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Exquisite Raini

Raini Charuka Gunatillake

Raini Charuka Gunatillake She is a beautiful combination of two most admired artists we ever had. The daughter of Rookantha and Chandralekha, a whole era of music! Of course you know who she is and now may be humming the song "Neela kandugate" to yourself even. How can anyone forget her strong melodious voice and smexy looks! So, sit comfortably on your chair and get ready for an exclusive interview we had with non other than Raini Charuka Goonathilaka...

Raini, shall we begin with a little introduction about you ?
My name in full would be, Maryon Raini Charuka Goonatillake, I am 20 years old born on the 10th of April 1991. Currently a 3rd year University student in the U.S. I am a former student of St.Bridget's Convent as I went to Elementary school then 1st Grade through 5th Grade I transferred to St.Nicholas' Int' College and later attended Wycherley Int' School till the 9th Grade and High school was completed at Susan E.Wagner High School in New York. I started singing at the age of 3 years voicing for the song 'Banana' by my father/musician Rookantha Goonatillake and as of then, I have featured in many jingles for Radio channels such as Sirasa Fm and various brands that are sold Island wide such as Prima , Damro, X-Tra, Kicks, Wrigley's, Lotus, Lanka Soy, Munchee, Nivaaran, Indra Traders, etc...

Any nick name ?
Well I don't have one specific nick name really, almost everyone calls me 'Raini' or 'Rhino' and maybe 'Raina' and a very few call me 'Charu'. My dad has a whole lot of pet names for me, he use to write them all out in a diary, up to this date he has never addressed me as Raini, he calls me 'Tuina' (which is the main pet name) and the rest is just so very random.

How did you make your way into this field ?
Being a daughter of two popular singers, it was not hard for me to make it into the field. When I and my parents thought it was time for me get down to business, my dad composed a song then and there, I sang it with the help of a family friend/singer and released the song that is known by many today as 'Neela Kandugate' and that was it. =]

So, next I’m going to ask you about your academic side. How far have you studied? Tell us about your school life...
Academic Side....hmm...pretty good I would say. I am not a master brain, but I do manage to score pretty well in class and exams. I should also say that I was not always this good in school. Till about 4th Grade I was doing really well, but after we had the first attack on my family in 2000, I was devastated and I could not concentrate on studies anymore till about 7th grade and started getting back on track. After I came to U.S , I was more interested about my education more than I ever had been and since then, I have done very well. I am an High School Scholar and graduated High School in June 2009.
While in school, I always took part in school activities, at least my parents made sure I did, from Singing competitions, to Sports and Athletics.
I have won a pretty decent amount of awards for athletics and sports, especially swimming. I had to stop sports when I came to US because I had to pick between Sports or Arts as the extra activity, so obviously I chose Arts, where I did many choral concerts and stage acts.

Raini Charuka Gunatillake Any fashion trends you usually like to follow? We’d love to know your views on that side.
No, I don't follow trends, I don't even know what the trend is now...hehe anyways, I like to wear things I am comfortable in and that would be a T-shirt / Blouse and Jeans. I don't like to wear dresses unless someone forces me to, because again, it is just not comfortable!, but if I feel like being fashionable, I do add simple fashion accents at times, for example a rare looking piece of jewelry.

You’re an artist of this beautiful island of Sri Lanka. Could we know your attitude towards your motherland?
I am proud to be a part of this warm hearted land and lucky to have adhered many of the customs and traditions my country has taught. No matter where I might be in the world, Sri Lanka will always be my motherland. My country is special from every other nation out there. I love my country. I am proud to be called a Sri Lankan.

What do you normally do when you get a leisure time?
Oh gosh, during leisure time, I do the favorite thing I love doing in this world, Sleep!... I love sleeping, it is so relaxing and stress relieving and other than that, I check my Facebook, chat with my friends, visit my Fan page on FB and reply to all my fans who write to me, check my Twitter, watch some Tv, annoy my bf with a text or call or maybe have a chat with a friend on Skype. Oh and I almost forgot, when I am with my family, I love annoying my younger sister Windy who is 13 years old and much reserved than I am. =] =]

What is the most unforgettable incident in your life?
Well I have a lot, starting from all the encounters I have faced with my family in 2000 and with my house catching on fire in 2004, but if I take something recent into consideration, that would be my fall during the filming of ' SINHAWALOKANAYA- The Cricket Movie 2011 ' by Director/Script writer Suneth Malinga Lokuhewa in 2010. The story starts when my co-actor Delon Jayasinghe had to carry me. I had total faith in him since he and I had done some carrying scenes about 2 days back ( a follow up of the same scene ) and it was very risky since he had to carry me across a marshy paddy field and climb tall steps, he carried me with no falls or scratches... so therefore I had total faith in him when it was just plain flat land, but guess what??... he totally tripped on some wire and he throws me up in the air and down I fall with a big bang on my head and a few seconds later Delon lands on top of me with great pressure, it didn't hurt at first, but the following day I felt terrible! I had some scratches on my legs and arm and my neck was jacked! Everyone was shocked during the fall but laughing at the same time because it was hilarious, and I was laughing too. =D

