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|May 3, 2001||
Raja vs Raja!
For the Tamil film industry, he is the Raja. The crowned king of film music. The composer extraordinaire.
And so, when he sings under the baton of another composer, the news rocks the industry. More so, when the composer who will make Ilayaraja sing is none other than Yuvan Shankar, the maestro's younger son.
Ilayaraja, who has sung several songs earlier, in films for which he composed the music, warbled this time for Nanda, to be directed by Bala of Sethu fame. Producer Ganesh Raju was also present at the song recording.
"It was difficult to get my father to sing. He said if he did, then it would be assumed he was helping me in my compositions as well," says Yuvan. "I had to convince him his voice was important for this song. That is how I persuaded him to sing for me."
Clan Raja, meanwhile, seems to be on a roll. Ilayaraja had a recent hit with Friends, not to forget his much-acclaimed score for Bharati.
Daughter Pavadharani, singing under her father's baton, won a National Award this year for best female playback for a song from Bharati. Eldest son Karthik Raja ended a drought of sorts with a hit in Dum Dum Dum, following on from the previous, if not as successful, score for the Vijaykant superhit Vanchinathan.
And Yuvan hit the charts big time with Poovellam Kettupaar, followed by the recent Deena.
Nanda, meanwhile, comes with a lot of expectations attached to it. Director Bala's first, Sethu, not only became a sleeper superhit, but won a National Award to boot.
And lead actor Vikram -- whose stunning performance gave him a fresh lease of film life -- missed out on a best actor award at the national level by one vote, to Mohanlal's performance in the Shaji N Karun film Vaanaprastham.
Bala this early in his career has earned something of a name for not only coming up with unusual themes, but also for making his actors work hard for their money and, in the process, deglamourise themselves.
In Sethu, Vikram spends the entire second half as an emaciated, skeletal figure clad in rags, chained to the wall of a lunatic asylum. In Nanda, it is the turn of Surya, son of yesteryear matinee star Shivakumar, to shed his pretty boy looks.
For now, though, news about the underproduction film and its theme is under wraps -- Bala preferring to let the film do its talking at the marquee.
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