A singer and chronicler of music

M.S. Nazim, who passed away in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday at the age of 67 after a prolonged illness, was a popular singer on stage and television as well as the producer of some noted documentaries on music.

He may have to his credit only one film song, but he began his career at a time when getting a break in cinema was extremely difficult, even for the most gifted of singers. It was for the 1990 film Anantha Vruthantham that he sang. He did justice to the song, Nirayum thaarangale...

Nazim had made his mark singing old film songs on stage, especially those originally rendered by A.M. Rajah and P.B. Sreenivas. He was part of playback singer K.P. Udayabhanu’s Thiruvananthapuram-based music troupe Old is Gold, which played a significant role in bringing back the glorious tradition of Malayalam film music.

Great demand

Nazim was in much demand on the troupe’s shows for Rajah’s songs. Playback singer G. Venugopal also used to sing in those shows along with Nazim.

“He used to enjoy singing at shows and he was also a good organiser,” Venugopal told The Hindu. “Till he fell ill, you could meet him often during cultural programmes in Thiruvananthapuram. It was tragic that he could not sing for the last 15 years after he had a stroke.”

Series on DD

Not many people know that Nazim conceived and produced the first series based on Malayalam film music. Aayiram Ganangal Than Ananda Lahari was aired on Doordarshan in the 1990s and it ran into about 50 episodes. The show featured most of the singers and music directors of Malayalam cinema from its early days, including Sarojini Menon and T.K. Govinda Rao, who sang for Nirmala , the 1948 film with which the tradition of playback singing began in the language. Music critic Ravi Menon had written the script for the series.

“It was Nazim who suggested the idea about producing a series about Malayalam film music and I thought there was huge potential for it,” Ravi said. “We had gone to Chennai to record interviews with so many singers and musicians. The series proved extremely popular.”

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Printable version | Aug 13, 2022 3:37:17 pm |