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Rendering notes of success

He made his debut seven years ago with his renditions in the yet-to-be released Malayalam film `Sisiram.' The music was scored by Benny Ignatius. The playback singer shares his passion for music withK.C. Gopakumar


Madhu Balakrishnan

Madhu Balakrishnan, playback singer, is busy singing songs for Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada and Telugu films. Within a short span of time, Madhu has endeared himself to music buffs in South India with his mellifluous renditions.

Little wonder then that his fans have kicked off a debate on the Internet on whether Madhu could be a successor to veteran singer K.J. Jesudas.

During his tutelage at the Academy of Indian Music and Art, Adayar, Chennai, Madhu used to sing light music. He made his debut seven years ago with his renditions in the yet-to-be released Malayalam film `Sisiram.' The music was scored by Benny Ignatius.

Earlier, he had sung tracks for Jesudas under the baton of the late Malayalam music director Raveedran for the film `Ayal Katha Ezhuthukayanu.'

Madhu got a break in the Malayalam music industry in 2002. He bagged the Kerala State Award for his song Amme...Amme... in the film `Valkannadi.' The music for this pacy and melodious track was scored by M. Jayachandran.

Since then, Madhu has received many opportunities to sing in Malayalam for films. He was selected as the best playback singer award instituted by the Kerala Film Critics Association Award in 2004 for his song Chembakame... in the film `Kakkakarumban.' Chatharmizhi..., a duet with Chitra in `Perumazhakalam,' Swapanthin.... in `Vacation,' Krishna Bolo... in `Gaurisankaram,' Kuttanadan... in `Kazhcha,' Vande Matharam...in `Nattu Raajavu' and Kanakassabhathalam... in `Udayapuram Sulthan' are some of his recent hits.

Under Ilayaraja's baton

He has also sung devotional songs in Malayalam and Tamil. Madhu has rendered more songs in Tamil, Kannada and Telugu films than in Malayalam. He made his presence felt in the Tamil film industry after he sang Vandhe Matharam... in `Bharathi' under Ilayaraja's baton. Though Ilayaraja wanted Madhu to sing all the songs in the film, he could not do so as he was preoccupied with a music based television programme.

Madhu has received rave reviews and critical acclaim for his renditions in Tamil and Telugu films. The duet rendered with Sadhana Sargam in `Majaa' has become a rage in Tamil Nadu, says Madhu.

The film, directed by Shafi, is a remake of the Malayalam hit `Thommanum Makkalum.'

Konjam Neram..., a duet with Asha Bhonsle in the Tamil

film `Chandramukhi' has also become a hit. Azhagiya Darisanam... in `Aanai,' Adakondai Seval... in `Adaikkalam,' Vaitha Kann... in `Bose,' Piraiye Piraiye...in `Pithamagan' and Aavaaram Poove... in `Thavamai Thavamirundhu' are what Madhu considers his hit songs in Tamil.

In Telugu

The singer has carved a niche for himself in the Telugu film industry with his renditions in the K. Vishwanath-directed Telugu film `Swarabhishekam.' Ramaa Vinodhi Vallabha...composed by Vidhyasagar has topped the charts owing to what critics describe as the "stunning swara patterns and essential tonal modulations of Madhu

Balakrishnan and Sriram Parthasarathy..." In Kannada too, Madhu's songs in `Sumagali' were a hit.

Madhu says that he does not have any problem with the diction while rendering songs in Kannada, Tamil and Telugu films.

He was able to learn the correct accent from his Kannada, Tamil and Telugu friends at the music institute.

"If I make a mistake, the directors or lyricists will correct me," he adds. Madhu has been offered a chance to sing for a Hindi film.

Madhu, who was born in Koratty near Angamaly, was inspired by his mother to take up music. Madhu enjoys listening to Western music and Hindustani music, including ghazals.

He believes that the pacy tracks are quickly forgotten.

Youngsters who are now hooked on to fast numbers will begin to appreciate and love melodies when they grow up, says Madhu.

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