Origin Ratnapura, Sri Lanka
Genres Sri Lankan music
Years active 1965 to present
Associated acts Moonstones, Super Golden Chimes, Super Chimes
Annesley Malewana (Sinhala, pronounced [ˈænəsli ˈmaːləvənə]) is an influential Sri Lankan musician.
Life and career
Malewana was born in Ratnapura (a city in south-central Sri Lanka), and attended St. Joseph’s College in the capital city of Colombo. Upon leaving school, he met Clarence Wijewardena, who (with Malewana) formed the group Moonstones. In the early 1960s, the Moonstones began performing songs composed by Wijewardena and sung by Malewana (their first hit was Mango Nanda - a song written about the maid who once worked at the home of Clarence's wife in the early days of their relationship).
Primarily due to Wijewardena's unique compositions, the Moonstones continued to dominate popular Sri Lankan music for nearly a decade before ultimately breaking up in the late 1960s. The Moonstones were managed by the advertising man Sri Sangabo Corea and were mentored by the legendary Radio Ceylon broadcaster Vernon Corea and his cousin Vijaya Corea. Their music was featured for the very first time on the English Services of Radio Ceylon and subsequently the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation. They became household names as a result of the airplay on Radio Ceylon throughout the 1960s. Annesley Malewana was well known for being a master of contemporary baila.
During the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, the songs of the 'Moonstones' and the 'Super Golden Chimes' were on the lips of so many music lovers in Sri Lanka - the musicians were at their peak and Annesley had reached the heights of popularity in the world of music on the island.
Super Golden Chimes
Malewana and Wijewardena remained friends and reunited in the 1970s to form a group dubbed the Super Golden Chimes - this group would, similarly, produce a string of popular songs that included Udarata Niliya (Up-Country Dancer), Sihina Pathum (In Dreams), Wana Bambaro (Jungle/Wild Bee), and Sathuta Senasuma (Happy Feelings).
The Super Golden Chimes performed for another 8 years until, in 1978, Malewana married, and announced his retirement from music.Despite his retirement, Malewana returned in 1988 as a solo artist, and continued to record songs particularly for CDs released in Sri Lanka.
Malewana came out of retirement to get back into the music world, in 2005 he formed the band Annesley & The Super Chimes.
According to Malewana: "It was a long felt need in the music scene especially after the Super Golden Chimes Reunion Concert which was held last year. I was under tremendous pressure from my fans and well-wishers to continue with the Super Golden Chimes, but since some of the members are abroad and some others are playing in different groups, I did not want to use the name Super Golden Chimes."
The songs performed by Malewana and Clarence over their three decade careers have recently been credited, by the group Pahan Silu, as having served to influence them in crafting their unique musical style. Annesley Malewana has reached the pinnacle of fame as a highly respected recording artiste and as an accomplished musician. Together with his close friend, the late Clarence Wijewardena, they were at the very top of music world in South Asia. Wijeywardena and Malewana were two of the most sought after musicians in Sri Lanka. Their songs topped the charts on both the English Service and the Sinhala Service on Radio Ceylon/Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation for decades. Annesley Malewana has also made countless appearances on television. His voice has been heard by Londoners over BBC Radio London 206 on the popular 'London Sounds Eastern' radio programme and on community radio in the United States of America and in Australia.