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Staying True To One’s Roots

Staying True To One’s Roots

Representing the best of both worlds Raini Charuka Goonatillake’s journey of 10 years can be termed a meteoric rise. Melodies features Goonatillake whose good breeding and talent ensures a memorable and impressive career in music.

The daughter of Rookantha and Chandralekha, Goonatillake no doubt owes her success due to their influence and because she is goal oriented.

“First and foremost I must say that I am so very and glad that God chose me to be a daughter of Rookantha and Chandralekha. I try to protect their image at all times regardless of whether it’s related to music or something other. It’s something I’ve been very conscious of since I was a child. That’s behavior wise. Musically, I try my best, but I don’t think I can ever step up to my father’s standard.

I attribute my success to both my parents Rookantha, Chandralekha and now my husband Akila as well. I couldn’t imagine a career without them. Becoming a singer happened in a blink of an eye because of successful parents and right now, Artiste management is done by my husband Akila. He truly has made my life so much easier! And the best part is, I don’t have to pay him,” explained Goonatillake.

The time she spent in America certainly had a positive impact upon her life. Those 15 years opened her up to the culture, behavior, art and music.

“I was able to see and hear how freely they created their music and how they loved each creation from deep within. That influence made such a positive impact in my life. I learnt that you cannot do something unless you truly love it. Therefore, when it comes to recording a single, (which are composed by other musicians) if I do not have a liking to the song, I reject it. When I do, I make sure I put out the best product to the best of my ability and America has made me a more easy going artiste, a less tense and a much more grounded person,” said Goonatillake.

Goonatillake has had a promising career so far. Her first single ‘Neela Kandu’ was released October 2009. She was introduced to the industry with that first single.

“The song really went places and I was blessed to have two more hits enter the charts here which escalated my artistry. They were Tharumini (2010) & Mathakada Handaawe (2011) from the movie Sinhawalokanaya. And it was a time where people in Sri Lanka wanted to see what I really looked and sounded like in person.

“I like to believe it was a pinnacle I hit during those few years and usually, the Artiste is present in the country and is able to promote the single(s) while performing at concerts. For me it was a completely different scenario. I was popular, but I wasn’t around to be heard or seen. It was super difficult for me to hold down the fans being all the way in America. Social media really came in handy,” added Goonatillake.

Goonatillake’s biggest message is that there is no right and wrong in music. Music is notes we put together to express an emotion. Something we feel in our bones and what one feels deep within, may not be for someone else. Music isn’t complicated. It’s an art we live and breathe universally.

“Even though I am fluent in speaking, reading and writing in Sinhala, I do not come up with Sinhala lyrics, I have no idea how to write a song in Sinhala but I do write in English which is yet to be recorded. I just honestly don’t think too deep. I close my eyes and start rhyming.

Being a daughter of two different musicians and living in America has definitely put together quite a few flavours in me. I have a bit of my dad who’s much more modern in his music and my mom who’s more of an oriental singer and then America’s put an accent in my tongue,” pointed out Goonatillake.

Among the artistes she admires are MJ, Bruno Mars, Alicia Keys, Beyoncé , Norah Jones, The Beatles. Locally she admires her parents, Milton Mallawarachchi, The Gypsies, Daddy, Sujatha Attanayake, Nirosha Virajini, Nelu Adhikari and many more. I admire how individualized they are. I appreciate it, says Goonatillake

She believes in staying true to herself and to her music. Success will happen in your own time and way says Goonatillake.

“With the reality shows we have today and social media, it’s easier to become known, than before but it’s difficult to keep it up. Even for me, the hard part is to sustain it. Next year, 2019 marks 10 years for me! And I am quite proud of myself for being able to do so. So try hard, be calm, don’t hurry yourselves to reach the pinnacle. It will happen in its own way and time.

Be honest with yourself with integrity. Create sharp goals and have that courage which leads to leadership. What makes you a leader is when you reach the top not alone, but by raising your peers to the top with you. It’s not a ride you go on by yourself. Leaders lead the way and everyone else helps them reach their goals as well,” states Goonatillake

She is currently working on her Debut Album and has released around 10 singles so far, apart from the many Drama/Movie/Jingles and Brand Songs she has done.

“I would like to thank all my fans and foes for encouraging me and for the support throughout my career. I couldn’t do this without you all. Thanks so much as always,” said Goonatillake

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