Shaminda Jay recently launched his debut music album ‘Kelle’ at Park Premier, Excel World amidst a gathering of distinguished personalities in the industry and a bunch of colleagues from the advertising fraternity. A mini concert which was held subsequently to the launch was backed by ‘Highway’, a youth band managed by Derek Wikremenayake.
Initially, the master of ceremonies Radley Stephen provided a brief introduction about Sri Lankan Pop music and Shaminda’s contribution towards the sustenance of the style.
Then Shaminda went on to perform ‘Amma Kiwwa’ a Sinhala country song in the album which was penned and composed by him. Derek played for this song in his incomparable style making the toes of the audience tapping to this new rhythm which bore a genuine country and western feel.
As the guest of honor of the launch, Dr.Vijaya Corea expressed these views on Sri Lankan Pop music in his key note address. ‘Actually in the 60s I came across a very talented group of young musicians playing brilliantly at a party. Spontaneously I recognized their skill to create a new trend in the Sri Lankan Pop music scene. So I gave them all the support and promoted them via the English service of SLBC. The group was none other than the Moonstones led by Clarence Wijewardane, who later went on to become the king of Sri Lankan Pop. Today I am happy to tell you that a young musician has emerged in Shaminda Jay who shows signs of carrying this style forward towards the future.’
In the meantime, a finalist of Sri Lankan life competition Lahiru Warnakulasuriya and the shadow of Sunil Perera, Anura Palihawadane added colour to the occasion. Later Shaminda sang ‘Sandak Besa Giya’ as a tribute to Clarence after singing another couple of originals from his album.
During his address Dr.Corea had this also to say. ‘I’m delighted to see new songs composed like these in Sri Lankan pop by young musicians like Shaminda. As a person who was always happy to lend a helping hand to the upcoming pop musicians, I would like to assure you that this album will take you down memory lane to the 70s, the era in which we used to enjoy the unforgettable songs of stars like Clarence, Annesly, Anil Bharati and Indrani. Actually most of the songs in the album are simply enjoyable. I wish Shaminda every success in his musical voyage.’