Voice for all seasons
Keerthi Pasquel strums his way to 34 years in music:
Keerthi Pasquel has been described by enthusiasts as ‘the velvet
voice balladeer’. The epithet amply fits him as he is a singer and a
musician who pursues lilting lyrics and melodious tunes as the hall mark
of his success, not swaying to short-lived popular dictates and trends
Keerthi entered the local music scene in 1976 as a guitarist in the
band Galaxies in Kandy, led by Stanley Peiris. His elder brother
Pathmasiri Pasquel helped him to become a guitarist and tablist Premnath
Kodituwakku helped him to become a singer.
Cassettes and CDs
- Neela Ahase
- Nil Upuli
- Shantha Reye
- Kirthi Gee
- Sanda Latha
- Tharu Dahasak
- Rasata Rasa
- Wasanthaye Gee
Neela Ahase Senda Wala, was his first song which was released in
early eighties. Hemasiri Halpita penned the song with music by Lawrence
Fernando. It was catchy and appealing and Keerthi soon developed an
increasing gathering of fans.
With songs Sandalatha, Ran Taru Paya, Nil Upuli, Oba Ma Hamuwu and
Sinhala Raja Kale, Keerthi proved his mettle to become a pop singer and
he became immensely popular among music lovers.
In 1988, he began a one-man-concert by the name Keerthi Gee. In the
span of years until 2000, more than 100 song concerts were held and then
Keerthi went to New Zealand. Keerthi Gee recommenced with renewed vigour
when he returned to Sri Lanka after four years.
The song Kandula Ithin Sama Veyan was another landmark in the singing
career of Keerthi. Its lyrics were composed by Lakmali Kariyawasam while
music was provided by Suresh de Silva. Kandula stayed at the top slot of
Rasa Risi Gee chart show of Sirasa TV for over six weeks.
Kavikariye Sindu Kiyana Lande was another song that became an instant
“I don’t compose songs to earn money,” Keerthi has said. “I live in
the song and try to infuse life to its feelings. I do not regret if I
don’t produce a fast selling cassette. I like to go among my fans in a
Sivu Pethi Kusuma
Pasquel, the popular vocalist and musician commemorates 30 years
in the music industry as a singer. To celebrate the occasion, he
will be releasing four new songs with high quality visuals for
telecast by local television channels.
The songs are Bakini Gahe, Manamaala Hendewa, Galaa Yaavi and
Hada Maage which is a duet with Nirosha Virajini. Lyrics of
Bakini Gahe, a continuation of the song Kandula, is by Lakmali
Kariyawasam. Music direction is by Mahinda Bandara and visuals
are directed by Shantha Bandara. The model is Nadeesha Hemamali.
Lyrics of Hada Maage are by Anura Maagalage. Music Direction is
by Keerthi’s son, Kasun Pasquel. Visuals are directed by
Lyrics of Manamaala Hendewa is by Upali Bandara Weerasekera.
Music is directed by Sarath de Alwis. Visuals are directed by
Indika Samarakoon. Lyrics of Gala Yaavi is by Chandraratne
Mapitigama. Music is directed by Dinesh Subasinghe and visuals
are directed by Indika Samarakoon.
Keerthi has sung over 300 songs. He has been a playback singer for
films and teledramas. His guitar has strummed for over 10,000 song
recordings. Songs for
Hada Maage with Nirosha
Bakini Gahe in a visual with Nadeesha
Keerthi’s concerts have been composed by lyricists Dr. Ajantha
Ranasinghe, Hemasiri Halpita, Sunil Sarath Perera, Saman Chandranath
Weerasinghe, Stanley Peiris, Donald Ivan, Chandradasa Fernando, Mahinda
K. Premasiri, Father Linus Mendis and Upala Dhanawalavitana. He has
captured audiences in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Doha
Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Italy,
France, the UK, Canada and the USA at over 100 song concerts.
He also played main roles in teledramas Charu Latha, Gawwen Gawwa and
Zara. After coming back from New Zealand, he formed his own band
Keerthi is the founder of the Nugegoda school ‘Pasquel Sound of
Music’ in 2006. Designed to teach western music, it does voice training
and teaches instrumental music to those who would like to be
professionals in today’s music scene. Harsha Makalande and Chandrasena
Hettiarachchi are among the well known music figures who teach at this
school with Keerthi.
“The younger generation pays a lot of attention to music bands, “
Keerthi is quoted as saying. “But opportunities for them to learn about
real western music are rare. When we began, we did not have people to
impart knowledge to us and I do not want our younger generation to face
that same setback.”
The school teaches singing for pleasure, pop music with piano
techniques, principles of lead, bass and rhythm guitars, rock, jazz,
blues, key board techniques and programming, acoustics, electronic
octopad and tabla. It bridges the gulf between examinations-based music
education and practical approach to music with theoretical knowledge.
This school launched a CD named Tharu Wessak, promoting the talents
of 17 of Keerthi’s students.
Keerthi won an International Award from the World Science Council in
Japan in 1996 for his oustanding contribution to music after competing
with musicians of repute from 13 countries.
Keerthi usually dedicates his concerts to a worthy cause. A man of
many facets, he has been to the Welikada Prison to teach inmates of
guitar playing. Kandula musical solo too has been held inside this
prison. Keerthi also conducts music lessons for intellectually impaired
children. He lends a hand to upcoming artistes and new lyricists.
Keerthi is married with three daughters and one son.