Remya strikes gold

The music begins with the slow notes of a piano. Her voice, all too familiar, comes into the song, easily merging. Remya Nambeesan can be seen looking at the lyrics on a phone and singing into the mike, very composed, very natural. It’s a new song for a new movie, Old is Gold. Remya has that strangely reassuring tone when she speaks too, a clarity about what to say, how, where, when. Seven years before, when Chappa Kurishu came out, it had been a different Remya. That’s when this writer had last interviewed her.

She was the young-and-chirping-away-cheerfully sort, a tad na´ve perhaps, but bold even then. In fact, she had suddenly been found bolder when, as an actor, Remya dared to be different. Till then, she was the quieter sidekick, a nice sister or a good friend. Remya got discovered all over again, got swept away into Tamil and Telugu. And in 2012, when Thattathin Marayathu, Ivan Megharoopan and Bachelor Party came, people found she could sing too.

Every year after that, Remya sang. This new one that the story began with is for the Malayalam film Old is Gold – Oru Poovithal composed by Jubair Muhammed. “I only choose songs that suit my voice,” she says in the same voice she sings. There’s no falsetto for Remya. She’s at ease now, with singing. There’s been many shows, she says, many concerts. She had launched a platform called Remya Nambeesan Encore when she did a cover version of a song Yavvana... from her movie Sathya. “I am bringing out another single on the same platform. I will be producing and singing it, but not composing. I am not quite there yet,” she says. She is already singing, dancing and acting – “I will be an artist,” she says.

The words are minimal now, and careful. She talks about her acting ventures in a couple of lines. There’s not been many in Malayalam these days. But she’s busy in Tamil. There is Natpuna Ennanu Theriyuma. There was also a cameo in Mercury. Another will be announced soon, a ‘South Indian project’ is all she could divulge now. “I am taking it slow now, no rush. I am comfortable with this and also think it luck that I could be around for such a span of years. And I think I am not forgotten in Malayalam. Even now, I am in Kozhikode for an inauguration. People don’t call you if they forgot you,” she says, surprisingly seriously.

Remya is shuttling between Kochi and Chennai these days, so she can’t be all that active in the Women in Cinema Collective. She says, “I am more a silent member now. But if there is an important activity, I will be there.”
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