Latha Krishna is the voice behind Sufi Paranja Kadha's Sayam Sandhye
Instead of a dial tone, the strain of Sayam Sandhye from Sufi Paranja Kadha floats across the receiver. The voice behind the chart-topping song soon answers the call and then begins a conversation that traces the 22-year-old city-based singer's journey into the world of music. Excerpts from an interview with Latha Krishna...
Mine is a musical family. An ancestor of ours was a court musician at the Mysore Palace. My mother, A. Saraswathi, is an A-grade artiste of All India Radio. She was my first guru. Music is in my blood and growing up in a music-filled household guided me in finding my vocation. Even as a child I knew what I would be when I grew up – a singer. I am currently learning music under violinist Trivandrum R. Mahadevan. I did try to learn to play the violin, but gave up after a couple a lessons; I wanted to concentrate on singing. Learning under him has helped me to stay in tune when singing with instrumental music.
I was one of the final six for Amrita TV's Superstar Global. During the show, I rendered Kannil Nin Meyyil from the movie Innale. Suresh Gopi, who had starred in the movie, called up to congratulate me. For a mega event by Mohan Sitara, he suggested my name and I was singing for the event. Soon I was a part of the chorus for a song of Mohan Sir's in Yugapurashan and also in the chorus for music director M. Jayachandran sir's song Vande Mataram in Chemistry.
One day, in the studio, I heard Mohan sir playing a tune on the harmonium. I thought to myself that the person who was going to sing it was lucky. I was stunned when Mohan sir handed me the lyrics and asked me to sing it. Although he was full of encouragement while I rendered it, he admitted later that he did have misgivings in giving the song to a newcomer, especially because it is a tough song to sing. I think one of the reasons why Sayam Sandya clicked, is because Mohan sir told me the story of Sufi Paranja Kadha. He also described the scene in which the song would be used and explained the emotions behind the song.
Superstar Global gave me the platform to showcase my singing abilities. The judges gave us good advice, although you realise it only later when you watch your performance on tape. Jayachandran sir, one of the judges, taught me the need to bring in the right emotions in a song. He said to do so, one has to understand the lyrics and the situation behind the song. Being on the show also helped me get a break into the music industry and the opportunity to anchor shows. While my sister, Kala Kalyani and I hosted Sunday Cocktail (Jaihind TV) and Kaliyum Chiriyum (Surya TV) together, I hosted Music Mix (Amrita TV) by myself. Hosting TV shows is not my call though.
In the kitty
I rendered a song Thoo Mallike in the up-coming movie Nalavan and a song with Vidhu Prathap in Upadeshiyude Makan. Both the songs have been tuned by Mohan sir. I have also sung in a couple of albums. Ninai Kayil, a Tamil album, has lyrics by my sister. I am also singing a compilation of kritis composed by my guru. There are around 40 kritis in the album Devidasa. There is also the Dhanush starrer – Shiva Suryan.