On the right track


Playback singer Ranjith makes himself heard in Malayalam film music through a melodious song in ‘Pranayakalam.’ Sangeeta

Winning a reality show is a passport to stardom.

“I have rendered 80 to 90 songs in Tamil and Telugu, but most of them were fast numbers. The popularity of those songs made my name synonymous with peppy tunes. ‘Venal Puzhayil,’ a romantic melody, came as a relief. I have been waiting to sing such a song in Malayalam for a long time,” says Ranjith.

Break in Malayalam

“My first song in Malayalam was for ‘Kilukkam Kilukilukkam.’ ‘Innoru Paattonnu Paadan’ was composed by Deepak Dev. The film, I think, did well, but the song went unnoticed. I continued with my assignments in Tamil, but the desire to sing in Malayalam grew stronger as I heard the new-generation composers in Malayalam. ‘Pranayakalam’ happened through a family friend Anoop who happens to be the producer of the film. He introduced me to music director Ouseppachan Sir, who asked me to sing ‘Venal Puzhayil.’ This song by Rafeeque Ahamed has beautiful lyrics set to a poetic rhythm.”

Ranjith has a number of chart busters like ‘Suppose Unna Kathalika’ from ‘Sukran,’ ‘Thiruvilayadal Arambham,’ ‘Ennamma Kannu,’ ‘Jalsa Pannungada’ from ‘Chennai 600028,’ and ‘Dol Dol’ and ‘Tamil’ in ‘Pokkiri.’

“I was introduced to the film music industry by music director Mani Sharma. He gave me my debut song ‘Hey Penne.’”

Ranjith is also part of A. R. Rahman’s World Music Tours - Unity of Light and The Third Dimensional Tour.

“Although it is not a major work, he was kind enough to credit me for the song ‘Thothapuram’ in ‘God Father,” says the singer.

Ranjith, who hails from Kalluvazhi near Ottappalam, was trained in classical music by Vidwan Cuddalore Subramanian, K. S. Kanakasingam, Trichur P. Ramankutty and P. S. Narayana Swamy.

Talent hunts

Ranjith’s musical dreams took shape once he won the mega final of Sun TV’s music talent hunt ‘Saptha Swarangal,’ in 2001.

“On air music competitions can be instrumental in shaping a singer’s career, because it provides a platform to showcase your talent. But winning such contests is not a short cut to success. Getting a break and surviving in the industry is a different task altogether,” explains Ranjith.

“‘Saptha Swarangal’ gave me some kind of visibility. But once I ventured into playback music, I realised that winning a title is of no importance. You are still considered a fresher and expected to start afresh like any other budding singer. But things have changed. Winning a reality show now is a passport to stardom.

“But, unless you keep proving yourself time and again, you are out of the public sphere. So let’s see how many of today’s winners will last in playback music, 10 years hence. ”

Ranjith’s forthcoming songs include ‘SMS’ in Malayalam and ‘Sadhu ‘Mirandal’ and ‘Thottal Poo Malarum’ in Tamil.

“The songs in ‘SMS’ are composed by Ilayaraja. The song is a folkish duet with Manjari. ‘Sadhu Mirandal’ has songs composed by Deepak Dev.”