I will tell my grandchildren I sang for Rajinikanth: Nakash Aziz 

Nakash Aziz, best known in the south for his song Ullala from Pettai talks about his new single from from the Sivakarthikeyan-starrer Namma Veetu Pillai

Tamil cinema fans know Nakash Aziz as the voice of Ullaallaa from Pettai. The singer now returns with Yenga Annan from the Sivakarthikeyan-starrer Namma Veetu Pillai that has already garnered over 2 million views since getting published last week. Here, the singer answers questions about whether language is a barrier for him, his passion project with his band Final Call and on his experiences working with composers like D Imman and Anirudh Ravichander.

Excerpts from the interview:

During the last decade, you have dabbled with singing work in many languages including Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Bengali and Gujarati. Has unfamiliarity with a certain language ever been a barrier? 

I did not grow up thinking of it that way. The first time I fell in love with music was when I heard a Tamil album by AR Rahman called Duet. My father's boss got us a cassette of it, and I was an eight-year-old boy who couldn't speak anything other than Hindi. I grew up listening to songs from several languages; it has never stopped me from appreciating music, and by extension, from singing.

What, according to you, determines the success of a song?

It depends on various factors. First of all, the song should be good. There’s also the question of who the singer is. The production then takes over and decides how the song will help the film. There are other factors like the timing of the song's release. The success of a song is a combination of multiple factors. 

Yenga Annan's music video shows you enjoying creating this song.

People like AR Rahman, Pritam, Imman, Anirudh… are magicians. When I go in for a recording, it just feels very fulfilling. It feels like the entire universe is working in my favor (laughs). 

Yenga Annan is an energetic song. If as a singer you are not quite in such a mood, how do you force yourself into that mind space? 
Your question is very valid. When I go to record a song, I tell myself, "This is it. This is the moment I have been waiting for." With this mindset, I try and make sure that I do full justice to the song and respect the faith that the composer has shown in me. The moment I reach the studio, all my attention is channelled towards getting the job done. I feel both happy and nervous. Feeling butterflies in the stomach is useful, I guess. (laughs) 

You have a new single coming from your band "Final Call." 

Yes. We have a very strange cast. It's friends doing something just for fun. We compose music randomly and we listen to it after we do it. We laugh thinking, '' What are we doing?" It's just so random. That's how this single has been made too. We arranged a camera and a shoot and just started doing what came to our mind. In fact, the band is called Final Call because of that. Whenever we board a flight, it's always on the final call. That's just how we are. 

Tell us what it was like to work with a successful composer like Imman.

I can say that he is from the Ilaiyaraaja school of music. I love how he integrates Tamil essence into his music. It's a challenge to please him. When you manage to do it as a singer, it feels great. 

To Tamil cinema fans, you are the singer who sang ‘Ullala’ in Petta

Singing for him is like winning the world cup ten times. When I have children and grandchildren, I'll tell them all I sang for Rajinikanth. They will all be proud of me. I wish I could have met him, but unfortunately, could not. But hey, I won't tell my kids and grandkids that I didn't (laughs).

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