CINEMA PLUS

My First Break -- Anitha Kuppusamy



"When I met Ilaiyaraja, I was elated but also nervous at the thought of singing in front of him"

How it happened

From a young age, I used to sing at all my school functions, take part in competitions and win medals. When I was in Class Twelve, I was asked to judge a music competition in my school. The school felt if I were a participant I would walk away with the award; besides, no other girl would be willing to take part in the competition. My aim was to become a playback singer. I decided to equip myself for it and pursued a post-graduate degree in Music in Chennai. I was eager to meet maestro Ilaiyaraja. He heard my voice and gave me a song in a documentary film. Later he asked me to sing for Karisakkattu Poove, directed by Kasthooriraja.

How it felt

When I met Ilaiyaraja, I was elated but also nervous at the thought of singing in front of him. When I went to his recording studio for my second song, he was not there. I was told he had gone out. I sang the song without fear. But later I learnt he was listening to me, sitting in the next room — he wanted me to sing without inhibition. My husband Puspavanam Kuppusamy brought me the cassette. When I heard it I was on cloud nine.

How life changed

Not much as we constantly touring the world, giving folk music performances. So far, we have done over 3,000 programmes. Though we mostly stick to folk, I can sing any style, including Western. I have sung some good numbers in films such as Ponmegalai and Arasiyal. But I lose good opportunities as we constantly travel.



S. R. ASHOK KUMAR

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