The roots of music in Sri Lanka has five primary influences ancient folk NADEEKA GURUGE GUITARIST,COMPOSER, VOCALIST, AWARD WINNING PHENOMINAL MUSIC DIRECTOR  AT THE HELM OF FAME -by SunilThenabadu

The roots of music in Sri Lanka has five primary influences ancient folk NADEEKA GURUGE GUITARIST,COMPOSER, VOCALIST, AWARD WINNING PHENOMINAL MUSIC DIRECTOR  AT THE HELM OF FAME -by SunilThenabadu


Sunil ThenabaduThe roots of music in Sri Lanka has the primary  influences in ancient folk rituals. Hinduism religious traditions, Buddhist religious customs, the heritage of European colonisation, the antique and commercial of neighboring Indian philosophy precisely Kollywood and Bollywood cinema. The Portuguese were the first Europeans to arrive in Sri Lanka in the sixteenth century with their traditional music along with Africans to spread their own style of music called ‘baila”.The influence of both European and African traditions served to further diversify the musical roots of the contemporary Sri Lanka music. 

As opposed to European classical concert music, folk music was the music of the common people. Folk music was derived from the German word “volk”, which essentially means “ the people”. Folk music came to be used sarcastically to refer to the music of the uncultured class of people. This discriminates folk music from the traditionally European concert music. The glimpse of the rural world can be seen in the folk music of the villages. The music is are not only the medium of entertainment among the rural masses but also a reflection of the rural society. 

The contemporary folk music genre is defined as a primarily English genre utilizing traditional, acoustic instruments. Normally the topics involve the plight of the common people (folk).As the genre developed from the traditional folk music, the music came to be known more for its storytelling, regardless of instrumentation and musicality. 

Nadeeka Guruge the accomplished award-winning music director, composer, vocalist. guitarist,  competent in all round music, elected as an adjudicator in popular reality programs.The evolution of contemporary music had taken place as explained above.This was as Naddeka as a young musician had been researching on music in year 1999. Nadeeka had acquired skills in music through hereditary affiliations as both parents were musicians able to sing.Father as well as elder brother had possessed immense skills been very popular among students in all schools in Nuwara Eliya region where they had been dwelling for the major part of their lives. 

Nadeeka has had innate skill in music in addition to the inherited hereditary affiliations. Though there had been a music  environment his parents wanted him to study first.He had commenced to prolong his music interest only when in the advanced level classes. Elder brother had been a competent guitarist who  was a person who never wished to teach him to grip a guitar .One day he had said he will teach Nadeeka.After shown him the C major note one day Nadeeka had endeavored on his own to learn playing the guitar but was handicapped as he was devoid of a guitar. It was his mother who had bought the first guitar for him a bit later.While in school has had developed a craze for musician Clarence Wijewardena who had received a reply to a fan letter he had sent to child hood hero.Nadeeka had been adamant to meet him personally which he had succeeded in year 1995 when he had travelled all the way from Nuwara Eliya to meet legendary Clarence in Thalawathugoda area to fulfil his dream. 

After his advanced level when he was 19 years old by a sheer quirk, he has got the unique opportunity to join legendary musician Dr Premasari Khemadasa music orchestra for about a year to him had been a blessing in disguise. Nadeeka has got the opportunity to perform as a ‘bass singer’, which enabled him to learn ranges needed for singing. The tenure at the Khemadasa music academy had helped Nadeeka immensely to enhance his limited music knowledge. Nadeeka had admitted that he was no fortunate as it was Dr Khemadasa who revolutionized music in our recent era which had helped him to grasp a lot of knowledge to his future music career.  Later on Nadeeka had been trained under the legendary Ivor Dennis to learn folk music extensively which Nadeeka had quipped that the stint had been very useful to enhance his knowledge which was then hitherto was at low ebb. By this time Nadeeka had developed his skills in playing the guitar had sung always accompanied with his chords of the guitar. Initially he had on his own had been successful in playing the television tune for ‘vision on” by learning by himself proving his possessed talent in abundance. 

The base for Nadeeka future career was cemented well when he authored a book in music at a tender age of twenty-two years. The first serious musical work was “ Sanyugama” a folk and applied music production with Marcello Li a Bolivian folk musician in year 1999. Soon Nadeeka became competent guitarist and vocalist possessed the muscle to organise concerts titled “Nostal Guitar Electrica” in 2015 later ‘Echo in the Mountains’.Since then Nadeeka had been seriously working in movies, tele dramas ,stage dramas ,songs and advertising.Some films if named were “Sulanga Enu Pinisa,Sankara,Aba,Karma, Ira Handa Yata,Nikini Vessa,Kuveni,Cinderella,Gamani,Maharaja Gemunu etc between the years 2005 to 2011 with success. 

Nadeeka had contributed in music to a number of stage dramas like Mal Nellanna Be, Gewan Naththan Gahannada,Master Builder,Sanda Langa Maranaya,Ratnawali etc between the years 1997 to year 2006 maturing over the decade .Nadeeka had over the years been a sought after musician had contributed the musical score to Teledramas Sinidu Piyapath,Aga Pipi Mal,Ranga Soba,Rasthiyadukaraya,Kampitha Wil,Ahi Pillamak,Sihina AranEnna, Dhuli Pintharu etc to name a few. 

Nadeeka Guruge had been nominated for a number of awards at numerous award ceremonies. Among awards won were Actor in Karma in year 2012, also in Maharaja Gemunu.As crew member in music director Sankara 2007,Aba 2008, Gamani 2011,Vijaya Kuweni 2012,Karma 2012,Nikini Wessa 2013, Patibana 2016, Swaroopa 2017,.Nadeeka ,Ginnen Upan Seethala 2019 

Nadeeka was awarded at the first Derana Film awards for background music in year 2012.Won also for best background music at first Hiru Golden film awards in 2014, won for best music director at 33rd Sarasaviya awards in 2016. 

When describing Nadeeka’s feat on top drawer are his solo songs which are many. Some of them are titled Ahasa Gugura,Kandulu Irthuwa, Rasthiyadukaraya ,Romeo, Ala Wadana Ruwa,Neela Nethu Yuga,Hangum Gangum Hangum,Ira Wata Yana,Sidu Pathule Sangawee,I am free, Ganga Asabada,Me Ira Handa Yatadi,Veronika etc some are with videos while many others could be heard on MP3, also on, 

Unlike most musicians Nadeeka is highly skilled who researchers on sounds is a person who is well versed by reading many books and constant practice.He follows singers of the calibre and styles of WD Amaradeva, Clarence Wijewardena, Amarasiri Peiris,TM Jayaratne,Nanda Malini.Ivor Deniss.The words of songs of these legendary artistes are etched firmly in his memory as such he sang songs by memory of these artistes when he performed in “Ma Nowena Mama”. 

As many are well aware Nadeeka Guruge is a key judge at many Derana Dream Star contests.His comments and advise as an adjudicator many await to hear as they are very precise.He is well known to possess a high sense of humour possessing a pleasing personality. 

His wife is attached to our Foreign Service officially is equipped to proceed on stints to many foreign countries.The duo are blessed with two daughters who are intelligent like the parents. 

In the contents of the above Nadeeka Guruge possesses skills and qualities with a good singing voice ,self-confidence, love for music, commitment, patience ,determination ,discipline possessing the ability to deal with criticism and rejection. With these characteristics and considering the past achievements Nadeeka has a clear path to continue in the same vein for the benefit of music in Sri Lanka 

Sunil Thenabadu in Brisbane

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