SE student presents album under own label

By Samantha Perera, Staff writer

The cover for “Ullam Thiranthen” really speaks to the eclectic mix of multi-cultural influences present in the album. Its style is described as “a mix of pop and Asian music... mostly with an Indian and Sri Lankan feel to it” by creator Nichalean Mahendrasingham.

Nichalean Mahendrasingham, an SE senior, released an album under his own label last fall, in collaboration with four other SE students. The album was officially released at the Markam Cricket Academy’s annual awards ceremony on Nov. 14 in Toronto, Canada.

According to Mahendrasingham, the album features a total of 13 artists. “The album is a mix of pop and Asian music,” said Mahendrasingham, “mostly with an Indian and Sri Lankan feel to it.”

The title of the album, “Ullam Thiranthen,” translates to “I open my heart” in Mahendrasingham’s native language, he said. It was produced and released under his label, Nicky’s Music Factory.

The four SE students featured on this album are Kristal Wharry, Jeremiah Light, Victor Orrostieta and Vincent De Paul.

Wharry, a junior majoring in communication with an emphasis in broadcasting, is featured in two songs, said Mahendrasingham.

Orrostieta has been one of his friends at SE and, “Victor’s and Jeremiah’s rap are very different from each other,” said Mahendrasingham. “It creates a greater diversity to the album.”

Light, both a member of the SE Corvettes and rock band “The Cavalier” is also featured on two songs.

“Working with Nicky has been an awesome opportunity,” said Light. “We get to bounce ideas off of each other that come from different sides of the world.”

Mahendrasingham, a singer, songwriter and composer is currently majoring in biotechnology and is an international student from Sri Lanka.

His high school cricket coach from Sri Lanka, Sashan Rajendram, sponsored the album. He now owns The Markam Cricket Academy in Canada.

“He has been a mentor to me and I’m so grateful to him,” said Mahendrasingham. “He gave me the opportunity to make my dream a reality.”

Of the total of 13 artists that collaborated with him on this album, Mahendrasingham stated that seven were Sri Lankan artists, including a Sri Lankan Shakthi Superstar winner.

This is the equivalent of an American Idol winner, said Mahendrasingham. The 13th artist was female vocalist Ophelia Xavier, an artist from Canada.

Mahendrasingham composed and produced the music with his friend, Shameel Julaibdeen, an award-winning Sri Lankan composer. Julaibdeen has written the music score for two Sri Lankan movies.

“He’s one of the best sound engineers and producers in Sri Lanka,” said Mahendrasingham, “we have the same vibes, the same understanding between each other.”

According to Mahendrasingham, it was a challenge and a rewarding experience to work with artists across the world.

“This was my very first album. There are four countries represented on this album,” said Mahendrasingham, “Vincent, also an international student like me, is from Cameroon.”

The greatest challenge, according to Mahendrasingham, was to keep in constant contact with the artists.

“When you’re on Skype talking about lyrics to somebody who is in a time zone 13 ½ hours away, it feels good because I feel I’m contributing to social globalization,” said Light.

“At the end of the day, whatever money we make won’t matter, what matters is that people from two different cultures get the opportunity to get together and make music that we both love,” he added.

“Ullam Thiranthen” has a total of 15 songs, including an intro at the beginning and an outro at the end of the album. “One song has two versions,” said Mahendrasingham, “the second version of the song is a remix.”

“We are currently working on the promotion of our album with correspondents in a U.K. music promotions company called Thamarai,” said Mahendrasingham.

The album is soon to be released for sale in the United Kingdom, Sri Lanka and worldwide.