Chandrasena Hettiarachchi is proficient in aesthetic magnificence – by Sunil Thenabadu
Chandrasena Hettiarachichi was not that educated but had innate talent for music was adamant to generate fantastic lyrics with the specific vocabulary as no reputed song writer from the song writers circle was willing to award him any lyrics, but ultimately his lyrics were in par with those of the renowned. He put up a valiant front tried to muster a façade of self-confidence.As he had inherited music from his parents which was flowing in his blood.The melodies too he was able to successfully form to coincide appropriately with his lyrics.He is perhaps the singer who has to his credit most songs compiled and sung for his own music melodies. Currently Chandrasekar composes songs for his daughter Lihini instead of begging for lyrics.
When one talks about song writing, talking about three basic components: lyrics, melody, and chords which Chandrasena does to precision.
Hettiarachchige Chandrasena , popularly known as Chandrasena Hettiarachchi, hails from a very rural village Garagoda in Yatiyantota.Is the third child in a family of six siblings, born to underprivileged parents, Mother Mary Nona worked as a labourer in a neighbouring rubber plantation while Father Hettiarachchige Gunawardena a carpenter cum mason had no permanent income.He was educated at Garagoda Sinhala Junior College.Owing to sheer poverty to meet ends meet to have bread on the table, after school Chandrasena went to work at Mahaweli Development Board in Bathalayaya.It was a tough labourer’s job had to cut down forests, roads and drains. It was a temporary job with the first salary he bought plastic items which he went from house to house to sell anticipating a profit to be utilized for domestic incidentals.
His Father and Mother were talented in singing which all siblings had inherited.The family had all got together every evening to have a sing song,the Father backed music with his Mandolin which he could play.Though Chandrasena could sing but did not know anything about melodies of songs, but has confessed he had music fever. Chandrasena had an ambition in becoming a singer as he adored popularity.He could sing when he was young had participated in musical shows and weddings.As he was very keen to sing even wanted to attend weddings to sing free, but his parents had discouraged as it was not a practice to attend a wedding sans an invitation.
Chandrasena Hettiarchchi had a huge worry as no lyrics writer was willing to give him lyrics of songs.Hence he was determined to create his own lyrics which he succeeded having sung most of his songs comprising his own lyrics.It should be stated that for of his songs sung to date he had made the melodies too.
Since child age, Chandrasena Hettiarachchi had participated in the singing competitions for the Sinhala New Year, Vesak and Poson where he was first in all these competitions. He In year 1979 he mailed a song in his own words “Jayabhumi Sri Lanka – Rakaganna Jaya Bhumi Lanka” for a singing competition. In 1979 Youth Awards, he sang the first song Jayabhumi Sri Lanka at the Kegalle Girls’ College. Hettiarachchi became the first from the Kegalle district and later competed in the All-Island competition becoming the first too.
In 1980, he joined with the youth choir which was first established by the National Youth Services Council previously well known as Bellwood Music Academy on September 1st. Hettiarachchi learned music under the music teachers Premadasa Mudunkotuwa and Sisira Kumara Marasinghe. His contemporaries of the choir consisted of Somasiri Medagedara, Marshall Janatha,Chandralekh Perera, Dhammika Karunaratne and Theja Damayanthi. Musicians Shirley Vaijayantha and Nihal Gamhewa were the lyricists. He sang the first duet Seetha Kandu Yaye with Chandralekha at the Batangala Training Center. His first recorded song was Lo Satha Hata Setha Sedu. But the first song that first popularized was Thavalam Api Yanawa, composed at the Bellwood Television Village. At Bellwood, he recorded two more songs; Sede Samayay Jeewithe and Yeheliyaka Se.] Meanwhile, the artists in the youth choir made a music cassette called “Yowun Gee 1” under the signature “Sangeetha Samagama”. Chandrasena had sung many popular songs such as Mal Mal Vile, Amma Jeewana, Oya Nisa Mage Sina, Kelesaka Keewath , Nawala Annasi,Tika Kalaka sitan,Amma Jeevana Uyan There,Manel Mala,Sellam Ge Palu wela,Sadun Kapuru,Apasu Yannata,Sudu Piruwatayai,Dase Kathawen,Amma,Seetha Kandu Yaye,Oya Hinda etc etc.
[X] Chandrasena is married to Mangalika duo has one son Gayana Madhuwantha 25years old who could not enter university but had studied various courses, possess his own production house while training to be on footsteps of Father could sing is planning to record solos a well as duets with Father and Sister.The duo has one daughter 23 years old Lihini Vihanga is already an accomplished vocalist who commenced a career with the song Irai Hadai. Then she sang the songs, Tharu Dilena Ambare and Man Gawa Thani Wechchi. Lihini had attended three schools. She was educated at the Sri Sangamitta Girls’ College, Colombo. After that she moved to Gothami Balika in Colombo from the grade six to eleven. Finally studied A/L at Visakha Vidyalaya, Colombo from where she entered the University of Jayewardenepura.
It is confessed by Chandrasena that the family lives in harmony with Mangalika shouldering the entire home chaos, cooking, taking the children for classes when Chandrasena was away at work at the NYSC.It was said in a recent interview that the four of them always go together as a cohesive unit which has been observed by many.It had been only during the Covid-19 lockdown periods that they have been able to spend time together.Chandrasena had confessed that during the Belwood days he had been thought painting, carpentry work which had helped him to paint the entire house, during the lockdown period.
Chandrasena Hettiarachchi is a fully fledged vocalist who had recorded all songs under the “Nilwala Ransilu” label, music genres are pop soul rhythm and blues Indian Classical Music.
On 20 September 2014, Chandrasena performed his solo concert ‘Senehase Gee – Oya Nisa’ was held at the Maharagama Youth Services Council Theatre to celebrate 35 years of celebrated singing career.
On 7 September 2018, the concert ‘Senehase Gee – Thawalama’ was held at 6.30 pm at the Maharagama Youth Services Council Theatre to celebrate 40 years of singing career. On 4 July 2020, he was honoured with the honorary title “Manawa Hithawadi Keerthi Sri Veeraputhra Deshabandu” by Dharma Shakthi Social Service Foundation.
Chandrasena with his grooming, by the complex emotional process which is very much a conscious procedure is also automatic when it comes to naturally talented singers . It is a combination of signals from the nervous system that help to produce intricate musical notes and interpretive decisions on whether to apply a particular technique in measuring up its comparative and expressive value, all these within split seconds. One of the imperative distinctiveness of applying comparative philosophy and vocal creativity is to discriminate one tradition of music, specific styles, and techniques from other traditions of music and their parallel styles, by not blending them all together. Chandrasena has trained himself to possess self-controlled breathing which is perhaps the most vital element in signing. He could effortlessly navigate over these constraints with supreme comfort to become the versatile singer he is.There is more to expect from him, as he is too greedy for music. All Sri Lankans should be very proud of him to have navigated and penetrated through all obstacles coming from a background that was not that optimistic and encouraging. It was nothing but determination, sacrifice, and perseverance enabled his path to stardom.