by Asela Atukorala
( March 10, 2017, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) In this post I am sharing a song I love called ‘Api Kawruda’. This song comes from Sri Lanka and was a Sri Lankan hit by the band Wayo in 2012. However, it was written by a songwriter named Senaka Batagoda whose version remained unreleased until December 2015. While this song is in Sinhalese, it has a Classic Rock feel where I see similarities with the music of my two favourite singers Elton John & Bob Seger. It sounds like Elton John’s song ‘England & America’ from the Deluxe edition of his 2016 album “Wonderful Crazy Night”, with the biggest similarities being the melody and the piano. I also find it to sound like a Bob Seger song (more on that later). I am embedding the song from Senaka Batagoda’s YouTube Channel here, and the YouTube video is a slideshow so the readers can listen to the song as they read this post where I describe it and point out what makes this song special.
It opens with acoustic guitars and is then followed by piano played by Janath Kulathilake. The first verse starts off softly using a mix of acoustic guitar and piano. In the second half of the first verse, the song becomes faster. In the chorus, the piano gets louder and throughout the song it is melodic and gives energy. In the first instance of the chorus, the song is able to be both gentle and rocking at the same time with the piano giving a rock feel. Janath plays a great piano riff throughout the chorus that’s a big part of this song.
The second verse starts off similar to the first verse. About two minutes into the song in the middle of the second verse, we noticeably hear the organ (also played by Janath Kulathilake) which gives the song a real Bob Seger feel being reminiscent of the usage of the piano/organ combination in some Bob Seger songs. After this verse is concluded, electric guitars come in the chorus making the song rock more. Once the electric guitars come, we can see that this song has the Bob Seger sound of piano, acoustic guitar, electric guitar and organ that he has used in some of his songs. The electric guitars give a new dimension to the song and it’s good to hear the chorus done differently. When the chorus ends there is a great rocking guitar solo which is accompanied well by the piano. The final section of the song is the chorus once again followed by some good electric guitar parts that concludes the song.
I’m writing this post to give exposure to what I see as a great Sri Lankan song to the world. The song has energy, a catchy melody and rocks in a good way. I think Senaka’s voice sounds a bit similar to the Sri Lankan songwriter and performer Clarence Wijewardena. He sings the song with passion that’s part of its strength. I’d be interested to hear people’s thoughts on the song. I hope this song will grow in its reach connecting with people in all corners of the world. Thank you Senaka for writing a very special song.