Tunes from the tropics | Daily News

Tunes from the tropics

‘Everything happens for the best and you need to keep soldiering on because the best is yet to come,’ says singer Randhir Yasendra Witana. Melodies features Witana who believes the key to success is anticipation and proper planning and getting organized.

Witana’s music is a fusion of Hip-Hop, R&B, EDM and Sinhalese Folk, having developed a love for music at the age 13.

He has released two albums - Namal Mitak (2008) and Pem Wasanthaya (2010).

His singles are: Namal Mitak, Ojaye (Remix), Kelilola Balmen, Mal Madahasa and Sihiwatana.

He has got three more singles coming out this year.

“In 1993, I watched a live broadcast of the legendary Hip-Hop group Kris Kross performing at that year's American Music Awards. I was so awe-struck by their performance, I think that's when I realized I wanted to be performer. I later formed a Hip-Hop group with two school friends called Brown Boogie Nation - one of the first Hip-Hop groups in the country. We recorded a few songs and music videos.

“Our music was very topical - our songs 'Lions & Tigers' focused on the civil war that was tearing the country apart at the time. I crossed paths with Bathiya & Santhush when they recorded their remix of John de Silva's 'Sirisangabodhi Maligawedi'. I've been working very closely with them ever since,” said Witana.

Foresight is Witana’s strength and his key to success. He also believes the choices one makes have a huge impact on one’s life.

“I attribute my success to proper planning - mostly planning ahead. It's important to make the right business and marketing decisions regarding your music career. The Sri Lankan music industry is highly unregulated in terms of royalties and copyrights. The industry is also highly competitive so the shelf life of an artiste only gets shorter. This is my tenth year in the field, and I've had to recalculate my position a few times to stay relevant and maintain demand for my brand as an artiste. I came into the industry as a Hip-Hop artiste, later re-branded as a singer/songwriter. I try to keep a close watch on emerging trends and competitions as well. All the glamour aside, the music business is exactly that - a business. If you can make peace with that, you'll increase your chances of survival,” explained Witana.

Witana has created his identity in the music industry and advises others to do so as well. Clear cut goals are important in life, points our Witana. You may have the talent but you need to be ready to handle things that come your way. We see so many child stars who have gone off track having tasted fame. You need to be able to handle the fame and what comes with it.

“Define what you want out of your music career. A music career can take many forms from playing in a bar every weekend to touring countries and selling out stadiums. Define your aspirations clearly and define how you will realize them. Crafting a career out of talent needs careful planning,” stated Witana.

Witana’s favorites in the music industry have done just that. They have achieved fame and then gone onto create careers that are managed well with good business acumen. Being strong in life is very important as well in addition to having talent.

“I admire the work of artiste/entrepreneurs like Sean Combs (Puff Daddy) and Sean Carter (Jay-Z) who have used their music careers to form business empires,” said Witana

Witana is well grounded and has been inculcated with the right values that have allowed him to be consistent and stable.

“I want to thank my mom and dad for the values and the work-ethic I've been instilled with. The founding members of Brown Boogie Nation, Nishan Dias Weerasinghe and Subodha Pilimatalawa for their friendship and support. Bathiya Jayakody and Santhush Weeraman for their career guidance. Sachith Peiris for my first hit song. Ken Lappen of Ken Lappen Studios for crafting some of the most memorable songs I'll ever have. Imran Saibo of Classic Funtime for pushing me outside my comfort zone and helping me discover new avenues as a performing artiste. My fans for sustaining my career over the last decade,” added Witana.

Faith too no doubt plays a part in Witana’s life. His determination and resilience have served him well in this unpredictable industry. Like many people who are successful, he understands that the best is yet to come and the happiness we experience now, is just a taste of what is yet to come.

“What strengthens and sustains me when I face adversity is just a general belief that everything happens for the best and to keep soldiering on because the best is yet to come,” said Witana


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