One of the popular music icons in Sri Lanka, Sunil Perera (68), passed away this morning at a private hospital in Colombo.

A Popular lyricist and a music composer and bandleader Sunil Perera, who contracted the Covid 19 infection, recovered a few days ago and was re-admitted to hospital on Saturday with other complications.

He was the leader and the lead vocalist of the popular Sri Lankan band, “The Gypsies”.

Sunil remains one of the most famous singers in the country while his band, The Gypsies, remains one of Sri Lanka’s biggest musical franchises for the past three decades, with regular foreign tours, several hit albums and sold-out concerts. He was regarded, as one of the stalwarts of the Sri Lankan pop music arena.

At the age of 11, he started to play the guitar. His father initially expected him to pursue his higher studies and then to make him a  medical professional. However, he was not able to pursue his higher education due to inadequate results at the GCE O/L examinations. His father made arrangements for Sunil to do the GCE O/L examination privately however, Sunil again could not produce expected results to further his education. Sunil later conveyed his interest in music to his father. In 1969 at the tender age of 15 as soon as he left school, he joined the band The Gypsies created by his father, Anton Perera along with his brothers – Nihal, Lal, Nimal, Piyal and uncle’s son, grandpa’s son and daughter, there were all seven of the crew learned guitar under Vincent Jayawardane and George Ferdinando and had voice training under Loren Abeysekara, Lily Godridge and Maryanne David.

Sunil was the main vocalist of the band along with his brother Piyal Perera. Their first hit Linda Langa Sangamaya was released in 1972/1973 along with Amma Amma Me Mata. In the mid-1970s, his other brothers left the band and got involved in business activities. In 1980, Gypsies released the first cassette with the song Kurumitto.

Other tracks sung by Gypsies include Kadapathakin, None Mage Sudu None (1977), Lunu Dehi (1987), Uncle Johnson (1987), Oye Ojaye (1989),[3] Piti Kotapan None and Signore (1997).

Sunil Perera’s recent song “I don’t know why,” was a mere sociopolitical issue portrayed through humour. However, the state media banned several of his hits for criticizing the government. In 2017, he released the song Koththamalli. He also sang and released Buongiorno in 2018 which was the first hit song to be released under the Gypsies label after a gap of four years.

In 2019, he sang the song “Diyawannawe Inna” for the film Jaya Sri Amathithuma.

The band “Gypsies” celebrated the Golden Jubilee in 2021 by arranging concerts via virtual platforms.

Sunil was a product St Sebastian College Moratuwa and St Peter’s College Bambalapitiya. (By Kishani Silva with inputs from Wikipedia)










Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here