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ON A HIGH Benny Dayal's rendition of Ommana Penneis topping music charts PHOTO:R. RAVINDRAN
ON A HIGH Benny Dayal's rendition of Ommana Penneis topping music charts PHOTO:R. RAVINDRAN

Benny Dayal on Ommana Penne, his bands and more

Ommana Penne, the song from Vinnaithaandi Varuvaya, is topping music charts and the man behind the voice, Benny Dayal, is on a high. “ Ommana Penneis a song I hold close to heart as I rendered the track for Rahman Sir on my birthday (May 13). Although Rahman Sir was supposed to sing the song, he insisted I sing it after hearing the track,” says Benny. Awed at the genius that is A.R. Rahman, Benny says that although the song has predominantly Tamil lyrics, Rahman has managed to retain the “Malayaliness” of the song by using Kalyani Menon's voice also for the song, thus making it a cross-cultural hit.

So, does that mean such songs will become a trend? “Whatever Rahman sir does is a trend. He is always experimenting, trying out different styles, music…,” says Benny who apart from making his mark in the South Indian music industry is also leaving a trail of fine music in Bollywood.

“I'm grateful to Rahman sir for that too. He was the one who gave me Pappu Can't Dancein Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na. I sang in Rocket Singh-Salesman of the Yearand Pyaar Impossiblerecently. “As for upcoming works, I'm not someone who talks about it before it comes out. Let it be a surprise to my listeners. Didn't Ommana Pennecome as pleasant surprise?” laughs Benny who after working with bands S5 and Rainbow Bridge is now working with another – Subject of Change.

“We are a five-member acappella-cum-acoustic troupe, Aakash Jacob, Toby Joseph, Anisha Verghese, Anjana Raghavan and myself. We have performed in all the major cities; maybe we will perform in Kerala soon,” says the singer who hails from Kollam but was raised in Abu Dhabi.

Memories of Kerala

“My memories of Kerala are of spending lazy days at my grandparent's place during my school holidays, visiting relatives and digging my teeth into scrumptious food. Now of course, Kerala means home as my parents are settled here,” says Benny who adds that his mom's cooking is what he looks forward to when he is at home.

When he is not listening to all genres of music, Benny enjoys unwinding to movies. “I like movies with happy endings, so I enjoy watching chick flicks,” says Benny who had a stint in front of the camera in By the People. “Acting in By the Peoplewas a good experience. Although I had fun, I realised then that acting was not my cup of tea. I realised what my calling in life really was while shooting for it – music.”

Liza George

Ommana Penne, the song from Vinnaithaandi Varuvaya, is topping music charts and the man behind the voice, Benny Dayal, is on a high. “ Ommana Penneis a song I hold close to heart as I rendered the track for Rahman Sir on my birthday (May 13). Although Rahman Sir was supposed to sing the song, he insisted I sing it after hearing the track,” says Benny. Awed at the genius that is A.R. Rahman, Benny says that although the song has predominantly Tamil lyrics, Rahman has managed to retain the “Malayaliness” of the song by using Kalyani Menon's voice also for the song, thus making it a cross-cultural hit.

So, does that mean such songs will become a trend? “Whatever Rahman sir does is a trend. He is always experimenting, trying out different styles, music…,” says Benny who apart from making his mark in the South Indian music industry is also leaving a trail of fine music in Bollywood.

“I'm grateful to Rahman sir for that too. He was the one who gave me Pappu Can't Dancein Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na. I sang in Rocket Singh-Salesman of the Yearand Pyaar Impossiblerecently. “As for upcoming works, I'm not someone who talks about it before it comes out. Let it be a surprise to my listeners. Didn't Ommana Pennecome as pleasant surprise?” laughs Benny who after working with bands S5 and Rainbow Bridge is now working with another – Subject of Change.

“We are a five-member acappella-cum-acoustic troupe, Aakash Jacob, Toby Joseph, Anisha Verghese, Anjana Raghavan and myself. We have performed in all the major cities; maybe we will perform in Kerala soon,” says the singer who hails from Kollam but was raised in Abu Dhabi.

Memories of Kerala

“My memories of Kerala are of spending lazy days at my grandparent's place during my school holidays, visiting relatives and digging my teeth into scrumptious food. Now of course, Kerala means home as my parents are settled here,” says Benny who adds that his mom's cooking is what he looks forward to when he is at home.

When he is not listening to all genres of music, Benny enjoys unwinding to movies. “I like movies with happy endings, so I enjoy watching chick flicks,” says Benny who had a stint in front of the camera in By the People. “Acting in By the Peoplewas a good experience. Although I had fun, I realised then that acting was not my cup of tea. I realised what my calling in life really was while shooting for it – music.”

LIZA GEORGE

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