With his eyes closed, a kazoo in his mouth, Sooraj Santhosh begins the song Kaanthaa. On YouTube this song got nearly four hundred thousand views. It is also the most popular original song by Masala Coffee, the band with whom Sooraj sings. Now living in Chennai, Sooraj, a Malayali from Kollam, is excited at having sung for Ilayaraja for the first time.
“The song is called Chinna Payyan Manassu for the film Kida Poosari Magudi,” he says. For Sooraj, playback singing started five years ago with music director G.V. Prakash asking him to sing for the Telugu film Darling. Since then, he has been singing in Tamil and Telugu. He has gone on to sing for various Tamil musicians like D. Imman, Yuvan Shankar Raja, S. Thaman and now Ilaiyaraaja. His most recent one was with K.S. Chithra for the Tamil film Kanchana-2.
In Malayalam, he began his playback singing with Second Show, a song called Ee Ramayana Koottil. He sang for another film called KQ and an album called Love Policy. Now, he has sung for the upcoming movie Madura Naranga.
“I was not particular about making a career in playback singing. I just wanted to be a musician, in whatever way possible, be it playback singing or independent music. Right now, I want to pursue independent music more seriously,” he says. For Masala Coffee, Sooraj has composed two songs, Vadakkan Paattu and Odi Odi Po. The band is now composing music for a Malayalam film, Uriyadi. “We are collaborating with other musicians, like Raghu Dixit and classical musicians. We now have around 10 originals, and hope to release an album with 12 songs.”
Sooraj who has been learning Carnatic music as a child from Kudamaloor Janardanan, has been a state level winner in classical and light music for five years as a student (Standard 8 through 12). He moved to Chennai four years ago to pursue his dream of making it big in the field of music. It looks like he is making the right moves....