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Wickremesooriya’s residence at 5, Sea View Avenue, Colombo 03 was the location for weekly auditions, where the talents of many artistes were unearthed and the platform laid for many a career in popular music. Auditions were done by Gerald mostly with Vijaya Corea and also at times with Mr. Vairavanathan, President of Thunderflash Advertising Services: Sooriya’s advertising agent.

New artistes were introduced and brought in for auditions by the existing artistes; Priya of La Bambas introduced Paul Fernando, Melroy introduced his niece Shiromi Fernando, the first child artiste of Sooriya, and a host of others were introduced by Vijaya Corea.

Soon hit after hit was churned out and many new artistes were transformed to stars on the Sooriya label.

Sooriya label was established and the first two contracts signed with “The Moonstones”.

The Moonstones were the first band to record on the newly established Sooriya label, being introduced to Gerald by his son Netaji, whose friend Mangala Rodrigo was a member of the band.

Sooriya’s first release “More Hits by The Moonstones” bearing catalogue number CHB001 went on to become an instant hit. Though released first, this was however the second contract signed with the band.

Songs of the first contract with The Moonstones were however released exactly after an year in 1969. The release not only brought Indrani Perera, the first solo artiste of Sooriya into the limelight through the evergreen hit “Dilhani” but also grossed the highest revenue record at the time.

The addition of Melroy Dharmaratne and the Dharmaratne Brothers to the label resulted in another popular hit: “Varsity Kollo”.



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