Thirai Isai News - AUG '97
***"Achcham Achcham Illai" yendru 'tamil pop isai'-yai oru thookku thookka killambi vittaargal.. Anuradha Sriram, who sang "Meenamma" in "Aasai" and "Anbendra Mazhaiyile" in "Minsaara Kanavu," has joined forces with Yugendran (Malaysia Vasudevan's son), Charan (S.P.Balasubramaniam's son), Devi Prasad (Chiranjeevi's brother's son), Praveen, and Shalini (a 10 grader in Chennai, who has already released a pop album with her name as the title under the Magnasound distribution label!)..
After the distinct success of Suresh Peters' album "Minnal," and Shalini's "Shalini," the pop scene has been rejuvenated.. In a big live M.T.V. show to be held in August '97, Magnasound will release "Dance Party," an album in which these six artists have collaborated on!.. Each of them have a different interest in building "tamil pop music":
*Anuradha Sriram.. Anu Sriram fell in love with 'pop,' as early as when she did her thesis on tamil movies in the U.S. With an emphasis on Ilaiyaraja and tamil film music, as a part of her thesis.. dhideer yendru veri vandhu.. she learnt a whole bunch of African folk songs in the process.. That actually laid the foundation for what she calls "Pop attitude, voice, dress, movements and just about everything else".. Though, she credits A.R.Rahman for setting the scene where Cable T.V. began the boom for tamil movie music, she also mentioned some not-so-nice aspects of A.R.Rahman(more on this later!)..
*Devi Prasad.. Another youngster who disagrees that being a star son or star's relative could be the gateway into the music field.. According to him, even though he is Chiranjeevi's brother's son, his continued success is all in his hands.. Prasad's contribution to the "Dance Party" album is a song which he composed when he was in tenth grade.. Having sung this song in many school programs, Devi Prasad is proud that he can easily mana paadam pannu-fy tunes, no surprise since he learns music from Mandolin Srinivas.. Prasad's goal is to, one day, put tunes for tenth class seiyullgal and release it as a cassette.. He believes you could memorize and by-heart them better if you can sing them!.. He's probably right!..
*Praveen.. A Communications major from Loyala college and originally from Thooththukkudi.. Though the 'pop' profession and "Thuththukkudi" might not particularly match in context, Praveen is truly interested in proving his talent in tamil pop music.. Moreover, he feels strongly that "Dance Party" is his one and only chance to prove himself, while the other star sons have more opportunity than him to do so!..
***Yugendran.. In all aspects, really a daddy's boy!.. Yugendran has listened to his father's advice during childhood and learnt mridangam and music.. His talent earned him a chance in composing for a telegu film (which he seems to have successfully completed!).. Yugendran was supposed to have sung track in "Ullaasam" for Kamalahassan.. Upset and disgruntled that his voice was erased and he got just a small listing for being a part of the chorus, Yugendran leans more towards 'pop.' His argument: "Pop paadina udane dhaan vandhu ketkareenga!.. Adhdhaan pop!.. Pudhu generation-ukku pudhu music!" and with lots and lots of hope for his future in pop, Yugendran says "Innum oru varushaththula indha sangeetham dhaan makkal manasai pudikka pogudhu".. (Virai-vil paarrkka dhaane pogirom?)
***Chennai-yin puththam pudhu "V.I.P." nichchayam Ranjeeth Barot.. Born in Britain and educated in Bombay, Ranjeeth Barot's playing drums and keyboard has left quite a impression on all those Chennai-yites who are currently listening to the songs in "V.I.P.".. Ranjeeth's biggest accomplishment to date has been his popular music for "Yahi hai right choice Baby, Aahaa!" Pepsi commercials.. His father is a good friend of Amitabh Bachchan's father Harivamsharai Bachchan, while his mother Chitra Devai is a famous Kathak Dancer.. When the Anandha Vikatan reporter went to see Ranjeeth, romba bhavya-maai he stood to receive him!.. (Ippodhellaam reporters kundakka mandakka kisu kisu yezhudhukiraargal yendra bayam dhaano mariyaadhai-kku kaaranam?).. And of course, 'Darlingji' asked the obvious question: In almost all aspects, there seems to be a lot of similarity between you and A.R.Rahman, what do you say about that?!".. Ranjeeth, nice-saaga nazhuvi vittaar, saying, comparing two artists in the art world was generally considered 'anaagarigam'.. Asandhu poyi thirumbinaar AV's "Darlingji".. (Vandhadhe luck-u vandhadhe.. jee boom ba yaar sonnadho?!)..
***In celebration of India's 50 years of Independence.. a grand show involving almost 50 Tamil film singers took place on July 13th at Nehru Indoor Stadium in Chennai.. This show, which was sponsored by Vasanth and Co., was the very first music event in Indian history to be presented in digital sound.. T.M. Soundhararajan, P.Susheela, P.B.Srinivas, Jikki, S.Janaki, L.R.Eeswari, Jamuna Rani, M.S.Rajeshwari, Malaysia Vasudevan, Mano, Swarnalatha, Sujatha, S.N.Surendar, T.L.Thyagarajan, Subha, Krishnaraj, Anuradha Sriram, Deepan Chakravarthi, T.L.Maharajan, Uma Ramanan, Vidya, Rajagopal, Suresh Peters, Sashirekha, Shobana, Chandrabose and many others totalling 50 singers were scheduled to sing at the event.. The music show had a theme of "Andrum Indrum" and included many new and old songs.. The background music was provided by Shankar (Shankar-Ganesh) troupe "Saadhaga Paravaigal" with over 50 different instruments.. Almost 10,000 people were expected to attend the event.. All the pictures of the event lead us to believe that it was a grand and successful show as planned.. (Unfortunately, S.P.Balasubrahmanyam could not participate, as he was in the U.S. on tour!)..
