New Straits Times
Don in dream duet
Reggae star Sasi The Don is back in action, living his dream of singing with his idol Anuradha Sriram, writes
SASI Chandran alias Sasi The Don may have a big, booming voice but at heart, he is a gentle giant and a doting daddy. For this reason, he took a four-year holiday from singing and performing to spend quality time with his wife and 5-year-old daughter Shanaya Lakshmi.
“I’m a family guy at heart and there’s nothing that I dislike more than being away from my dearest wife and child for too long. That’s why I decided to go missing in action from 2014 till this month,” he said at the launch of his new single ABCD at NU Sentral in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur recently.
“My wife and daughter are my biggest fans. Shanaya always lights up whenever she listens to my music, and she can even hum some lines to my favourite songs. I don’t know if she’ll want to follow my footsteps but even if she doesn’t, I’ll still be happy that music is in her soul — we are a music-loving family who can sing!”
BACK TO BASIC
Sasi, dubbed Malaysia’s leading reggae artiste, is marking his comeback in a power-packed duet with his all-time idol, renowned Indian playback singer Dr Anuradha Sriram.
To be released a month before Deepavali, the upbeat hip-hop and pop song ABCD carries a meaningful and inspirational message for Tamil music fans worldwide.
“I composed ABCD and it’s co-written by my close pals, Navin The Navigator and Saran Narayan. The single is all about going back to the basics of life — like the Malay saying sesat di hujung jalan kembali ke pangkal jalan (it is never too late to mend).” Sasi added: “In life, we are the ones who tend to complicate matters. Whenever we get stuck in jams, we should go back to the basic principles of life that help us. For example, when you fall sick, you go back to your family doctor. When you need help in school, you look for your teachers. Whatever you are doing, if you ever come to a point where you feel stuck, go back to the basics.”
The song, he said, also celebrates the simple things in life.
“The ABCD of the song refers to the four key steps of getting back to basics, namely loving what you do, being passionate about your mission in life, being grateful to those who taught you, and reaffirming your commitment to your goals,” explained Sasi.
“ABCD is a celebration of life that reminds us that gratitude should be a way of life, not just confined to festive occasions. This simple tune speaks of bringing us together, respecting one another and working together to achieve common goals.”
Sasi also said he went “back to the basics”, turning to someone who inspired him to become a world-class singer and songwriter — that someone being Anuradha.
“She encouraged me to become a success beyond Malaysian shores. This is our very first collaboration in a single. We recorded the song together in Chennai a month ago, and we will soon shoot a music video somewhere in the Klang Valley which will highlight some wonderful tourist attractions.”
Anuradha was discovered by legendary composer A.R. Rahman. Besides being a singer, she is also a judge on India’s reality talent shows such as Super Singer. She has performed over 6,000 songs and entertained in Singapore, Malaysia, the United States, the Middle East, South Africa, Europe, Canada and Australia throughout her three decades in music.
“Sasi met me 17 years ago when he opened for my concert in KL. But we only became friends when we met a second time in Chennai Airport, India eight years ago,” said Anuradha.
“Sasi called me in July and we both agreed to record this song together. Our next mission is to have a tour of Malaysia to promote this song. If all goes well, we’ll tour next year.”
Sasi, who runs his own advertising agency, has five albums to his credit. Since he started singing in 2000, he has collaborated with Amy Search, Datuk Zainalabidin, Apache Indian, Dr Alban, Maxi Priest, Jaclyn Victor, Amy Mastura, Ning Baizura and Namewee, among others.
He has also won numerous awards such as Anugerah Era, Anugerah Bintang Popular Berita Harian, Anugerah Industri Muzik and Anugerah MACP.
Sasi will soon team up with Digi Telecommunications to create a talent search where five lucky individuals will be selected and coached by him to become established pop singers.
“Like my pal Joe Flizzow, I want to look out for the next generation of hip-hop, pop and reggae-singing Malaysians. One of them will get to sing a duet with me in my new album Timeless, which will be released by year end,” he said.
The single is all about going back to the basics of life.
Sasi The Don