The best moment came when I got the National Award for ‘Mayil Pole’ in Bharathi
How it happened
I learnt Carnatic music and my first stage performance was at the Mookambigai Temple. Wherever I went people asked me to sing and I would oblige them. One day my father Ilaiyaraaja called me to his recording studio and asked me to sing a song for the film Rasaiya. It was ‘Mastana Mastana’, which became a huge hit. Everybody appreciated me after listening to it but appa told me I must practise more. After that he gave me some good songs in films such as Chandraleka, Katta Panchayathu and Irattai Roja.
How it felt
I felt happy as things happened all of a sudden. Those close to me were aware that I was a good singer, mainly classical. But others came to know of my ability only after they heard me sing in films. The best moment came when I got the National Award for my song ‘Mayil Pole’ in Bharathi. I knew my father was happy. I’m glad people are now looking at me not as the maestro’s daughter but as a singer in my own right. I have also sung for music directors Deva and Sirpi.
How life changed
It helped me gain recognition among people in the industry. When actor Revathy was searching for a woman music director for her film Mitr, My Friend, I sent my album to her. She liked it and we started to work for the film. Then it was Jiya Jiya in Kannada and Avuna in Telugu. In Tamil it was Amirtham and Ilakkanam. Revathy called me again and offered me Phir Milenge. Recently she made a ten-minute short film, Parcel, for which I scored the music. I have sung more than 100 songs and composed music for nearly 10 documentary, five ad and five feature films. Now I am composing music for the Tamil movie “Impulan”. My aim is to sing more songs in different genres.
S. R. ASHOK KUMAR