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Jayachandran, The Magic Is Back!

Chitra Parayath

Mr. Jayachandran, popular crooner of Malayalam and Tamil film songs and light music, will present a concert at the David Mindess School Auditorium in Ashland on Friday October 24.

Mr. Jayachandran’s interest and talent in music was evident to all even when he was very young. Having recorded over 15000 songs in Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada and Telugu, he has carved quite a niche for himself in the music scene back home in India.

Born to gifted musicians, father Thripunithura Ravivarma Kochaniyan Thampuran and Subhadra Kunjamma Jayachandran began learning Mridangam at a young age.

Music Composer B.A. Chidambaranath introduced Jayachandran to the Malayalm film industry by giving him a chance to sing in his film "Kunjali Marakkar" in 1965 and he hasn’t looked back since.
Jayachandran got his first state award in 1972 for the song Suprabhatham in "Panitheeratha Veedu" composed by M.S. Vishwanathan. In 1978 he got another state award for the song Ragam Sreeragam in Bandhanam composed by M.B. Srinivas.

He was the recipient of the national award in the year 1985 for Sivasankara Sarva Saranya Vibho in Sree Narayana Guru composed by G. Devarajan. In 1994 he received the Tamil Nadu State Government Award for the song Kathazham Kattuvazhi in "Kizhakku Cheemayile" composed by A.R. Rahman. In recognition of his services to the Tamil music world, he was honoured with "Kalaimamani" award by the Tamil Nadu Government. In 1998 he got the state award, Asianet Award and Gulf Award for the song "Prayam Nammil" in film Niram composed by Vidhyasagar. In 2001, he was selected as the most valuable singer in Malayalam Films by Swaralaya Kairali Yesudas Award.

Here are some of the most popular hit songs of Jayachandran
Manjalayil Mungithorthi
Anuragaganam pole
Iniyum Puzhayozhukum
Poovum Prasadavum
Karimukil Kattile
Ragam Sreeragam
Ishta praneswari
Sandhyakenthinu Sindhoorum

Jayachandran is married to Lalitha and has two children. Lakshmi and Dinanath, both talented singers in their own right. Lakshmi has sung for a recent album and Dinanath has sung for two Malayalam films. . In Puthooram Puthri Unniyaarcha joined Yesudas's son Vijay to sing an old song which was originally sung by Yesudas and Jayachandran 30 years ago.

Jayachandran sounds every bit the way I imagined him, down-to-earth , unassuming and totally charming. Not having grown up listening to Malayalm songs, my initiation came quite late in life and I have been trying to catch up since then. I did know, though, that it was Jayachandran’s voice that crooned the popular Malayalam film songsManjilayil Mungi Thorthi, and Upasana Upasana in the 60’s.
Then came AR Rahman and the Tamil hits En mel vizhundha (May Madham), ... Chithirai Nilavu'(Vandicholai Chinraasu) and Kannathil Muthamittai and I was completely sold on this magical voice.
Here is a gist of my telephone chat with him about various topics… about Yeshudas, old songs vs. new, acting as a career option and his favorite directors.
About Yeshudas.
He is like an older brother to me, our association goes way way back, he is an institution in himself. Not many singers can reach the pinnacle he has, but everyone should try and sing like him. He is the consummate singer.
About his background, his family.
My parents encouraged my foray into music, I started playing the mridangam early in life. Music was an integral part of my life when I was growing up as it is now. My daughter Lakshmi likes to sing, she is talented. My son, Nityanand has sung for a film with Vijay, Yeshudas’s son.
Old songs vs. New
Old film songs were more melody oriented, that is not to say that the present crop of songs lack melody…they are more situational and are in tune with present tastes and trends. I feel as comfortable singing old songs as I do new and to sing for the talented new music directors is a pleasure indeed.
Early influences and mentors.
I am highly indebted to G. Devarajan, the famous music composer in the Malayalam films and also to Dakshinamurthy sir, P. Bhaskaran and Vayalar Rama Verma. I have sung in about 6-7000 songs in Malayalam, Tamil and Kannada and I could cite many more influence.
About the current crop of melody makers.
I could name many, Johnson, Ravidran, Jayaraj, Mohan Sithara, there are many...
On AR Rahman
He is a musical genius, a prodigy, a gifted person . It is great to work with him, he is very gentle and nice.
Favorite genre – Film, devotional or light
I like all genres. I am interested in music. I am interested in singing. Period. I like to sing all kind of songs.
About his adventures in front of the camera
I liked acting in Nakhashathangal which was a super hit, but acting is not something I want to pursue!
About the reaction his concert is drawing in the US
It’s been very good. People want me to sing old songs! I am enjoying this tour.

Lokvani would like to thank Mr. Mohan Somasundaram and Mr. Frankline Thomas for making this interview possible.

This is your chance to see the legend in person! Organized by VNF International & ASIANET New England, he will be accompanied by Naadabramha Orchestra.

For tickets and more information, please contact
FRANKLINE THOMAS 203-809-2412; JOBOY JACOB 508-839-5282, Kuriakose Maniattukudiyil: 508-460-1399, Paul V Paul: 617-628-4558, Renny Mathew: 413-739-8019, Abraham Thomas: 508-528-8814, Suresh Abraham: 508-533-8001, Ravi Koroth: 781-769-0113.

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