Dreaming big

Versatile singer: Rahul Nambiar is gung-ho about his future in the music industry.

Versatile singer: Rahul Nambiar is gung-ho about his future in the music industry.  


Tamil-Telugu-Malayalam playback singer Rahul Nambiar is going places in the South Indian music industry.

Singing his way into the hearts of music lovers is Rahul Nambiar. The young singer is the voice behind ‘Swapnagnal,’ the hit number from Sathyan Anthikad’s latest movie, ‘Bhagyadevatha.’ A native of Kannur, Rahul was brought up in Delhi and Chennai. Presently settled in Chennai, he was introduced into the world of playback singing by music director Vijay Anthony for the Tamil movie ‘Dishoom.’ Opportunities in Telugu and Malayalam soon followed.

“My first Malayalam song was ‘Ee Raavil’ for music director Vidyasagar in the movie ‘Mulla.’ Because I had previously sung for music director Ilayaraja, he called me for ‘Bhagyadevatha.’ It felt great singing with Chitra [K. S.] Since Raja Sir still records songs in the traditional way, I got to meet Chitra and actually sing along with her,” says Rahul.

‘Sapthaswarangal’ winner

Trained in Carnatic and Hindustani music, this management graduate has taken up singing as not just his avocation but his vocation too. “I began learning music at a young age. I was the winner of ‘Sapthaswarangal’ contest of Sun TV in 2001 which had about 3,000 contestants. This gave me the confidence to take up a career in music, despite getting a lot of job offers after my M.B.A.”

Not one to get typecast, Rahul is open to different genres of singing and has performed over 400 live shows in India and abroad in the past three years.

His versatility, ability to sing in different languages (Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Hindi, English) and his rapport with varied audiences have made him much sought after by event organisers and television producers. Along with his friend Aalaap he has begun ‘Rahlaap,’ a band that aims to bring the magic of live music to the forefront. “Making live music is a very fulfilling way to creatively express oneself. An album which took four years in the making is to be released in three to four months. It is a mix of Hindi and Tamil songs, where the melody is Indian while the orchestration is towards jazz, rhythm and blues. The music has been created by both of us while the lyrics have been written by Raqeeb Aalam (of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ fame),” explains the 27-year old.

He has recorded a song for an album that is being made by Naveen, son of the late music director Ravindran. He has also lent his voice to jingles for brands such as Arun Ice Creams, Samsung Flat TV and for ‘Manisarma,’ the anthem of the Chennai Super Kings cricket team.

Rahul is all gung-ho about his future. He wants to continue to sing songs of different genres and is on the lookout for more Malayalam songs. He also wants to work with budding artistes in the South Indian industry. “This is the right time for youngsters in the industry. Opportunities abound and there is no room for monopoly. Competition is not a winning streak but more of a process. My dream is to begin my own label and promote musicians and creativity.” In the meantime he is enjoying his new found status as a globetrotting entertainer.

Tamil hits

‘Vasantha Mullai’ (‘Pokkiri’), ‘Dosthu Bada Dosthu’ (‘Saroja’), ‘Para Para Pattampoochi’ (‘Tamizh M.A.’), ‘Vethalaya Poataendi’ (‘Billa’), ‘O Baby’ (‘Malaikottai’), ‘Yendan Vanamum’ (‘Vaazhthukkal’), ‘Bhoomikku Velicham’ (‘Dishoom’), ‘Aa Ee’ (‘Aa Ee’) and more.

Telugu hits

‘Maro Maro’ (‘Chirutha’), ‘Aa Ee’ (‘Okka Mogadu’), ‘Manakanna Podichey’ (‘Parugu’), ‘Valla Valla’ (‘Athidi’), ‘Priyatama’ and ‘Dannaley Thalley’ (‘Ullasamga Uthsahamga’), ‘I Go Crazy’ and ‘Vayasunaami’ (‘Kantri’) and the recent hit ‘Ela Entha Sepu’ (‘Sasirekha Pranayam’).

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