Living on the edge with Mario | Daily News

Living on the edge with Mario


It’s always a pleasure to have a chit chat with talented individuals, and interesting to see their perspective of life. I should say that Mario Ananda is one such young man. He is way more intelligent and mature than his age, and he’s also a multi-talented individual – a music director, vocalist, lyricist, all included in one, while also running a production company along with his sister Dulanjali, who continuously tends to be main pillar behind the whole process.

Being rather low key for some time, he again came into the spotlight by releasing the National Olympic Committee song and the choreography, music, and visuals are proof for its instant success – all created in the mind of our guest today – and he’s none other than Mario Ananda, beloved son of the late Gration Ananda, who followed his father’s legacy in pursuing with music.




Q: The theme song of the National Olympic Committee was directed by you and sung in all three languages.


I have been working on western originals for the last decade and was trying my level best to change the mind of Sri Lanka, mostly children, because there was a major secret I was able to figure out back in the days. I’m sure everyone agrees with the fact that Sri Lanka never offers the true place for true potential, well it has a dark background to it.

Sri Lankans are highly gifted compared to Europeans. I came up with a concept to jump start Sri Lanka’s next generation, that is the under 15 categories, who have no dreams yet have the potential to dream and think differently, because their minds are not yet filled with fear or doubt. This project started as ‘Living on the edge’.

A sports song, a new addiction for children for sports, instead of drugs and alcohol. I find them and promote them. Make them swear that they will not touch drugs or alcohol but bring a gold medal to Sri Lanka, even if they don’t it doesn’t matter. Trying to achieve it will save them from suicidal attempts. The National Olympic Committee came for the launch of Living on the edge, saw this video and heard the story about all the children who were participating in swimming with me, and they were inspired by it. So, Maxwell De Silva the Secretary General of the NOC and media head of NOC Ram Pathiravithana gave me the full authority of creating a song to shake the mindset of children, and put them all into action of changing Sri Lanka, and its 3rd world country mentality.


Q: Apart from entering the music industry, what was your goal, while a student at St. Joseph’s college?


A: Public performance was number one for me always, because I have so much energy that I need to pass through to the crowd, to get love and admiration in return. But unfortunately, Sri Lanka never gave me the space for it. So, I broke rules, quit music and started building a playground for myself, where I get to do what I always wanted to. That’s when I kept on getting international events to make theme songs like Miss Sri Lanka in Europe, ACI Financial congress and finally leading me to the National Olympic Committee theme song.


Q: In pursuing your music career, how was the support from your family and school?


I can never forget my Father Gration Ananda. He always took me for film music recordings, to all of his events to see him singing and engaging in all good and bad situations in the field of music and films.

My mother sacrificed her happiness from day one to make sure that my sister and I grew up safe. The backbone we have in speaking the truth, regardless if the world would kill us or not, came truly from our Mother. Thaththi taught us to dream big and do impossible things without money or political power, but the Almighty God’s power of love.

With his father, Gration Ananda

My sister Dulanjali Ananda is a news anchor of Channel Eye, the National Television. Nobody knows that she’s the true gladiator who always fights for me in the field of music to get my spotlight. Most of the beautiful sceneries you see in the video or rather the locations we got was with the help of my sister Dulanjali. She went through a lot of pain and sadness till she got everything essential for the visual in time, for a high quality Production. She is the CEO of Mario Ananda Productions and the Assistant director of the Visual.


Q: What can you recall about your father in his guidance to make you become the person you are today?


Thaththi had a lot of Faith in me. He spoke out loud about my talent. I regret that I mostly wasted time not appreciating his effort of being a great father more than anything. When he saw my talent, he gave a proper indication that I have a good future in it and he also said “Be humble, keep your head down, when the right time comes you will shine like the sun”. Whenever I criticized him for not providing us a luxurious life or anything materialistic like other parents provide for their children he said, “Putha not today but someday you will understand Me, and My life.” And I do understand not only my father but my mother as well.

In this world the hardest thing to do is being a good parent for your child till death.

My father and my mother did that.


