SANKETHA: A COMBO OF MUSICAL EXCELLENCE

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When Sanka Dineth paired with the incomparable Dr. Victor Ratnayaka in their song, Sithin Yana Aya the world stood still. Having landed from a different galaxy I was one who was clueless of the existence of Sanka Dineth. One sweet day, the song sung with Victor hit me out of nowhere and the search engines matched the voice and face. What a delight it was to see more of him as a judge in The Voice competition. While you only get to hear the voice of a singer when listening to a song, being a coach in a competition exposes one to a different level. That was where the unraveling happened. Searching began.

Call Sanka Dineth an overnight phenomenon if you want. But the beauty of it is that he remains phenomenal every night. Reaching the final 12, out of 51,000 contestants who competed at Sirasa Super Star in 2007, to be eliminated as the sixth, one would think that his dreams were blurred. But not in the case of Sanka Dineth. His love, his passion and his talent for music were such that he confronted the challenge. “I knew I had to take a chance as a singer.

I recognised knowledge is everything. If you want to continue in the field, if you want to walk steadily, if you want to thrive, the only safe ground to stand on is knowledge-knowledge in music. Talent would open us doors but to be able to survive and thrive in that arena, we need more. That is where one has to capture the crucial, essential aspects of music. You must learn to find the depth of what you do. That is exactly what I did,” spoke Sanka Dineth, with a deep understanding of his mission. His commitment and passion are out of the world.   

If you ask someone from the generation before us, some may say there was a time in this country where Lankans recognised two iconic people using mere initials. One was Ven. Ariyadhamma’s preachings and the next was Victor Rathnayake’s ‘Sa”. I was told so by my uncle some long years ago. I could not understand much. But what he meant to say was the special awakening both these people could impose on the average Sri Lankan. Those must have been the good-old-days. Victor Ratnayaka’s music, voice and his impact was iconic to many generations of Lankans. Even today, the voice resounds, lingers. Then in the new Super Star generation, every fortnight we hear different voices that pop out and breathe their last in no time. Among such singers is the glistening star, Sanka Dineth. Today, he reigns solidly in the hearts of his fans. 

One cannot call this an unlikely combination of stars. If you have heard the ever famous Sithin Yana Aya Athin Alla, you would need no introduction. If you have not, I suggest you listen to the song and then get back to the article. The same Victor Rathnayake and Sanka Dineth are waiting to go on stage together. Going by the talent as well as the professionalism of the two artists, we have little doubt that they would create a turning point in the history of Lankan music. Speaking to us, Sanka Dineth recalled the start of his journey as a reality show star. “As a singer, I took a chance. I knew what I should do, to not die like a shooting star. I soon recognised that knowledge is everything. If I were to continue this journey, I had to make some sound decisions,” Sanka Dineth said. 

“First I knew this is all about capturing the crucial and essential things in the journey. I had to find the depth. After going that far in the competition, I went to a well-equipped studio in Panadura in 2008 and I was instantly moved. In the heart of hearts I felt this is the place to start as a musician. Mind you, not as a singer. I wanted to be a musician,” he added. Every year as a bunch of singers get chosen, eliminated on the way only to die a natural death did not appeal to him.

After the competition, Sanka Dineth decides to take his future into his hands. That is where he started studying music at length. He gets recognised by Thisara Imbulana and is chosen to direct music for Imbulana’s movie Nino Live. Had the movie did not get delayed, he would have been the youngest music director to be awarded. 

Though unknown to many, Sanka Dineth furthered his studies by taking up Bhathkande music exams. He is living proof of his firm belief that perfection comes only in hard work and knowledge. Not many of us know that Sanka Dineth was the person to compile the Applied Music Syllabus for National Youth Council in 2014. If we call him a success, Sanka feels the reason for his stardom is nothing but his own compositions. Who knows you better than yourself? He aces his own compositions.

At his studio, he feels comfortable and secure and he hits it right and perfectly. He finds his serenity, working in his studio, dealing with this music becoming one with his soul. Sanka Dineth does not rest in assurance. Every day is a quest to strengthen his musical knowledge. Whether it is Sonu Nigaam or Aditya Narayan, he is open to all kinds of divine voices and music. Slowly he observes, practices and delivers. What a delightful evening 24 September would be, at the BMICH. Dr. Victor Ratnayaka and Sanka Dineth are sure to lull the heavens and earth. I would not miss it. Will you?   

By Priyangwada Perera