Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Musical Anecdotes –41 --P. Unnikrishnan (July 9. 1964.........)


  Musical Anecdotes –41


                                          41--P. Unnikrishnan  (July 9. 1964.........)



                    P.Unnikrishnnan is a Carnatic vocalist and a national award winning playback singer. He was  born to K. Radhakrishnan and Dr. Harini Radhakrishnan in Palakkadhe family home, Kesari Kuteeram, was a well known landmark of Madras city, with great grandfather Dr.K.N.Kesari being an eminent Ayurvedic physician and the promoter of the popular Telugu women's magazine "Gruhalakshmi ". Unnikrishnan  went to Asan Memorial Senior Secondary School, Chennai and  graduated from Ramakrishna Mission  Vivekananda College, Chennai , and received his B.Com degree from the Madras University  He earned a General Law and Post Graduate Diploma in Personnel Management and Industrial Relations. He worked as an executive in Parry's Confectionery Ltd. from 1987 to 1994 and quit his job to become a professional singer.



                                    Unnikrishnan is one of the rare singers who successfully straddle classical, light and film songs with finesse. For him Carnatic music came much before he made a foray in film and light music. Unnikrishnan emphasises that Carnatic music is and will remain his first choice.




                               Unnikrishnan was initiated into Carnatic Music at age of 12 by Seshadri Unnikrishnan. He was inspired by Sangita Kalanidhi Dr. S. Ramanathan. He attended a special workshop for six months on "Veena Dhanammal Bhani" under Sangeetha Kalanidhi T.Brinda and Sangeetha Kalanidhi Dr.T.Vishwanathan. He  received guidance from Savitri Satyamurthy and Calcutta Krishnamurthy. He is currently training under Vidwan P.S.Narayanaswamy.



                        He is a national award winning playback singer for his debut film songs "Ennavale Adi Ennavale" in Kadhalan  and "Uyirum Neeye" from the movie Pavithra . These songs were composed by A. R. Rahman, with whom Unni Krishnan gave most of his memorable songs. He was one of the permanent judges in the reality television shows. In 2008, he presented a novel jazz concert in Thiruvananthapuram with the Eli Yamin Jazz Quartet and pianist Anil Srinivasan.



                              Unnikrishnan is married to Priya, a Bharathanatyam  and Mohiniyattam dancer. They have a son named Vasudev Krishna and a daughter named Uthara. Uthara won National award for playback singing in the movie "Saivam".



                                  Unnikrishnan has rendered a series of Devotional songs on Ganesha, Ayyappan, Venkateswara and Devi, among others. Notable among them is the Harivarasanam, part of the Ayyappa album and is a very  popular rendering .




 He was the first singer to get the Best Male singer National award for a Tamil song. Krishnan is also the recipient of Isai Peroli Award instituted by Kartik Fine Arts . He was awarded "Isai Peroli" "Yuva Kala Barathi" "Nada Bhushanam" and the title "Kalaimamani" by the Government  of Tamil Nadu. Krishnan is an "A" grade artist of the All India Radio and has given a number of concerts all over India, U.S.A, The Middle East, The United Kingdom, The Far East, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.




                                  How does a singer like Unnikrishnan unwind? "After the hectic schedules of Margazhi, I usually go for a long drive with my family. I also play tennis or listen to music. My son is a big MJ fan and I listen to western numbers with him." 
                                Unnikrishnan was also a skilled cricketer during his school days. Does he miss cricket now? "Of course, I do. Frankly speaking, I am quite held up this season; to the extent that I did not even know that T20 has started".




                                   Recalls Unnikrishnan     "I was once performing in Cleveland, United States. I forgot the lyrics of my song and started fumbling with the words. Fortunately, musician Soumya came up to my rescue with the lyrics on a piece of paper." What if she had not come? "Well, I would have skipped to the next song." 



                                        Unnikrishnan has recorded over 600 film songs for Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam films. Has more than 25 albums on cassettes and CD's to his credit.