Columnists,Shavinya Illankoon,Top Story l by Shavinya Illankoon l 2 Nov 2020     - 156

Lankan Plug: with Spike


In this month’s ‘Lankan Plug’ edition, we’ve got some pretty dope new music coming your way. Spike, a Lankan-made Urban and Hip-Hop artist, released his Official Music Video for one of his most celebrated songs ‘I Wonder’ just last month! 

Being in the industry for over 20 years, Spike seemed to have come a very long way since his first appearance- "My first recording session as an original artist was back in 2003". His debut single was a Sinhala song named "Mithuriye" which he recorded right after finishing college! This single was recorded thrice in three recording studios before the final release. Spike went on to record the official version of this number later on at his record label SPIKEuniverse | Records in 2006.

Back in 2003, in the beginning of his calling, he was a part of a Hip-Hop troupe named "Retallion Crew", together with J-Nil, Nishadha Vithanage, and Danushka Othnapitiya. They had the privilege of performing at 'Winter Flames 2003'. This was Spike's first commercial show as an artist!

As mentioned earlier, Spike mainly focuses on Urban and Hip-Hop genres. He told us that his music contains both old-school and new-school vibes; "I love to experiment and produce different genres to develop my versatility". In his early days, he was mostly influenced by Pop music which then diverted more towards Rock, Hip-Hop, R&B, Electronic, and Urban melodies.  

Let’s talk about the big news he has for us; Spike's brand new music video 'I Wonder' happens to be the first-ever Sci-fi music video made in Sri Lanka on an intergalactic storyline. He put out the audiotrack two years ago. The response from fans has potentially encouraged him to take a step further and contribute to his musicwork visually. 'I Wonder' was produced by Hary Nair, who is currently based in Chennai, India, and is well-known for composing beats for Bollywood & Kollywood movies. This song was written and composed by Spike himself, just a few years before meeting up with Hary. "We decided to work on a collaboration and started right away" the singer explained. "We worked on the project in my home studio back in Trivandrum, India, where I was living from 2013 to 2016". 

Pasan Liyanage at Redfox Records had mixed this creation while DJ Misjah at 24 Mastering in the Netherlands mastered this record. After launching this piece of work, it had been premiered worldwide on BBC Asian Network by Ashanti Omkar while being featured in the Kollywood movie "Lakshmi" in 2018, starring actors Prabhu Deva, Ditya Bhande, and Aishwarya Rajesh respectively.

The ‘outer-space’ music video was shot in August 2016 and Spike mentioned that it took 4 years to finish-up the project due to various hurdles he had to face during this tenure, especially amid post-production; "It's the most challenging project I've worked on so far, and it really helped me to push my boundaries to the next level". He told us how he got to be involved in the entire production process as he is a fully independent artist and therefore, is able to participate from start to finish at any given time. Although there were many difficulties he had to encounter, at the end of the day, Spike was ever-ready to strike back with continuous hard work and devotion! 

'I Wonder' made a tremendous impact on Spike's musical career as this debuted his first feature in a movie which added more credibility to his artist persona! "It paved the way for me to get a feature in the Telugu action-thriller 'Arjun Suravaram’ (2019) movie song 'Bang Bang'". Spike's single received an amazing amount of views on YouTube and he was able to obtain commendable feedback from a few veterans in the music industry as well. "BBC Asian, YES FM, and Island Pulse online radio play 'I Wonder,' and I appreciate their support in promoting the release" he stated.

Spike claimed to have been in the music industry for over two decades! We asked him to inculcate us with his fair-share of experiences and hardships he had to go through in his journey- “I consider myself to be a perfectionist, and it held me back from releasing most of my music for years” he mentioned. High quality production was definitely a key principle he abided by at all times as he believes that’s what helps an artist effectively compete on an international level. He told us that he has unreleased music in store from a decade ago which he was not very satisfied upon publishing. Tiresome efforts and the immense amount of time and money invested in projects were not paying off” and that is what led to the birth of SPIKEuniverse | Records -Disappointment hit him in such a way that it helped him pan out his thoughts and open up his own recording booth.

We’ve got some more great news to local listeners: ‘I Wonder’ is up on all distribution platforms such as YouTube, Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, Deezer, SoundCloud, Shazam etc for everyone to listen,enjoy and groove to. You can also find Spike’s other music releases under @Spikeuniverse and on his official website (spikeuniverse.com).

None of this would have been possible without Spike’s loving mother, brother AJ and late father for always believing in his passion. He cordially would like to give a massive shoutout to his bandmates Nalin Liyanage and Nishadha Vithanage (NZO) along with his closest friends - Thisara Kadupitiya, Deepal Pallegangoda and Ashley Nanayakkara, for their constant motivation and guidance to discover his inner person and inner artist!

Last but not least, this local talent has some solid words of wisdom to give out;

Stay true to yourself! Your art is who you are and never change how you want to express yourself. You are the artist, and it lies ONLY within you. No one can either see it or feel it except you.

If you want to become a great artist - Dream BIG, and never give up on your dream!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shavinya Illankoon

I am an independent solo artist that debuted last October. I write lyrics, make my own music and collaborate with fresh and talented producers. I focus on themes such as Mental Health and psychological aspects of people in order to provide a voice to them and to let them know that we're all in this together and they are not alone.

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