Following his dream

By Adilah Ismail, Pic by Athula Devapriya

Sajjad Hassan is a trilingual artist hailing from Kandy, whose music is a fusion of the best of both worlds. Riding high on the success of his latest single “Kadaliye” and with an album to be released next year, this young singer is set to make his mark in the local music scene.

You started singing as a child, took a break to continue your studies and then came back again. Why did you decide to sing again?

I’m still studying. Music is one of my careers. I was working at HSBC previously, but I resigned to continue my studies in banking and finance as well as my music.

Do you want to pursue a career as a singer or as banker?

Currently I go as a singer and music producer. Once I finish my studies, I’ll think about it. Music is a passion which I’ve had since I was a child. It’ll be with me till I die.

What is your recent song “Kadaliye” about?

“Kadaliye” is about fake love. It was an idea which came about when I was schooling.

The melody was also composed when I was in school and Nilar N. Cassim worked on the lyrics of the song.

"Kadaliye” basically put me on a different level in the local music scene. It has topped all the local charts, like Rasa Risi Gee and Derana Top 10.

What do you feel about the music scene in Sri Lanka?

We’ve seen many artists coming into the scene but dying away quickly. What I feel is that if an artist wants to come into the music scene, his objective should be to do something fruitful to the music industry. If you do something good, people will accept it.

My theory is basically to do the best I can. I do the best possible in audio and video production. If people accept it, I’m happy. If they don’t – well, I’ll go along and do something better.

The music industry is very competitive. The industry is relatively small but with a lot of players. How do you plan on standing out from all the other artists?

That solely comes from my creations. I came to the music industry after a 6 year hiatus. My earlier one was ‘Mata kiyanna nam epa’ and it proved to be a success story. “Mata Kiyanna Nam Epa” and “Kadaliye,” are completely different to each other.

And when you go through my creations you can see the simplicity in words and the use of catchy phrases. The melody is rich and touches the heart, and I think that’s the way I have been able to be different from other artists. Also the “Kadaliye” success story shows it all.

Did you always want to be a musician even as a child?

When I was small, I dreamed about being a doctor actually.

From doctor to musician - That’s quite a leap isn’t it?

Yes, it has taken a different turn. I worked at a bank previously while pursuing my studies, so basically I’ll be in the corporate sector as well in the future.

I’m planning on launching studio SH, an audio production firm. Name three things about you that people don’t know. I’m emotional and I get hurt quickly, I like to be around family and relatives and I’m committed to accomplish any specific task and keep up my promises.

And what are your future plans?

I plan on releasing my album and I’m currently working on a new track called “Gayala Wayala.” We’re hoping to release it in either November or December. It talks about youth, living life and enjoying every moment.

And I’m also planning a remake of “Mata Kiyanna Nam Epa.” It will be completely different to the previous one. The English lyrics are by Jaliya Wijewardene, Sinhala lyrics by Nilar. N. Cassim and is produced by Ranga Dassanayake.

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