Rewind with Raja: The tale of two singers
Ahead of the upcoming Ilaiyaraaja concert, Isai Celebrates Isai, the Isaignani, in this column, reflects on an old photo of his from the TNIE archive
'If I am not wrong this picture was clicked during the recording of my third or fourth film. I guess it might have been Devaraj Mohan's Paalooti Valartha Kili. More than the sweetness of voice, understanding the requirements of the composer is the first quality I seek in a singer. And Janaki amma is a singer who excels in this area. I made her sing in such a large number of songs primarily because of this reason.'
'Nobody can replace Asha ji. The mere sight of her brings out a lot of creativity latent in me, and this in turn leads to interesting compositions. Mostly the Tamil audience lauds her voice only in songs like Valaiyosai and Shenbagame, but she is much more than that. She is a talent who can't be defined by a particular song or album. She is a singer who is up for any challenge. Whenever I give her a tough tune she will be like idha namba eduthu paadiye aaganum and give me an end result that is nothing short of perfection.'
(As told to Navein Darshan)