Sunday, 20 November 2011

Made For Each Other..

One of the most underrated talents in Tamizh Film Music is that of Deepan Chakravarthy.

As I have been mentioning time and again, I fail to understand as to how and why Raaja sir gave opportunities to some mediocre and below par voices while people like Soolamangalam Murali, Radhika, Krishna Chander, T.KS.KalaivaNan, Deepan Chakravarthy were not given their due despite being introduced by him.
(I can easily list out the mediocre voices now, but I would prefer to not do it now.. ).

But in a way, Deepan was fortunate that unlike Murali, Radhika , he was not ‘dumped’ after just one song.

To be born in an illustrious artistic family has its advantages and disadvantages.
The pluses are the environment, artistic discussions and getting an entry as a performer rather easily. But on the other side are the expectations from the public and the pressure to live up to the expectations. And even after one shines, the refrain would be ‘It is in his/her genes. So, what is great about it?’

Deepan Chakravarthy’s father was the legendary singer Trichy Loganathan, who has the rare distinction of being the first male playback singer in the history of Tamizh Cinema.Those days actors were singers and therefore, they would lip sync to their own voice in front of the camera. However, Trichy Loganathan lent his voice to some other actor thus creating history!

Known for his crystal clear voice and perfect diction, Loganathan gave many hits including the incomparable ‘Vaarai nee vaarai’.

One of his sons, T.L.Maharajan started singing in movies at a very early age. His ‘Thaazh thiravaai’ in ‘Thiruvarutchelvar’ was so majestic and classical that it became a huge hit. But after he grew up, the voice had changed and that feminine tinge in his voice had disappeared forever. Because of this or whatever reason, he did not get too many opportunities.

T.L.Tyagarajan, Loganathan’s second son focused more on devotional albums and live light music concerts though he did sing some songs in films too.

Deepan Chakravarthy is Trichy Loganathan’s son.

He recorded his first song with Janaki for the film ‘Enakkaga Kaathuru’on Apr14th 1980(Tamizh PuththaaNdu NaaL). Many people still think that ‘Poongathave..’ was his first song.

However, ‘Poongathave thaazh thiRavai..’ did open new doors for him and he started singing some songs for Raaja consistently at least for the next four years or so..No, I am not contradicting what I wrote in the first paragraph. What I meant there was that for the kind of talent Deepan has, he was surely not given enough opportunities.Except for a few songs during late ‘80s, I do not remember his having sung too many songs in late ‘80s .

Deepan’s voice is marked by sweetness, clarity, shruti unison and of course perfect diction.All these qualities he would have imbibed from his father but one can clearly make out that he has a unique style which is different from that of his father.

Sometime during 1983, he was roped in as a hero in a film called ‘Rani Theni’ a film that also saw the Shree alias Mahalakshmi (daughter of AVM Rajan-Pushpalataha ) make her debut. I do not want to discuss the quality of the film because the less said the better.

Today, let us take up a gem from the same movie, a movie in which singer Deepan sang for the actor Deepan.

The song is ‘Ramanukke Seetai..’

The song starts with a mesmerizing aalap of Janaki that has contours of Kalyani as well as the Hindustani raag Hamir.The elegant electric guitar and the beautiful bass guitar follow making it a very short, sweet, attractive prelude.

The Pallavi with the flute juxtaposed lingers tenderly.

The tempo and the colour change suddenly in the first interlude. The guitars and the trumpets exude radiance and take joyous flights.

The CharaNams have soothing passionate phrases. It is sensuous, erotic and lucid.The resonant and charming timbre of Deepan makes it more attractive..It is enlivened by the flute and the Bass Guitar.

The Flute continues its journey with its melodic charm in the second interlude. It is a subtext of tones as the guitars and the synthesiser vies with each other to allure the flute. The subtle and varied electric guitar vivifies the atmosphere.

The second extended charaNam is a surprise too with the male singing the notes of the Pallavi with different set of words.

Intensely beautiful!

Rama and Sita.
Krishna and Radha.
Raga and TaLa.
Raaja and Music.

Are these not made for each other?


Aakarsh said...

wow! What a beauty! Never heard it before! Thanks a tonn for showcasing this. This is the thing(problem) with Ilaiyaraaja. We are never done with getting all his gems. There are always some hidden, somewhere..

I enjoyed this song a lot. The beauty of this song is in many aspects. Lovely tune. Brilliant interludes. What an instrumentation. Freaking out of phasers and elec guitars. And those bass lines... whoa!


Raj said...

Thanks Kamal..

'This is the thing(problem) with Ilaiyaraaja. We are never done with getting all his gems. There are always some hidden, somewhere..'

That is why, I am trying my best to showcase those gems to the world.

Still a long way to go...

Suresh S said...


I think Kamal put up this song on twitter and being a bit busy I couldn't hear it that day. Now I heard it fully and as Kamal says what a kick-ass song. The mridangam beats, the crazy guitars and the lovely flute. Everything has Raja's stamp. And not to mention the tune. Absolute beauty. And then people wonder why guys like us never come out of Raja. He never lets us, right?

Raj said...

Thanks Suresh!
Yes..he never lets us down..

Kamesh K said...

Well said Rlive raj; During the recent live concert in December both Deepan and Uma were quite good and could still sing well (almost after 30 years). He could have been used more.

Raj said...

Yes Kamesh!
Thanks for your comments..

aswin dc said...

Hi Kamal,

Thank you for writing about my Father. It would have great if he had sung more songs. But to me, the songs that he sang will always be remembered. they were unique. He did sing about 1000 songs For MSV Sir, Raja Sir, Shridhar Master etc. but there is more time ahead and i hope he sings more for films. I really appreciate it. I'm sorry that i just came across this article. continue writing about more singers. it will be awesome. it would be great to talk to you. stay in touch if you can.


Vigna Ashwein Chakkravarthy
(Aswin DC)

Raj said...

Thanks Aswin!

Nice to see a comment by a son about his father.

By the way, I am Raj and not Kamal :). Please do stay in touch. My id is