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Tuesday August 20, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Tuesday August 20, 2013 MYT 8:19:06 AM
by derrick vinesh
Popular award-winning Indian playback singer Karthik performing at the JR Charity Concert 2013, held in memory of road accident victim Joshua Ryan, at the Subterranean Penang International Convention and Exhibition Centre (sPICE) in Bayan Baru, Penang.
A taste of Malaysian rap has Indian artiste Karthik singing its praises and eyeing future collaborations.
AWARD-winning Indian playback singer Karthik has taken a strong liking for Malaysian Tamil rap songs and is keen on collaborating with some local rappers.
The 33-year old, who recently performed in a concert in Penang, said he was mesmerised by some of our Malaysian rappers’ performances as well as their songs’ infectious beats and catchy lyrics.
“I worked with Malaysian singer and composer, S. Dhilip Varman from Penang, where we recorded a sentimental track, Meendum Meendum, in 2008, which was a hit in both in Malaysia and India.
“I am especially impressed with Malaysian rap groups, Psycho Unit and K-Town Clan, who also performed at this concert.
“I hope we can work out something together in the near future,” he told The Star on the sidelines of the JR Charity Concert 2013 at the Subterranean Penang International Convention and Exhibition Centre (sPICE) in Bayan Baru, Penang recently.
The concert was held in memory of Joshua Ryan, 21, a second year Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia law student, who died in a road accident in 2011.
Joshua’s mother, Regina Peter, later set up a foundation in his name, the Joshua Ryan Welfare Organisation, to provide financial assistance to needy students in school and university. Subsequently, she set up JR Arts and Entertainment to organise charity events to channel funds to the welfare organisation.
The down-to-earth Karthik, who is known for wearing casual outfits during in his shows, wore a blazer over a striped t-shirt and mustard coloured cotton pants, as he belted out eight of his popular Tamil songs to screaming fans.
They included Oru Maalai, Vizhi Moodi, Usurae Pogudhey and Girlfriend. He used folk songs Yennadi Muniyamma (remix) and Theradi Veethiyil to coax fans to dance in front of the stage.
Touched by the enthusiasm shown by his fans, Karthik promised to return to Malaysia soon for more shows, noting that the last time he was in the country was seven years ago.
Karthik said Malaysian rappers Yogi B and Dr Burn were gaining a steady following in India after some of their songs were featured in a few Tamil movies, and as such, he was keen on seeing more musical collaborations between the two countries.
He said although cinema songs were still a major influence among Tamil music listeners in India, they were slowly opening up to alternative music presented in the form of singles and albums.
“The advent of the Internet and YouTube has provided an excellent opportunity for anyone with talent to write, record, and promote their own songs. So, I hope to work with a few Malaysian rap groups on some non-cinema singles,” he said.
Karthik, who has won six Indian Filmfare Awards for Best Male Playback Singer since 2005 and has recorded over 3,000 songs in Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam, Hindi and Bengali, said apart from performing in concerts, he has been kept busy with several recording and composing jobs lately.
He said he recently recorded a song for music director Harris Jayaraj for the Tamil movieIrandam Ulagam and composed the songs for producer Gautham Menon’s upcoming Tamil movie Tamilselvanum Thaniyar Anjalum, and its Telegu version as well.
Karthik’s career in the Indian music world took a major turn when his idol, Oscar-winning music director A.R. Rahman, commissioned him to sing in the Hindi movies Pukar (2000) and One Two Ka Four (2001), and in Tamil movie Star (2001).
He also debuted as music director last year for the Tamil movie Aravaan and followed that up with Telugu movie Okkadine.
Karthik, who studied Indian carnatic music in his school days, said he did not come from a family with musical background, “but, thank God, music just came naturally to me.”
He said he actively performed in many states in India and overseas, under the group Karthik and the Band.
Asked where he sees himself 10 years from now, Karthik said he takes each day as it comes, without really planning for the future.
“For now, I will concentrate on my singing, which is my core business. I have always wanted to become a singer and with God’s grace, I have become one,” he said.
Asked if he had any plans to try his hand at acting in the lucrative Bollywood and Kollywood movie industries, Karthik was quick to respond that it was not his cup of tea.
“I received a few offers to act in movies, but I turned them down because I do not think I would be a good actor.
“I am more comfortable as a singer, and I do not really see myself as an actor, well, not for the time being, at least,” he said.
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