Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Melody of Gandharva Loka

When Ramesh first asked me to try a number in a South Indian language, I knew he was not kidding. Because when it comes down to music, Ramesh’s mind is far from non-serious business. We talked about it and he selected a few songs for me to listen. My education to South Indian music had just begun!

I was very scared at first since I did not know a single word of any South Indian language. I started by listening to one of the most versatile singer, S.P. Balasubrramanium. Although he did not play as much with his voice in this as he has in many other songs but just a couple of subtle expressions and nuances were enough to put me on a high alert. Should I drop the idea? How about expressions and emotions? I give a significant amount of importance to expressions and emotions since that makes a huge difference in the final outcome of a song. All these questions boggled my mind while I kept listening to SPB’s madhur rendition.

Topping it was the unbeatable melody and catchy interludes of the ace music director Illayaraja. Ramesh tells me that his music is considered a reflection from the Gandharva Loka (the Hindus believe that there is a Planet in the Universe that is dedicated to Music and Art and that is known as Gandharva Loka)

The big kicker was when I received the translation from Ramesh! Some of the lyrics were very deep in their meanings and also very eloquent. After understanding the meaning, the whole process got a bit easier. Ramesh also told me that to make it authentic, he sought "the help of our Taranaa Super Star singer Vidya" (who, I understand sought the help of another friend). Oh boy! This was just to make me sing this song. Vidya, thanks to you and your friend (please do let me know who that person is, if you would)

Ramesh and I went back and forth over a few versions. It was his patience and persistence that helped me complete this task that I never dreamt of. The credit for all of my work goes to Ramesh who has an excellent knowledge on music in general and is a blessing to have around as a friend who acts more like a brother.

Please do let me know of my shortcomings in this rendition. I have only started to get my feet wet. Destination is not even in my sight yet!

Download "Panivizhum"


Hemanth Sharma said...

Wow... I really loved it.
It sounded as if Sonu sang this number. Donno. somehow, i felt it when u reached the high notes.

The pronounciation also seems to be really good... Though I dont know Tamil, I can make out lil bit. ;)

Superb job... keep trying more Azamji...


Deblina M. said...

Amazing Performance Azam !!! Keep it up !!

Very catchy number too.

piya and deb said...

Superb song, Azam. We don't know the language, haven't heard the song before, have never heard you sing in any other language before. So this was unbiased listening at its best. Very very pleasant melody. Ramesh, you did awesome with this track. And congrats to the coaches too. Your ward came out with flying colors.

meera said...

That was such a pleasant treat Khan!!

It was really nice given your maiden attempt in my mother tongue :) Your rendition was good and your laugh in the 2nd charanam (paragraph) was really good!!

A very good effort in an unknown language which is way tougher than most people b've *LOL*

Vidyu said...


paatu romba nanna irukku :-) Diction konjam koodi improve pannalaam..

Else, u've done really really well! Absolutley enjoyed!!!! Thanks for sharing.. How abt a Kannada song now ?

- Vidyu

Anonymous said...

Khaan saab

It was amazing .... you sang it so smothly that I couldnt tell any difference... I have heard some songs by SP Bala... though, cant understand a word but your rendition was superb... This language is even difficult to listen due to its tongue twisitng.... singing in it ... its close to impossible for a stranger to the language...


Will be lisining to your song again... did you write the song in urdu first and then sang it .. .would like to know the details ..

Again, great job dude...

Omar Charagh

Anonymous said...

Chaa gai hain Khan Sahab.. Well Done..

I would love to see what [people who understand the language] think of it...


Riaz Khan

Srividya said...

Superb Azam!!! I guess, I am the last one to comment on it...U have done a great job!! Yes, as Vidyu said, konjam diction improve pannalam :)
Hope you found my friend's translation useful :)

Hats off !!

Jo said...

Hey Azam, great job! Yes, you need to work on the diction as others pointed out, but its okay for now coz its your first try singing a Tamil song. But you have put the feel superbly!! Hope to hear more from you.

