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My first break - Harini


How it happened

I started singing at 4. I learnt Carnatic music from Gowri and Radha Viswanathan. I used to participate in school competitions. In one such competition, I won the first prize. Music maestro A. R. Rahman who distributed the prizes invited the winners to his studio to record their voices. After recording my voice, I got a call from Sushasini Mani Ratnam to sing ‘Nila Kaigirathu’ for her first film Indira.

It was a song sung by a child. When I sang my first song, I was just 13; I continued to practise Carnatic music. After some time, I was called again by Rahman to record ‘Telephone Manipol’ for the film Indian.

Then I got a chance from music director Deva to sing ‘Manam Virumbuthe’ for Nerrukku Ner.

How it felt

Basically, I wanted to become a Carnatic vocalist. Hence, I didn’t experiment with film songs. As I was an ardent fan of A. R. Rahman, I was very happy to sing for him. It was a great experience. When I started singing more of film songs, I realised the power and reach of the medium, cinema. I’m happy I’m here.

How life changed

After my first song, I was a constant in all my school programmes. So far, I have sung 2,000 songs in all the four south Indian languages. I have also sung in 35 devotional albums in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam. It’s my wish to keep my listeners happy by continuing to sing good songs.

S.R. ASHOK KUMAR

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