Growing up listening to memorable songs is one thing and discovering film music through some iconic voices is another. At times, we are treated with flashes or sparks of brilliant voices only to lose them, these under-rated singers never find enough songs to lend their voices to. The south Indian film industry has many such under-appreciated singers who were much illustrious than their peers yet did not find avenues to prove it.
KK has sung some of the cult songs that different age-groups swear by. But the gentleman with a robust yet soul-stirring voice is an underrated talent. His clear, soothing voice, broad vocal range, and versatility gave him many memorable songs, but still, his gifts as a singer have remained mostly underused. He has seen only sporadic success in Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada films and Bollywood.
This singer from Mysore began working with A.R. Rahman in the likes of ‘Hosanna’ Vinnaithandi Varuvaya, ‘Kaathal anukkal’ Enthiran, ‘Veera/Beera’ Raavanan/Raavan and ‘Netru aval’ Maryan. Another film song that makes good use of his voice is ‘Mudhal murai’ Avan Ivan. However, this brilliant singer with a powerful voice could have been offered better songs by the industry. But Vijay remains mostly in the fringes.
A Carnatic vocalist and playback singer, Binni may have several awards and has proved herself time and again with numerous concerts but the south Indian film industry hasn’t used her potential. Along with her husband, Trivandrum Krishnakumar, Binni is one of the rare male-female Carnatic classical music duos that could have raised a storm in the moviedom of South.
After winning the Idea Star Singer, he did convert many into fans but could not replicate the success pinnacle. He debuted in 2007 with the song, Mizhineer in Mission 90 Days, but his actual popularity as a singer only came from his album, ‘I’m Here’. There are only a handful of Malayalam film songs by him and he has now turned to a music director.
A soulful voice trained in both Hindustani and Carnatic music has sung mainly in Malayalam cinema. The song ‘Enthe Nee Kanna’ for Sasneham Sumitra won her the Kerala State Film Award for Best Singer in 2003. Her memorable hits include ‘Chanjadi Adi’ from Makalkku, ‘Thumbikkinnaram’ from Naran and ‘Pularumo’ from Ritu. Gayatri also composes music and has collaborated with many stalwarts of the south Indian music industry; however, her discography in playback singing remains limited.