***Maybe not so much in Chennai, but Phil and Jerry's "Thotta Shinungi" album was a considerable hit everywhere in the world.. With thaallam poda vaikkum songs like "Nammoda thalaivaru ennaallum super staaru," "Namma Rajini varaar bavani" and "Ramya Ramya".. P & J showed a lot of promise in the tamil film music scene.. Their two albums "Oorja" in Hindi and "Dance Natyam" in Tamil released under Magnasound reached Platinum Disk status in a very short time.. Ivalavu irundhum, despite being offered several chances to compose for tamil films, P & J had to back off from composing for films for quite a while!.. Well, they are back with a BIG BANG of course!.. A special non-filmi music album for Pyramid Audio is in the works as Lyricist Pazhani Bharathi pens lyrics for a venture outside the movie realm.. Unnikrishnan, Unnimenon, Sujatha, Anupama, Anuradha Sriram have sung in the album which Pyramid plans to release in Sept '97.. Indeed, the most dhool killappum vishayam in all this is P & J will compose music for a huge Pyramid International venture coming up soon.. (Best of Luck P & J!)..
***Playback Singer S.N.Surendar might appear to be out of the map and the top level music scene, but nobody forgets that he was and still has the famous dubbing voice for Mohan for over 85 films and about 650 films in total.. When asked how his voice seemed so similar to Actor Vijay's voice, while singing "Poove Poove Penn Poove" in "Once More," Surendar oru life-long relationship paththi nambalukku theriyaadha vishayam ondrai sonnaar!.. "Naan dhaan Vijay-oda thaai maaman aache, kural ottrumai illaamal irukkumaa?".. Yes indeed, Surendar is none other than Shobha Chandrasekar's (Vijay's mom!) older brother!.. The voice similarity makes sense now!..
***We haven't heard much from Yesudas in quite a while!.. In a recent interview with Anandha Vikatan, Yesu affirmed that he indeed has stayed out of the tamil movie industry as much as possible.. One of many reasons has been that Yesudas was never accustomed to go ask anyone for chances.. He still wants music directors to feel that his voice would be perfect for a song and ask me to come sing.. Moreover, Yesudas is into Carnatic Music and he feels "ippa tamil cinema-vula adhukku idam illaiye!.. Mostly Jolly songs dhaan!.. Rap, adhu idhu-nu verai style irukku.. Melodious songs varadhu kuraichchal!.. Andha maadhiri paattu vandhaa vida maatten!"..
Yesudas-ai poruththa varai, he is willing to admit that both Raja and Rahman have sashtriya gnaanam about music, but still feels that cinema music really depends on the situations at hand.. Instead, both Raja and Rahman (Yesudas claims), virupaththukku maaraa music podaraanga, in an effort to beat the domination of 'situations' in the film!.. Finally, Yesudas has shared with the AV reporter that he never ever wanted to be a music director because he did not have the patience to listen to producers who might dislike his tunes/music for a certain film!.. Indeed, Yesudas has continued to be a staunch believer in singing in his own voice and without distorting or changing it to please the public or to gain popularity.. Unfortunately, his simplicity about the whole matter seems to have given the tamil industry enough incentive to forget him at times!..
***The buzz word for this August is "Isai Puyal" A.R.Rahman's new album "Vande Maatharam" being released by Sony on August 15th.. ARR-Sony deal has been getting around the information highway for quite a while, but everything comes to a head with ARR releasing the album.. The highlight of this album was indeed convincing Nusrat Fateh Alikhan, the Pakistani Qawwali singer, to join in for a song.. Sony thought this would be extremely profitable and add the extra 'jilu jilu' for the album.. Alikhan, who had been sick at the time, agreed to the deal, but asked that Rahman come to Pakistan to record the song with the same type of naveena equipment mostly available at Panchathan Record and Inn in Chennai.. So, ARR packed his bags and his family and went on a quick trip to Pakistan spanning just 2 days, finished the recording and zoomed back to Chennai.. After all, ARR is a big fan of Nusrat Fateh Alikhan.. makes sense why he would go so far!.. Trouble brewing that Alikhan has made several statements against India and Indians, that aside, "Vande Maatharam" comes to us on August 15th..
***Unnikrishnan's new keyboard.. With lots of aasai in buying a keyboard for himself for several years, ippodhu dhaan, Unnikrishnan has a new Yamaha PSR 520 in his home.. Of the many incredible things one could have, he believes that the keyboard and the music it generates is of the highest class.. One a trip to London and Dubai, Unni went window shopping for keyboards, only to be surprised at the airport by Transworld Group Managing Director Ramakrishnan presenting him with a Yamaha suddenly.. In seventh heaven, Unni returned to India only to find that he might be charged extensive duty in customs for bringing the keyboard.. Instead, they let him go without paying for anything.. Now, Unni practices at least one hour a day on his keyboard with hopes of playing his own tunes in very soon in the future!.. "Isai-yum neeye, vaasikka neeye, keyboard neeye.. Yamaha-ve" yendr-aagi vittadhu!..
***Recently Released Albums***
***Kaadhal Rojave.. Music: Ilaiyaraja
***Nerukku Nerr.. Music: Deva
***Thaayin Manikodi.. Music: Vidyasagar..
***Roja Malare.. Music: Adithyan..
***Arasiyal.. Music: Vidyasagar..
***Kaadhali.. Music: Deva..
***Pagaivan.. Music: Deva..
***Nandhini.. Music: Sirpi..