Here’s our favorite question which your fans also be longing for you answer.Have you got yourself a soul mate yet and what’s your view on the subject of love?
Ah! here we go, the most important question to you all. My view on love is very simple, We all give and receive love in different ways by many people...parents to relatives, friends and that one special person in your life. Love is something we all need in our lives but we have to be very careful and wise about it, and remember you are not taking anything back with you when you leave this world. I believe your soul mate can be from anywhere, any place, any size, any shape or form because when your in love, nothing matters to you. You just have to be happy, not live under law but love, understand each other and respect each others way of life and finally, Yes...I do have a soul mate. =)

You’re still a young girl, yet you were able to get on to this huge field of music.Could we know the secret behind your success?
Like I stated earlier, it was not a difficult task for me in making it to the field of music as I am daughter of two popular singers but I am happy that I have been able to survive this little period of time as we have many talented Artists in Sri Lanka now, and no matter who's son or daughter you are, you are up against talent, therefore I am happy that I have made it so far because no one else can make you stand out from a crowd but yourself with what you carry, and whatever I have I take it as a gift from God.

Have you got any special role model you follow and would like to imitate?
No body special but like many children, my role models would be my father and mother. I take in all the good they have in them selves but I do not try to imitate them because I believe I have my own character, personality, style and way of life in many aspects and I like to keep them that way.

Do you use any working out schedule to maintain your figure? Any advices can you give to your fans regarding food?
When I have time I definitely make a quick run to the gym but that does not happen very often as when I am in US, I have school and then I go to work ( I work in a grocery store =] ) so there is no free time in between and if I do, it's home work time. When I am in Sri Lanka, I am always on the road, doing something regarding my music or to do with my parents and even if I did have time in Sri Lanka, I always have to wait for my dad to come with me because I never go anywhere alone and if he can't, bye bye gym day, but I am pretty active, I hate sitting in one place doing nothing. When it comes to food I like Sushi, Pasta and my favorite would be Basmati Rice, Coconut Sambol, Dhal, and fried Dry Fish.

What is the saddest incident you have faced so far?
Saddest incidents in my life would be when I saw thugs hindering my mom and dad in 2000 and when my dad got his back and shoulders burnt during the fire in my house in 2004 also the sight of my Piano on fire and especially my dad's Motif keyboard melting infront of our eyes. The way he was looking at melting away; crushed me into a million pieces.

Your fans will love to know about your future ambitions.
I want to be a commercial pilot and fly for a major airline, hopefully 'Sri Lankan Airlines' and to go ahead with my singing and acting career at the same time. Come up with some good compositions and make you all happy.

Are you satisfied with your journey in this field so far?
Oh yes, I definitely am satisfied for I know I have not done a whole lot even though I have been in the industry for 2 years (officially) I say this because, I personally know many artists who have been in the field for a shorter period than I have been and released more than 10-15 songs already and are experiencing the same popularity level as I am... So I am definitely proud of what I have achieved because so far for I have only 3-4 songs to be named as 'Neela Kandu'(2009), 'Tharumini' (2010) and 'Mathakada Handaawe' (2011) that is been aired on media, and have had all those songs reach the top of the charts at point or another and most of all, I have a pretty firm, loving and caring fan base already.

You can leave a special message to your fans now.
Dear Fans, Each and every one of you means a lot to me. No matter who's daughter or son I am, without your love and support I would have never made it, I would have never survived. You have given me so much happiness Raini Charuka Gunatillake because you have made my dream come true, Thank You all very very much, and I hope you will all help me stand strong and support me with my future endeavors just like you have all this time. Thank You very much again. I Love You Guys !.... XOXO .... ♥R

Anything you want to say to the new comers to this field?
To all the new comers, try something new guys, be unique but be yourself, don't fake anything because you have to be comfortable with who you are. Even at an interview, be real and always speak the truth. Help each other out, don't make everything a competition because we should not turn this beautiful field of music into a battle field full of hatred and jealousy. You have to be strong and courageous, everything is not going to happen the way you want it to, and not everyone's feedback is going to be words of Gold and not everyone is going to like you or your style. Expect the unexpected. If it was meant to be for you, it will always find its way. Have faith, Believe!

Copyright © 2011 Xtream Youth. All rights reserved.

Written by Nalin Kariyawasam (Creative Writer at Xtream Youth)

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