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Telugu composer MM Srilekha: Male ego comes in your way

M M Srilekha is the only female music composer of note in the Telugu film industry right now, having scored hit songs

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Hyderabad, March 6: M M Srilekha is the only female music composer of note in the Telugu film industry right now, having scored hit songs in films such as Dharma Chakram, Moodu Mukkalaata and Preminchu. She feels that music from Telangana always appeals to people all over India.

“Telugu music has been loved by everyone in the country. It is not new. The songs are such that people like either the lyrics or the music in general. It has a melodious base. So many tracks have become famous and tunes have been remixed. It is ever evolving,” Srilekha informed.

“Unofficially I have been composing for 11 years but on record it has been just about 8 years. I have grown up in a family where my father is into music and direction. So, I have grown up in that atmosphere. Becoming a music director came naturally to me,” says the music director, who is a cousin of music composer M M Keeravani and director S S Rajamouli.

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While she thoroughly enjoys her job, Srilekha does highlight the challenges female musicians have to face in the country.

“It’s is a male dominated industry and you have to face so many things. Time and again, the male ego comes in your way, be it from the director, the manager, producer or the actor. Everybody shows their ego to the music director, especially female directors. Generally females are considered very sensitive and they forget that we are also technicians. You end up asking people, “why are you shouting at me”, “why are you calling me late”, when there is no reason for them to call,” she says.

The composer adds, “There should not be barriers. You have to cooperate with the director irrespective of the gender. The orchestra people are all men and you have to give them instructions all the time. There is a constant hassle to convince the director and audience and you have to struggle and be thorough.”

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On the occasion of Woman’s Day, the music director will participate as a panelist for The Indian Performing Arts Right Society Limited (IPRS) campaign called, “#HERmusic. She, along with other panelists, will discuss the growth of female musicians in the industry and the challenges being faced.

–By Yashika Mathur

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