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Sarath Santosh: A hit with notes

Sarath Santosh

Sarath Santosh  

For singer Sarath Santosh, success on television paved the way to playback singing in ‘Om Namo Venkatesaya’

Singer Sarath Santosh, the voice behind popular songs ‘Akhilandakoti Brahmandanayaka’ and ‘Anandham’ from Om Namo Venkatesaya, literally grew up amid reality shows. Popularity on television was a key element in giving the Hyderabad-born singer (who has shifted base to Chennai) a major career break. For a child who would only sing and hum tracks at home, a win on MAA TV’s Padalani Undi in 2003 changed the way he approached music.

Grooming under musicians Vyzarsu Balasubramanyam and Ramachari in Hyderabad, Sarath tested waters in Tamil with shows like Sangeetha Maligai and Vijay TV’s Super Singer. Film offers followed quickly; his first as a child artiste was for MM Keeravani’s Chandrahaas in 2007, a decade before he reunited with the composer for Om Namo Venkatesaya.

Even that was finalised after director K Raghavendra Rao was impressed with his rendition of Annamayya sankirtanas in the SVBC show Annamayya Paataku Pattabhishekam that he directs. “The same platform had also got me to sing for J K Bharavi’s Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharya earlier,” shares Sarath.

Now in his early twenties, he found singing for Nagarjuna in a deep-rooted voice was no mean challenge. “In fact, the song was okayed in the first attempt by Raghavendra Rao garu and the composer. However, the director felt we had to revisit the song to suit Nagarjuna’s personality. The second time around, there was more pressure in the voice, Keeravani garu deserves credit in making me sing the way I did,” Sarath says.

“Singing without a reference point for playback was a challenge unlike reality shows where I knew the modulation and the expression that I had to invest in the track. The challenge is different in television, given there’s no chance of a retake, you give your best for that moment. Playback singing gives chances for more finesse, you can relook at it if necessary,” Sarath tells us.

SPB remains his guru in terms of versatility and how he visualises the film situation.

Though a statistics student by qualification, Sarath is now pursuing an M.A in music in Chennai. Despite regular classical performances, his focus remains on playback singing for now. He reveals, “I hope to do a doctorate in statistics soon. Music and statistics is an interesting and rare combination; it’ll be a challenge to strike a balance between both, but I’m game for it.”

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Printable version | Mar 21, 2020 5:41:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/Sarath-Santosh-A-hit-with-notes/article17296308.ece

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