to the public.
If you want to get music videos recorded on a DVD the only option you
have is get them downloaded from on Internet music website. But no one
can give a guarantee on their quality.
Moreover when you buy a music DVD most of the times you will find
them to be cheap pirate products. You may be able to find the original
DVD from an authorised dealer with the preferred quality. But they are
so expensive that music lovers can hardly afford to pay them.
This is why we need good recording malls to get our favourite music
videos recorded for a reasonable and affordable price.
Cool Jays to rock OTSC House
The Old Thomians’ Swimming Club (OTSC) will hold its October Club
Night at the OTSC Club House on October 20 from 8.30 p.m.
The DJs of Cool Jays will provide music. This will be a night full of
fun and entertainment, especially for those who love music of the
60s/70s/80s. Hip hop songs of both Sinhala and English are also to be
played, the organisers said. Roshan Perera will hold a special show
dancing act with a special guest spot.