Kochi, Sep 23 (IANS) Jerry Amaldev has composed hit music for 75 Malayalam films and is a highly qualified musician, but he hasn't created any tunes for movies for nearly 13 years due to 'misunderstandings' in the faction-ridden Kerala film industry.
While he's produced some of the most memorable Malayalam songs and his knowledge of music is well-known, Amaldev didn't know how to stay afloat amid all the complicated politicking in showbiz.
'I have no complaints against anyone. I'm out of the film industry because I did my job and went home - I didn't indulge in any other things that would have kept me going,' 69-year-old Amaldev told IANS.
He, however, refused to open up about the controversy over which he was kept out.
'I may have been misunderstood by some musical personalities and despite a patch-up, the patch was still there,' he said.
Music was Amaldev's first love, but he also wanted to be a priest in his young days. So in 1955, he joined the Catholic Missionary in central India. After spending a decade studying the Bible, he decided it to call it a day.
'I didn't like the idea of celibacy and music was my first love. From there I went to Naushad, the foremost music director of Bollywood. I worked with him for five years and in 1969 left to do my Bachelors in Music at the Xavier's University of Louisiana,' said Amaldev.
In 1975, he finished his Master's degree in music from Cornell University in the US. He taught music at a few places there before returning to India.
In 1980, Amaldev entered the Malayalam film industry as a music director with 'Manjil Virinja Pookal' - a movie that catapulted Mohanlal to stardom and won accolades for its beautiful songs. After almost three decades, the songs still pull the heartstrings of music lovers.
After the stupendous success of this film, Amaldev became one of the most sought after composers and went on to give many hits like 'Nokkethaa Doorathu Kannum Nattu', 'Poovinu Puthiya Poonthennal' and 'Ente Mamaattikkuttiyammakku'. The last Malayalam film he gave the music for was the Mammootty-starrer 'No. 1 Snehatheeram Bangalore North' in 1995.
Today, Amaldev has his own band, Rock of Ages, and does stage shows, besides teaching music at a leading private school here.
'I head the troupe, which consists of 24 people and we are into rock music and I enjoy it,' Amaldev said.
And will he ever return to the Malayalam film industry?
'Why not, but will it happen? In case it happens, I will be selective and will do it for films that have a human-interest element. Blessy is one director I would like to work with,' he said.
Echoing the same, Mammootty, who featured in the 'No.1 Snehatheeram Bangalore North', Amaldev's last film as composer, said: 'Certainly his songs were good. May be Fazil, who was the director who introduced him to films, can give him a second homecoming to Malayalam films. It would be good.'