The year 2021 is known for two landmark events in the Sri Lankan entertainment industry. The number one event was the departure of Sunil Perera, the nation’s larger-than-life music legend. The second event was Yohani Diloka De Silva’s ascend to the international platform with the song මැණිකේ මගේ හිතේ (translates to “babe in my mind”) by Dulanja Alwis also known as “Dulan ARX”. becoming a hit around the world. The song reached 133 million views on YouTube in less than 3 months and played back 12,684,307 times on Spotify. The overall success of the song is phenomenal it’s difficult to elaborate on it in a single writing. Nevertheless, today I want to share with you three thoughts on what I assume led to Yohani’s success. [Photo: Yohani while performing live in a concert held long before the Pandemic. Credit: Pettah Effect]
Together Everyone Achieves More
A meme featuring Yohani that appeared on social media has this caption. “රැජිණක් වීමට ගැහැණියකට රජෙක් අවශ්ය නැත” (a woman doesn’t need a king to become a queen). I strongly agree. After all, Dulanja Alwis is a composer, Satheeshan Rathnayaka is a singer and Chamath Sangeeth is a producer. None of them are kings, (pun intended). My point is the song was a team effort. It wasn’t a one-man show or a woman for that matter.
Yohani will not have ascended to the international limelight if not for Dulanja the composer. The song will not have ascended to the international limelight if not for the singer. Here’s the bottom line. Regardless of our potential and talents, we can’t rise above average if we love to be “Lone Rangers”. Join forces with other like-minded “Tontos” and we ignite each other’s potential. The bottom line is Together Everyone Achieves More (T.E.A.M)
Make Your Bed among the Eagles
According to Wikipedia, Yohani started her music career as a YouTuber. It took centre stage upon her return to Sri Lanka in March 2019 when she joined Pettah effect, a record label that was co-founded by Dilanjan Seneviratne, and had much young talent running the show. She has performed with Bathiya Jayakody and Santhush Weeraman also known as BNS the Sri Lankan pop duo.
People often blame the system for their failures. University graduates for example can be seen blaming the system for unemployment. Yohani faced many challenges in her music career but instead of complaining, she decided to join other like-minded artists. Some people credit luck for her success but luck has nothing to do with it. The bottom line is don’t walk with ducks if you want to soar. Make your bed among the eagles instead.
Parental Support is Indispensable
In Sri Lanka where most parents discourage their children from pursuing a full-time career in music Yohani’s parents were not so. Yohani received the full support of her mother who recognized her talent in music and encouraged her to pursue it at a young age. It was despite the excellent academic credentials that could have landed her in a much more prestigious well-paying career either in Logistics or Accounting. Most probably in an offshore company.
Parents can make or break a person’s future. Yohani’s parents were not pleased with her decision to return to Sri Lanka, at least initially. With Yohani’s impressive academic credentials she could have landed a well-paying career after all. However, I doubt she will be as satisfied as she is now. Either way, Sri Lanka and the world would have lost a talented musician. So, the bottom line is parental support is indispensable in defining a child’s future.
I must confess. I didn’t enjoy the song. At least not as much as I enjoy “මැණිකේ ඔබේ සිනාවේ” (translates to “babe in your smile). Nevertheless, just because the song doesn’t meet my personal preference doesn’t mean the artist is to be blamed or others shouldn’t celebrate her. Unfortunately, while most of Sri Lankans applauded Yohani’s efforts and shared the joy of her accomplishments a minority of them can be seen condemning and ridiculing her on social media.
We often rattle on social media about upholding local talent and the need to be united as an ethnic group or even a nation. By condemning Yohani on social media however those individuals have proved to the entire world that we are a nation of hypocrites. We don’t tolerate another person’s welfare or well-being. Especially if that person is a woman. While congratulating Yohani and the team for their success I have just one piece of advice for those losers condemning our own on social media. Get a job! Get a life!
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