Suchitra : I can sound sweet, sexy, bold or sensual
Raagam (The Tune):
Many say multitasking and Suchitra are synonymous, and we definitely agree! RJing, singing, acting…she dos it all with élan.
Let’s take it one at a time. Life sort of steered Suchi towards singing. And mind you, she never took any formal training. “It was my school teacher Renuka Girirajan who felt I could sing and thanks to her I won several competitions,” she says. Before she turned full time singer Suchi was quite happy with a lucrative IT job until singer Timothy Madhukar introducer her to Harris Jayaraj as she was singing jingles for him. But then music director Yuvan and Bharadwaj got her into mainstream playback singing and since then there has been no looking back.
Interestingly, the music director who eventually groomed her into what she is today was the same person who shut doors for her saying she couldn’t sing. She recollects, “My first recording for Mani Sharma was a disaster. It was a subtle love song and I had no idea how to handle it. But Mani Sir saw some potential in me I guess, and started calling me back for assignments. This gradually was helpful in moulding my voice, expressions and tone. So when Dole Dole and Ippatikinka happened, nobody could fault me. If I ever had a guru, it was Mani Sir.”
But it was hardly a smooth ride before Suchi turned into something of a sought after singer. “It was a real struggle with the long period of lull that followed in my career after May Maasam 98’il, the song I sang in the film Jay Jay. A lot of people in the industry – friends, colleagues everyone – had written me off as a one-hit-wonder. That’s when Simbu happened to me. I still don’t know how he picked me out, but starting from En Aasai Mythiliye in Manmadhan, to Vechikava in Silambattam, all my duets with him for his films have worked fabulously well for me.”
Taanam (The Beat):
Next we moved to her acting stint and Suchi finds this pretty amusing. “Ha ha it was just for fun! I wanted to be in a Maniratnam film because he’d make me look pretty on screen, that’s all. And that’s how Aayutha Ezhuthu happened with Mani Sir. And Jay Jay was just a cameo. But radio and music are both very fulfilling careers right now.”
And yet again she says life led her to be an RJ, “An old colleague, Sharath Chandra, persuaded me to join Radio Mirchi. My show on Hello FM today is an extension of who I am. It really is a reflection of my personality more than just being another way to use my voice. Every single day of being a radio jockey is exciting!”
Ask her which of her songs does she like the best and she smiles. “All of them! And none of them. Am as detached as I’m greedy.” But three songs that she sang which remain her most liked renditions would be Tharai Irangiya from Eeram, Kutti Pisase from Kaalai and Dole Dole from Pokiri (Telugu).
On her favourite co-singer: “The question of enjoying singing with co-singers comes only on stage concerts. Two singers I seem to have an awesome chemistry with are Ranjith and Krish. I would love to perform with Shankar Mahadevan and Rahman some day. They take concerts to another level. I’d love to be a concert pianist someday.”
On to music directors she’s loved working with the most: “I am torn between Ilayaraja and A R Rahman. But now there’s a new name in this list – Vishal Bharadwaj. He’s a brilliant musician. His music touches me somewhere deep within.”
And now on the idea of romance and romantic songs for hubby Karthik: “Romance is in our lives all the time. It does not have to happen on a birthday, anniversary or Valentine’s Day. Karthik and I have a bunch of silly, cute songs we’ve sort of ‘composed’ for each other. I made up a typical Nadeem-Shravan style song for him once, and music director Thaman loved it so much; he’s been asking me for the rights to use it in one of his films!” she lets us know.
Pallavi (The Melody):
We wonder if a good voice is a god gift or results from sheer hard work. “A basic good singing voice, you have to be born with it. But honing and grooming it definitely needs consistent hard work,” she explains. And on her style of singing, Suchi shares, “I think I have a very flexible tone. I can sound sweet, sexy, bold or sensual. My tone is different in each scale and music directors who know this know what scale to fix a song on, to get the desired tone. This is my biggest advantage as a playback singer.”
So what is that makes her the happiest? Being an RJ, singer or actor. “Being Karthik Kumar’s wife! Marriage has brought more happiness in my life than I ever thought possible,” she gushes.
We asked Suchi to respond to these names most spontaneously and this is what we got:
Rahman – Destiny’s favourite, most brilliant child.
Harris Jayaraj– Everything he touches turns to gold.
Yuvan Shanker Raja – A hungry musician. There’s a wonderfully raw, soulful texture to his music.
Mani Sharma – Technically, one of the best. The depth of his knowledge the range of music he can create is incomparable. You have to listen to Morning Raga to know that.
Devi Sri Prasad – He a tough job with such ease. Creating incredibly catchy tunes, movie after movie, is no joke.
GV Prakash – His music has the most complex layers, but when you hear the final song, you are blown by its simplicity. Takes a rare talent to do that.