V. Shreekumar, who sang ‘Anuraga Vilochananayi' in Neelathamara, is thrilled about the song's success
Suddenly it's everywhere. On the radio, on television, on Youtube, as a ringtone, as a caller tune…The melodious romantic number ‘Anuraga Vilochananayi' in Lal Jose's Neelathamara has captured the imagination of Malayali music buffs and has had a steady run at the top of the charts for several weeks now. And there can be no one more thrilled about the song's success than V. Shreekumar, the young Mumbai-based Malayali singer who lent his voice to the song along with Shreya Ghosal, under the music direction of Vidyasagar.
“It's a great song and I am simply blown away by how the public have taken it into their hearts,” says Shreekumar in a telephone interview with Metro Plus. “I didn't realise that the song was such a hit until very recently. It was only when I started getting congratulatory calls by the dozen that I realised that I have something big on my hands. All thanks to Vidyasagar sir for having faith in me,” adds the 27-year-old, a native of Pangal near Cheruthuruthy in Thrissur.
However, ‘Anuraga Vilochananayi' is not Shreekumar's debut in Malayalam. While the young singer was making his living singing jingles for advertisements, Vidyasagar picked him to sing ‘Kanalukal' in Lal Jose's Mulla (2008). “Vidyasagar Sir happened to hear my jingle for a Pidilite ad that was a parody of the hit Mohammad Rafi song ‘Sar Jo Tera Chakraye…Kahe Ghabraye' and immediately called me for an audition. He was doubly pleased that I was a Malayali. He made me sing a lot of songs and eventually gave me a chance in Mulla,” says the singer who was bought up in Gurgaon in Haryana where his family is settled. He began learning classical music at the age of eight under his father, Sadanam Rajagopalan, himself a Sopanam singer and Kathakali musician.
“Growing up, however, I was more into light music and Bollywood music,” says Shreekumar, a commerce graduate who moved to Mumbai to pursue his dreams in Bollywood. It helped that the young singer won the reality music show ‘Saregama' on Zee TV in 2004 (now it's known as ‘Saregamapa Challenge'), which got him noticed in the ad industry, at least. He has done (and is still doing) jingles and backgrounds for the likes of Shantanu Moitra and Shankar–Eshan–Loy. The young artiste is currently expanding his vocal range by learning Hindustani from Pt. Rajaram Shukla and Mohinder Jeet Singh. A fan of singer K.J. Yesudas and of Malayalam comedy films (“especially Punjabi House”), the singer has already got a few projects in Mollywood in the anvil. Sing on Shreekumar…NITA SATHYENDRAN