Friday Review » Music

Updated: June 17, 2013 16:10 IST

Singing praises

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Hail the superstar Shyam Benjamin Photo: R. Ragu
Hail the superstar Shyam Benjamin Photo: R. Ragu

Musician and diehard Rajinikanth fan Shyam Benjamin comes up with a single, ‘Thalaiva'

Rajinikanth stepped on Indian soil after a protracted medical treatment in Singapore, musician Shyam Benjamin experienced a mix of emotions that lay somewhere between relief and elation. The joy he felt while watching a YouTube video of the actor's return gave this jazz pianist and composer the spark for “Thalaivaa”, a paean that celebrates “Rajini's magnetism and mannerisms”.

Ready for release on the actor's birthday — December12 — the Tamil pop song is born of multiple voices, which include famous playback singers and Shyam's school buddies who share his fascination for the superstar.

While Haricharan has sung most part of the song — written by lyricist Muthamizh and set to music by Shyam — a few other crooners have rendered the starting lines of popular songs from Rajini films.

“After having listened to 150 songs, I settled on 13. The first lines of these songs contribute to the message of Thalaivaa: Rajnikanth is incomparably great,” says Shyam.

“Playback singers Karthik, Naresh Iyer, Rita, Janani and Swetha are among those who sang these familiar lines.” Shyam has sung the chorus, which goes: “Calling you ‘Thalaivaa' brings great joy. When you lift your finger, we feel goosebumps in our flesh.” Shyam is overwhelmed with emotion when he sings those lines.

Why not? The 31-year-old is a diehard Rajini fan from childhood. Aware of his fascination, Shyam's family and friends have been gifting him Rajini photos. “I have a huge collection of rare Rajni photos,” says Shyam. The cover of this single — “Thalaivaa” — bears the sketch of the actor that is based on a rare photo. “Another singer Subiksha Rangarajan, who is good at painting, did the sketch,” says Shyam.

The composer plans to promote “Thalaivaa” as a single through CDs as well as YouTube.

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