Participants of Super Singer are now translating success into results
The music of nadhaswaram and tavil on one side and people boisterously chatting with their kith and kin on the other side… All the din associated with the marriage hall seems to have little effect on this bunch of youngsters practising alapanaas and experimenting with new sangathis. Unmindful of the people gathering to have a glimpse of their faces, they continue with their work.
Thanks to the Super Singer programme, Srinivasan Raghunathan, Santosh Hariharan, Maalavika Sundar, Sathyaprakash Dharman, Krishna Sridharan, Deepak K. and Soundarya Nandakumar have become celebrities and made a mark in the film industry. Their intense concentration is the secret behind their success in the programme.
“Shedding inhibition is the foremost thing in my mind,” says Srinivasan Raghunathan alias Nivas. “Once into music I forget the surroundings. Actually, it perfects my singing and makes me more creative."
A.R. Rahman rechristened the singer Nivas, when the young man met the legend for the song ‘Sanchhari Manasu’ for the Kannada movie Godfather, a remake of Tamil film Varalaru.
Classically trained Nivas shot into fame with his remarkable work in the Malayalam film Diamond Necklace. Vidyasagar has scored the music for this film.
“Composer James Vasanthan provided me the first breakthrough with Kathalar Kudiyuruppu,” he says. “I also sang for the Kannada version. My learning process in playback singing started here and continues.”
Though Santhosh Hariharan lacks exposure to classical music, the clarity in his voice and his ability to sing songs of high range got him a chance to sing for music director D. Imman. His number ‘Oorana oorukkulle…’ for the movie Manam Kothi Paravai is a hit.
“I don’t have any classical background,” admits Santhosh. “It is definitely a big disadvantage. I have to plan a lot before I experiment any sangathis while singing, whereas a classically trained person is spontaneous. Now that I have made it to films, I listen to a lot of classical music and also sufi songs. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s songs fascinate me,” he says.
He has already got offers from composers G.V. Prakash and D.Imman. Santhosh is also into sound engineering and likes to experiment with different musical patterns.
Sathyaprakash Dharman got his lucky break with Dhanush’s movie 3. He sang the remix of ‘Po nee po…’ both in Tamil and Telugu. He has sung ‘Mayanginen Thayanginen', the song for the movie with the same title, and ‘Maanasa’ for the Telugu movie Andala Rakshashi. His latest is the song for Annakodiyum Kodiveeranum with singer Chinmayee. G.V. Prakash has composed the music.
Maalavika Sundar never thought she could sing film songs. But she has become a household name with her song ‘Dang Dang…’ for the movie Manam Kothi Paravai. “I was exposed only to classical music,” she says. “Only after I participated in the Super Singer programme, I learnt to sing a lot of film songs. I was made to sing different genres of Tamil music and got seasoned." Maalavika is also interested in acting and dancing.
A trained classical dancer, Soundarya’s first choice is singing. She became popular for her expressive and emotional singing. She also participates in music performances.
For software engineer Krishna Sridharan, it is classical music that drives him. “I love to hear T.M. Krishna and Sanjay Subramaniam,” he says. “After participating in the Super Singer programme I have learnt a lot about music. Now, I hear a lot of Hindustani and ghazals. Mehdi Hassan’s ghazhals are amazing,” he adds.
Microbiologist Deepak’s first love is music. Though he is interested in quiz and cricket, he never misses a chance to sing. He is also into film music and sang ‘Boy Boy…’ for the Telugu movie Neeku Nakku Dash Dash.
Choosing music as career is the difficult decision for them. Singer Srinivas, who resigned his job as chemical engineer, is a big inspiration and four of them have already follow suit.
They are thrilled to work for A.R. Rahman as backing vocals. The Super Singer brand has worked wonders for the ebullient singers as they travel and perform as a team. “Both Srinivas and myself have performed in a lot of private functions and parties,” says Santhosh.