Chat Mridula Varier has become a name to reckon with in Malayalam music industry
M ridula Varier has hit the right note, yet again. This time with the lullaby ‘Lalee laee…’ from Blessy’s Kalimannu, a duet with Sudeep Kumar. She is a singer whose resume is not packed with songs, but almost all the songs she has sung have connected with the listeners. Be it ‘O marimayan kaviyalle…’ (Ivan Megharoopan), ‘Kannanthali…’ (Ezham Suryan), ‘Chendaamara…’ (916) or ‘Aalolam…’ (Ithu Pathiramanal) . The singer looks back at her career in a chat with MetroPlus . Excerpts:
On the charts with Kalimannu
I am grateful to M.Jayachandran sir for the song. It is truly special because in this number I’ve changed my voice in certain portions. In fact, I’ve sung in two different tones – in some parts I’ve stuck to the base tone, the rest I’ve sung in my usual voice. That has blended well with the visuals, I believe,” she says.
A reality show veteran
(Laughs) I’ve been taking part in music contests even before reality shows became popular. While in class ten, I took part in Saptaswarangal , a contest on Asianet, in which I was the first runner-up. The next year (2005) I won the first prize in Onnam Ragam , a contest on Doordarshan. In the same year, I won Gandharvasangeetham , a music-based reality show on Kairali TV.
In 2006, I was in the final five of Super Star , again a reality show for wannabe singers on Amrita TV. In 2007, I won Star of Stars , a reality show featuring contestants from various reality shows on Asianet Plus, and I was the first runner-up of Star Singer on Asianet in 2010.
I consider myself lucky to have participated in the shows. They’ve helped me immensely as a singer. I could interact with many legends and take lessons from them.
Recently I sang with P.Jayachandran sir in the movie God for Sale , which is indeed a big step for me. I am what I am today because of these shows, starting with my first song, ‘Oru vaakkum’ in Big B .
My parents, P.V. Ramankutty Varier and M.T. Vijayalakshmy, love music. Since they couldn’t get training in music, they made it a point to train me and my brother Jaideep. They took us to all the competitions. They were never bothered about the results and told us that participation was important.
There was a time when I just wanted to complete my engineering and get a job. But my family told me that I should give singing a try and look where I am today. Now I’ve a great support in my husband, Arun B. Varier, an Ayurveda physician.
I learnt Carnatic music from Pala C. K. Ramachandran and Kavumvattam Vasudevan. Now I am learning Hindustani from Vijay Sursen. I think Hindustani music gives importance to feel and expression which will definitely help me in playback singing.
I’ve sung for Parankimala, Kathaveedu, Salaam Kashmir, U-Turn, Good Bad Ugly and a Kannada movie.
Reality shows have helped me immensely as a singer.