Telugu Cinema Music - a seesaw battle of ragas, beats!
During the early days of Telugu Cinema evolution, Saluri Rajeswara Rao was the top pioneer among music composers and slowly, Ghantasala Venkateswara Rao, Pendyala Nageswara Rao and TV Chalapathi Rao took over the scene.
With KV Mahadevan's emergence many of them had to look at their regular directors and producers for work. Satyam, Ramesh Naidu grew slowly in popularity but no one could touch "Mama". Telugu commercial cinema music was reinvented by Chakravarthy as K. Raghavendra Rao and Dasari Narayana Rao became top directors and Mama still proved his importance with classical music in K. Vishwanath films.
Chakravarthy could weather the storm called Ilaiyaraja for a decade but maestro's influence was inescapable to him too. By the end of 1980's, Chakravarthy faced competition from Raj-Koti, his disciples and their massy western beats became game changers in early 1990's.
MM Keeravani also started to announce his arrival at the same time. Raghavendra Rao's preference to go with Keeravani and split between Raj-Koti duo, let Keeravani almost monopoly Telugu Cinema music Industry
Arrival of Mani Sharma changed that situation and interestingly, Mani turned out to be the most successful composer in Telugu Cinema history, in terms of being the Top Most Composer for successive years. He dominated music charts for a decade so heavily that in one year all Top 10 hits belonged to his films.
Devi Sri Prasad posed a silent threat to Mani Sharma until 2007 and with Jalsa audio in 2008, he emerged as people's favourite but being slightly less successful in mass movies made him second preference to SS Thaman, who emerged on to the scene with Kick, the same year.
The competition between both of them intensified with DSP proving himself as an all-rounder with Gabbar Singh and Legend audios, BGM. Thaman who got many small, medium and big budget movies at a time due to his success in mass commercial space, lost the battle due to depreciation in his quality.
DSP could successfully monopolize the Telugu Music scene but the things have changed again. Today, Thaman seems to be ruling the roost with multiple projects and big hits under his belt.
2019, will be a definitive year for Thaman as Ala Vaikuntapurramuloo songs and Disco Raja single along with Prathi Roju Pandage & Venky Mama audios have become highly popular. On contrary, DSP is facing severe criticism for his tunes for Maharshi, Sarileru Neekevvaru.
Well, DSP has Sukumar and Bunny film, to really reinvent while Thaman is flooded with offers which will keep him occupied for whole of 2020. There are Telugu cinema music fans who are waiting for new composers to challenge these two, but at this moment, Telugu Cinema music seems ti be a seesaw battle of ragas, beats, isn't it?