Q: What are your thoughts on the present pandemic situation in the country, and how it has affected the music and entertainment industry in general?


In 2019 I had a plan to quit music and go to Jaffna to teach children by 2020 the news was out that Sri Lanka had to shut down due to Covid. But by the time I was outstation roaming around Sri Lanka living in villages like Buttala in Monaragala, teaching village children. I was so happy that I took the decision to quit music before the pandemic hit SL, if it was the case I would have just panicked just like the rest of the country. But life was very smooth and calm for me out there on top of the mountains and beautiful water falls.

My message to Sri Lankans is to grow in mind, body and spirit at this moment. It’s a time of awakening for a new world. Keeping your sword under the bed isn’t going to make any change. If you keep sharpening it and practicing with it, you will be ready for war when it comes. The new world is not made out of money fame or authority, it’s purely built with personality. Whatever happens your personality shouldn’t change. Death has always been there since dawn. It’s nothing new, the only difference is that it’s frequent. Don’t jump the gun by panicking. Instead, be wise, don’t fill your minds with all the news that scares you especially in Sri Lanka. Read “Thripitakaya” “Pansiyapanas Jathakaya” The Holy Kuran and The Holy Bible, it will give you a much clear picture of what’s happening around the world, than all the news put together.


Q: With this situation going on, how long do you think it will take the music industry to make a good comeback?


There is no need for a comeback. Even now the music and film industry can function well. Pandemic or not there was a downward journey in Film and Music in Sri Lanka. The cinemas were never filled with spectators for Sinhala Movies. The media continuously played songs where men cry like 12-year-old girls.

I think it’s a good time to Redefine Music and Film making in Sri Lanka. Give opportunity for talent, regardless of the political contacts the artists have with the Government or the opposition. Also kindly remember there are Humble yet respectful artists who don’t support any politics in Sri Lanka. Those people have no platform, God knows how they survive. That equality in the industry must be reestablished in Sri Lanka.

With his family during childhood


Q: How did you get the talent of becoming a lyricist?


My sister Dulanjali is the one who manages all the work with regard to Mario Ananda productions. We work for the newly born child, the next generation and we believe that the work we produce will be admired by them in the future, not now. Because Sri Lanka isn’t ready to think out of the box yet or grasp the idea of Rocking the world and Changing the world, which is our slogan. So, we have thought to change the world and then come to Sri Lanka by the time they will accept us and our work.

Love was the only driving force which kept me writing. I’ve loved many girls during my lifetime, some were told some were admired and I was mostly rejected by all of them all the time. So, the expression of love was my song to them. As a 14-year-old kid studying at St. Joseph’s college Co. 10, my English was horrible compared to other boys.

My friends mocked me for writing western songs and I was always discouraged by almost everyone for doing western originals. But my point for them was that, if Sri Lanka isn’t going to give me space to come up with my Sinhala originals, that I will work my way back from the world to Sri Lanka and that worked. Finally, Sri Lanka needed the English language in art. Miss Europe Sri Lanka, ACI Financial Congress and Olympics are the proof.

My advice to children is that if you want to speak English well, start writing today and the secret to perfect English is knowing your Sinhala and Tamil extremely well.


Q: Do you have any idea of doing your own concert and including your father’s songs in the line up?


As a person who has quitted the Sri Lankan music industry, I highly doubt that about my future. My life is all about neglected people in Sri Lanka, I don’t earn and I don’t have a job, so I live with poor people. I visit the drug rehabilitation centers every now and then. Till God asks me to take up a new challenge, this is what keeps me going.


Q: Any future aspirations?


A: Sri Lanka is going to change whether local and international politics like it or not. Sri Lankans have been suppressed enough. The next generation is going to free Sri Lankans from slavery. Monaragala holds highest rate for child abuse and drugs as a nation lets join hands and start from there. Change one life at a time. Replace one drug with a sport per child. Believe that it’s possible because giving an opportunity for a child to save his or her life is what humanity is about. Remember we are all animals until we decide to do one random act of faith to make another person go beyond us which makes us truly a human being.

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