Music

'Unakaga' singer Sreekanth Hariharan on working with AR Rahman in 'Bigil'

Sreekanth Hariharan   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Singing for AR Rahman is perhaps on the wish-list of every playback singer. However, only a few get that opportunity and Sreekanth Hariharan is among the lucky ones. Son of Carnatic musician B Arundhati, the city-based musician has crooned the duet ‘Unakaga’ from Bigil, directed by Atlee. The melody’s lyric video, featuring Vijay and Nayanthara as the lead pair, is climbing up the popularity charts.

Ever since the song was released on Wednesday, Sreekanth has been flooded with compliments coming in from friends, teachers and family. “Whenever I used to sing in college, some friends used to say, “Oh! you will be singing for Rahman one day!” I can’t believe that it has actually happened,” says Sreekanth over the phone from Chennai prior to the movie’s audio launch.

Reality show

Sreekanth was noticed by Rahman in the sixth season of the music reality show, Super Singer aired on Vijay TV. He became one of the finalists. “Although only the winner was to get a chance to sing for Rahman sir, he announced at the finale that I will also get an opportunity. But I didn’t expect it to be for such a big project,” says the 25-year-old, an architecture graduate.

He then received a call from Rahman’s studio. “Sir was not there and I recorded the song thinking that it was to test my voice or to sing the track. Lyricist Vivek and Atlee sir were there with me and they were very impressed. I was called again to record the track. It was a surreal moment because I sang the song with sir sitting next to me. He was sweet and supportive,” says Sreekanth. Madhura Dhara Talluri has sung the duet with him.

Vijay and Nayanthara in a still from the song

Vijay and Nayanthara in a still from the song   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

“Actually, my mother has also sung for Rahman sir, in Taj Mahal (1999). So this is truly special for my family,” he adds. The musician is excited that the song has come out at the same time when another of his tracks — the solo, ‘Aazhi soozhntha’ from Sivappu Manjal Pachai, starring Siddharth and GV Prakash Kumar — is doing the rounds. “I had sung this track, composed by Siddhu Kumar, last year. It got delayed. No complaints, though! I have sung in the Telugu version of the movie as well,” Sreekanth says.

He has also sung a duet, ‘Uthira uthira’ with Shreya Ghosal for Imman in Prabhu Deva-starrer Pon Manickavel, and another one for Yuvan Shankar Raja in Genius. However, Sreekanth has had a rather uneventful innings in Malayalam cinema, having sung for a few films that went unnoticed.

Sreekanth is settled in Chennai, where he is studying Carnatic music and has his hands full with shows and recordings. He also has plans to restart his band, Kaivalya, along with his sister, Charu Hariharan, also a musician, and former members of the ensemble.

For the time being, Sreekanth is basking in all the attention!

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Printable version | Apr 30, 2021 12:29:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/sreekanth-hariharan-sings-for-ar-rahman-in-vijay-nayanthara-starrer-bigil/article29457144.ece

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