How it happened
It all started when M. S. Senthil Kumar, then producer of ‘Sapthaswarangal’, came to my college culturals and heard my friend and I perform the ‘Chandraleka’ song from Thiruda Thiruda. That’s when I realised I did have the talent to pursue a career in the music industry. I started singing choruses for Vijay Antony. I have also sung for James Vasanthan, Imman and the signature tune for Hello FM composed by K.S. Simon. When I was working with Vijay Antony, he recognised I had a flair for penning English lyrics.He gave me a chance to write a small piece in English for one of his songs which I also sang — ‘En Enakku Mayakkam’ in Naan Avan Illai. Soon, Vijay gave me the huge opportunity to write and sing ‘Kalloori’ in Ninaithale Inikkum and render ‘Sexy Lady’ in the same movie. Usually, everybody gets a break with one song, but I got to sing two.
How it felt
I was on cloud nine. I remember Vijay with his keyboard giving me a feel of the tune he had composed for ‘Kalloori’. He wanted me to write something a college senior would like to convey to a fresher. We completed the song in half an hour. I went to Vijay’s studio and listened to the final mixing. It felt awesome listening to the song, more so because I had penned it. I made it to the theatre on the day of the film’s release. It was amazing to see Priya Mani lipsync the song sung by me. Someone told me I was the first woman lyricist-singer in Tamil cinema.
How life changed
Life has not changed much but I am recognised more as a singer now. I am thankful to Vijay and the other music directors, singers and my parents who have supported me.S. R. ASHOK KUMAR