The Humming Queen: a tribute to singer Swarnalatha

Vinaita Sivakumar has been a fan of late singer Swarnalatha since her childhood. “I was 8 when I started singing in competitions,” she recalls, “Back then itself, I started selecting her songs even without knowing that she was the voice behind it.”

A few years later, when Vinaita won a TV show, she realised that all the songs that bagged her the prize were ones sung by Swarnalatha. “It was such a coincidence,” she says, recalling that day, “After that, whenever people asked me who my favourite singer was, I’d immediately say, ‘Swarnalatha’.”

The Humming Queen: a tribute to singer Swarnalatha

She does that to this day. It is this love for the singer that has made Vinaita put together a music video series, titled ‘The Humming Queen’. Conceptualised by Sainath Saikrishnan, the latest video in this project features Vinaita humming well-known pieces of Swarnalatha.


Swarnalatha’s unique voice was the toast of film music in the 90s, when she sang a variety of numbers for various music composers. “Her voice was technically unique and difficult to replicate. She could reach high scales without any change in her voice tonality,” explains Vinaita.

Swarnalatha’s death in 2010 was a rude shock to Vinaita, who always nursed hopes of meeting her someday. “I felt heavy,” she says, “I kept thinking of doing a musical tribute to her.” It has taken a few years to put that together, but Vinaita is happy with the way ‘The Humming Queen’ has shaped up. While the first video in the series featured Rajhesh Vaidya, the current one has Manomani and ‘Dilruba’ Saroja, a mother-daughter duo, in it.

Vinaita hopes to do Swarnalatha-centric concerts in the future. “That’s in the pipeline,” says the 29-year-old singer who has worked with music composers like Yuvan Shankar Raja (Theeradha Vilayattu Pillai), Thaman and Dharan, among others.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 10:06:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/the-humming-queen-a-tribute-to-singer-swarnalatha/article23727129.ece

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