Born to sing

Published Dec 11, 2013, 6:02 pm IST
Updated Feb 23, 2016, 2:43 pm IST
Though a Malayali, Aalaap Raju has many hits in Tamil. His recent song is getting rave reviews

Prashant Pillai and Aalaap Raju were on Skype that night. The former was in Bengaluru watching the latter singing the song 'Pettidamaarum Aapathil...' for the film 'Ezhu Sundara Rathrikal' in a studio in Chennai. Prashant was giving instructions to Aalaap via Skype and it was a totally different experience for both of them. Aalaap didn't expect that the song would be received so well within such a short while.

“The song which is in reggae genre is a hit in YouTube and I never expected that the song will garner so much attention. Dileep's characterisation and cinematography has is the reason why the song a huge hit."


Hailing from Ernakulam, the playback singer and bass player Aalaap was born and brought up in Chennai. His parents J.M. Raju and Latha Raju are playback singers in Malayalam while his grandmother, Shantha P. Nair was a very well known name in the M'wood film industry. Saarang, a cultural event hosted by IIT changed Aalaap's life. He was awarded the best instrumentalist for his bass playing and that was the starting point of his music career.

A self-taught per son Aalaap has no gurus or any godfathers. “Music came to me in inheritance. Since I come from a musical background, music has been a part of my life since childhood. I didn't learn music from any masters. I used to listen to songs, watch videos and did much homework. I kept updating myself," says the singer.

After his studies in Loyola College, Chennai, Aalaap worked for an IT firm for six years. But he didn't leave singing. “My friends encouraged me a lot. I thought music was my forte and decided to give it a shot," Aalaap reminisces. His singing shot to prominence after the hit track 'Ennamo Edho' for the Tamil film 'Ko'. The song topped the music charts in 2011 and won him several awards.

He got a break in Malayalam with the song 'Nenjodu Cherthu...' for the musical album 'Yuvvh'. Then came the songs in '101 Weddings and Buddy'.

Working with some of the bigwigs in tinsel town, Aalaap didn't find much difference between M'wood and K'wood. “These days all are experimenting with music constantly. It feels great to see experimentation in M'wood. 'Pettidamaarum Aapathil' is one such song," says Aalaap.

Regarding his experience working with the hit composer Harris Jayaraj, he says, “Harris gives much importance to vocals. He is so patient and ensures everything is right. The output of his work is unbelievable." Aalaap also enjoys working with the musicians in M'wood. “There is no pressure at all while working in M'wood. It is like working with my buddies."

Yet, he has fewer number of songs in M'wood. Aalaap shrugs and says, “Nothing is deliberate. It is just a co-incidence that I have more songs in Tamil. I wish to sing more songs in Malayalam."

Along with singer Rahul Nambiar, the duo has formed a multi-genre band called 'Rahlaap' and they are just out with their maiden self-titled album.