There is a general yardstick used to measure a singer’s success — the number of songs he has sung in films. There is also another general misconception that a playback singer who does not croon in back-to-back films is sitting at home twiddling his thumbs. Biju Narayanan shoots down both these notions. In his 25th year of being in the industry, the soft spoken singer is enjoying a rare day at home. He is busy with stage shows in India and abroad as well as recording albums and film songs. He says, “Yes, I am quite busy but a hit song in a film is a great confidence booster.” The boost he is talking about is the song Doore Doore in the film Njan Marykutty.
The singer, who is best remembered for his hit evergreen songs like Pathu Veluppinu and Kalabham Tharaam, candidly states, “It has been some time since I have had a hit song!” and goes on to explain how the offer for the film came. “Lyricist Santhosh Varma suggested my name and director Ranjith Sankar seconded that.” It was music composer Anand Madhusoodhanan who got in touch with him.
After introducing himself, Anand asked Biju if he would be willing to record a song the very next day. Biju was completely willing, “This is a high-pitched song with very nice lyrics by Santhosh. The very next day, I went for the recording and on the fifth day, the trailer came out with my song. After 10 days, it was uploaded on Youtube, where it soon climbed the charts. I have been getting very good comments from all around for the song,” he happily says.
Yes, he is a happy man but there is a tinge of sadness when he remembers with nostalgia the good old days. He recalls, “There was a time when I used to sing 50-60 album songs in a month but now it is not even 10 percent of that. Piracy is a prime reason as also the trend of USB’s that are more convenient!”
In his professional career, Biju has sung around 5,000 devotional album songs, mostly Christian devotionals. He goes back in time to the 1998-1999 era during the Sabarimala season and says fondly, “During one such season, I was a part of nine albums — singing 90 songs over a period of a month-and-a-half.” But that does not mean he is living in a glorious past. Biju’s present and future are filled with busy days that have him flying across continents for stage shows. He says, “I sing Hindi, Tamil and Malayalam classical and film songs. I mostly get requests for songs from the 1980-90 periods. The latest songs that have become chartbusters like Jimmikki Kammal and Malare are also favourites.”
He mentions, “Earlier, the audience in America favoured old songs but with the advent of Malayalam channels, they are aware and ask for the latest songs.” Biju’s upcoming songs will be from films Aaranu Njan, Patham Classile Pranayam and Illayaraja along with a Tamil film and of course album songs too....