CHENNAI: The film industry is inconsiderate to many, petering them out before they could etch their names in at least one aspect of it in their lifetime. While only a few succeed in being known for one thing in the industry, people mastering in more than one aspect are a still lesser minority. One of Kollywood's most trusted star Vijay is one such talent.
Being the son of a mother (Shoba Chandrasekhar) whose family has a rich tradition of music running through it, Vijay is a serious singer in his own right. As keener to attain perfection in singing as to make and break box-office records, the actor has once even said singing is his most favourite vocation in films. Though not formally trained in the art, Vijay has all the ingredients in charting out a chartbuster.
He is said to have learnt singing solely through listening to songs and singing back with ample inputs from his mother.
Vijay, who belted out kuthu numbers at the beginning of his career, also has to his name noteworthy melodies.
As actor Vijay, fondly addressed as 'Thalapathy' by fans, celebrates his 48th birthday today let's have a look at the star's singing prowess that has become an inseparable feather to his crown.
Student of the Deva school of Kuthu
Deva has scored music in almost all of Vijay's early films. Known to be a trendsetter in Kuthu numbers, Deva has made some of the most memorable songs for Vijay to lend his voice. All of these songs are in a celebratory mode with the popular ones being Thanga Nirathukku (Nenjinile - 1999), Thottabetta (Vishnu - 1995) and Oormila Oormila (Once More - 1997). The interesting trivia is that Shoba Chandrasekhar sung Oormila and Thottabetta alongside Vijay.
With Raja came the melodies
Being only the third actor to sing for Ilaiyaraja after Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth (Adikuthu Kuliru - Mannan), Vijay's singing career took a melliflous turn. The timeless romantic musical Kadhalukku Mariyadhai (1997) saw Ilaiyaraaja and Vijay pairing up for the first time. Singing Oh Baby Baby in the movie, gave a completely different dimension to Vijay, the singer. The stupendous success of this song led to more such renditions such as Kandangi (Jilla - 2014), Yaendi Yaendi (Puli - 2015).
Vijay's contribution to his Nanbars' films
Though with time Vijay has reduced his discography to his own films, there were instances of him singing just in a singer's capacity and not the film's hero in the past. He has sung three songs in actor Suriya's Periyanna (1999). With all the three turning out to be hits, Thammadikkura Styla Paathu had a bigger reach among the youth thanks to its catchy lyrics. Similarly, Vijay sung a romantic number Tak Tak Tak for Arun Vijay's Thulli Thirindha Kaalam. He would have paired up with the popular playback singer Sujatha in this song. Tak Tak's mood, lyrics and vocals would have endearingly captured the mindset of a typical youngster.
The Era of English Kuthu
Having recently featured in a sensational dance number Arabic Kuthu, Vijay had made the most of the English Kuthu era of the early 2000s. Tamil songs fused with English words were in the vogue those days. The 'Beast' star recorded several of his best songs in this trend, namely, Coca Cola (Bhagavathi - 2002), Ennoda Laila (Badri - 2001) and Vaadi Vaadi (Sachien - 2005). With Vijay's films back then were made to draw in college students into his fandom, these songs made his job easier. It wouldn't be an understatement to say these songs were on repeat mode in some cultural event or the other to which students danced frenetically.
The hiatus and many more hits
However for reasons best known to Vijay, he stopped singing for a gap of seven years after Vaadi Vaadi. Following persistent persuasion from music director Harris Jeyaraj, Vijay was back in the singing booth for the peppy party number Google Google (Thupakki - 2012). Neither he nor his fans could have asked for a better comeback to playback singing. Ever since with exception to movies like Sarkar and Mersal, Vijay has made it a point to entertain his fans as a singer as well. In his second innings in singing, most of the songs are mass and fast-paced songs. There are of course melody tracks like Kandangi and Yaendi Yaendi. Vijay also grabbed attention with a slow Kuthu number Kutty Story (Master - 2021) with almost 90 percent of the lyrics in English.