Khan Sahab said...

Hemanth, Deblina, Piya Deb, Omar, Riaz: Thank you so much for your encouragement.

Meera, thanks so much for visiting my blog and pointing out areas you liked.

Vidyu, Vidya, and Jo: I really appreciate your time listening to my amateur attempt and will appreciate any help further reagrding my diction improvement.

You all made my day. A very heartfelt thanks to you all!

Kiranz..!! said...

khan sabjee..i really enjoyed your rendition throught this song.Salutes your patience to give the maximum perfection for this song.Its great to hear your voice in a different way this time and its a proven fact that you can try a lot of Southindian songs.Good range and amazing voice.Only thing the diction,but if you sharpen your ears,you can easily overcome it..well done dear friend..

Murali said...

First of all, I welcome Azam's effort with both hands for having attempted a song in Tamil. Even among bloggers, I have not seen anybody try a south Indian song unless they know at least one south Indian language. On the contrary, I have seen many south Indians attempt hindi songs which I believe is due to Hindi's higher popularity. In that context, I sincerely appreciate Azam's brave attempt to step into the southern zone and come out with praise-worthy results. As Meera observed, Tamil is indeed a very tough language for people who do not have any kind of southern flavor in life. The toughest is of course malayalam. Azam, by willingly experimenting with Tamil has lived up to the concept that Blogswara was founded upon - United in Music sans the cultural and other barriers.

And the singing is really enjoyable. I have seen/heard SPB perform Rafi's numbers. Azam's rendition gave me an idea of How Rafi would have sung an SPB's song especially that laugh after parigaasam.

And it is no joke to sing the ending line of charanam (antara). It is difficult even to native tamil speakers.

Keep it up Azam ! You should some telugu and Kannada songs also.

Soumitra said...

Really enjoyed the tune and your singing :-) Must have been pretty satisfying rendering a song in a language u have never spoken (or heard) before :-) congrats :-) well done :)

Khan Sahab said...

Kiran, Murali, and Soumitra!
Thanks so much for listening to my rendition. I agree that music has no barriers. However, it is usually our own doubts that makes us not to cross those barriers. I am glad I did and yes it has been very satisfying to do that.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful rendition Khan Sahab!!I am hearing the song for the first time .It sounds amazing! Hats off to you for this bold attempt!Its a great accomplishment!
Rafi sahab has sung plenty of Marathi songs..would love to hear them in your voice.:)


Vishal Khaparde said...

Khan Sahab,

That was wonderful ! I mean amazing ..I can understand the feeling you are going through after singing songs in different language..;-) ....You have captured the essence of the song and thats an big achievement in itself...You can always try to improve upon diction but you will always have that Hindi touch to your singing style. There are many south Indian artists who have sung hindi songs..even though they do a good job, for a native speaker it still feels odd. So dont worry about the diction..even Udit Narayan cant manage it at many times ;-) ...Point is whether that gives you inner satisfaction or not and I can see it does :-) ..

As Bhavana mentioned you should listen to some of Rafi's songs in Marathi ..Marathi is very simmilar to Hindi but you will be amazed how perfectly he sings in Marathi too.

Keep it coming ...


ps: Rameshji ..good job !

Anonymous said...

Hi Azam ji,
Just listened to your rendition. Though, I listen to Tamil songs some occations, I am not an expert in anyway in diction or understand the language, but your effort, singing in a different language is commendable. Enjoyed your rendition very much.

Keep Singing... I listen

Awatts said...

Wonderful...really heart warming to see you attempt a Tamil song...way to go..

Pradip Somasundaran said...

Very very good...You are gaining in confidence and stability day by day!! Really enjoyed it!!!

Khan Sahab said...

Bhavana, Vishal, Shantha, Watts, and Pradip - thanks for listening and encouraging. This keeps me going :)

Barani said...

Khan Saahab,
I'm late here. Dil khush kar diya aapne !! Loved your rendition .. I appreciate your efforts to sing an SPB number and you have done justice to it..
Keep them coming..