Biennale Music: Young singer straddles eras in film music

Kochi, May 25: He is one of those rare vocalists trained in both north and south Indian classical music, but when it came to the audience today Uday Ramachandran again chose to render light songs — though, mostly of a bygone era.

At the ‘Arts and Medicine programme’ at Government General Hospital here on Wednesday, the young artiste struck harmonious notes with Tamil ditty ‘Ammave Vanangathe’ from the Rajnikanth hit movie ‘Mannan’ (1992) where the central character carries his ailing mother to the temple for her quick recovery—and singing all the while.

The context was all the more a reason for the audience to strike a chord with the lyrics of the song at the hour-long programme where Uday was joined by female singers Athira V J and Shreya K Raj.  The 121st edition of the weekly show, which saw a dozen numbers being delivered—was organized as usual by Kochi Biennale Foundation in association with Lakeshore Hospital and Research Centre Limited and Mehboob Memorial Orchestra.

“I didn’t come here expecting applause or even appreciation to my singing. I simply wanted to create an atmosphere for the patients in this hospital to forget all their pains and illness for a little while and enjoy these nostalgic songs” said Uday. “Nostalgia always lends us a sense of relief.”

Hailing from a family of musicians with rich lineage, trained in Carnatic and Hindustani music under renowned musicians N P Ramaswamy and Ustad Fiyaz Khan respectively and backed up with an academic music training at RLV College in Thripunithura, Uday’s musical background was evident at the show.

In a soulful performance, if Uday did enrapture the gathering of patients, hospital staff and bystanders with a one hour incessant flow of sprightly music, it was also owing to his experience as a stage performer. The choice of songs in the summery forenoon was just right, shifting from melancholic to melodious to even peppy.

The duets, ‘Olanjali Kuruvi’ (from the movie 1983 sung originally by P Jayachandran and Vani Jayaram), ‘Shaaradaambaram’ (from Ennu Ninte Moideen [2015] sung by P Jayachandran) and ‘Dwarake dwarake’ from the movie Hello Darling (1975) refreshed the listeners in more ways than one.

Singers Athira has just completed her plus two and is part of the ‘Kedamangalam’ music troupe, while Shreya who is a tenth grade student is also part of ‘Pattu Maadom’ troupe.

Uday is born into a Vaikom-based family of musicians that has eight other 'Ganabhooshanam' holders of classical music. He has recorded more than 500 songs in Malayalam, including albums and films. He has performed more than hundred stage shows extensively in India and abroad.

Uday's talent and dedication won him several prizes at various venues during his school and college days. He was adjudged winner of the MG University Youth festival with an A grade in light-music competition in 1998, 1999 and 2000.

Uday played an instrumental role in setting up the first-ever Malayalam radio station in Kuwait – 98.4 U FM. His live show “Heart-Throbs” attracted thousands of listeners and was one of the best shows in 98.4U FM.

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