Rewind with Raja: Birds of a feather
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
'Finding a voice like Yesudas is a miracle. Be it classic Carnatic songs or typical Tamil tunes, he always manages to deliver the best. I recently made him sing for a film, once he began singing I realised his charisma and voice haven't changed a bit over the years. This has been possible only because of God's grace. Yesudas is actually responsible for me becoming a playback singer. I have the habit of singing the sample tracks in the absence of the lead male singer during composing sessions. Directors use these tracks for shooting and once the singers are available, I re-record the song with their voice. Yesudas was supposed to sing the Janani Janani track in Thaai Mookaambikai. But, he was held up with multiple commitments, during our recording. So I had to sing the track version. Surprisingly, the makers were impressed with my version and they insisted on using the same in the film. And that's how Yesudas indirectly propelled my career as a singer. Another interesting incident happened during the recording of Priya. He had bought a new stereo system at that time. I asked him if we could use that for the film and we recorded all the songs of the album using it. We bond a lot over music and discuss at length about songs. It is indeed true that birds of a feather flock together.'
(As told to Navein Darshan)