Deva (music director)

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Deva
Born (1950-11-20) 20 November 1950 (age 63)[1]
Origin Tamil Nadu, India
Occupations Film composer, music director
Instruments Vocals (playback singing), guitar, keyboard/harmonium/piano
Years active 1988–present

Devanesan Chokkalingam is an Indian film composer and singer. He has composed songs and provided background music for Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada films in a career spanning about 20 years. Many know his gaana songs, written mostly using Madras Tamil. He is known as the "Father of Gaana Genre" in the Tamil film industry.

Deva has composed music for many films within a very short period. He debuted as a film music director in the film Manasukkeththa Maharaasa in 1989. In the intervening years he has composed music for a total of more than 400 films.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Deva was born to M. C. Chokkalingam and M. C. Krishnaveni. Even in his childhood, Deva was attracted to the world of music. Teaming up with Chandra Bose, he staged many musical programmes. He started learning classical music under Dhanraj and completed a course in Western music at Trinity College of Music in London. His son Srikanth Deva is also a music director, as are his brothers, who have formed the duo Sabesh-Murali. His nephew Jai is an actor.

Career[edit]

Before coming to cinema, Deva worked for some time in the television field. In those days Deva's brothers were working in the musical troupes of Illayaraja and other music directors as instrumentalists. But Deva took special interests for self-improvement in his profession and at the same time he was looking for chances to enter movies. But the benefits of those efforts did not bear fruit easily. Only after much hardship he managed to enter the field with the help of some friends and his four brothers. Just after his entry, the production work of those films, for which negotiations were on for fixing Deva as the music director, could not get completed and some other films with his music could not be released at all.

Deva continued his search for an opening, which finally began yielding results in 1989. His first film, Manasukkeththa Maharaasaa, was released in 1989. He was then called to work on the movie Vaigasi Poranthachu. This film was a huge hit and Deva was praised for his work. After the release of Vaikaasi Poranthaachu, his name became known throughout the Tamil community.[1][3]

So far he has composed music for more than 400 films, which include Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam films. He is also famous for his compositions for religious films. He was widely acclaimed for his scores for Rajinikanth starrer Basha. His other famous compositions include Annamalai and Baasha, both starring Super Star Rajnikanth.

Behind Deva's great success, there are his brothers also, which fact he won't deny too! He says: 'If I stand at this height as a music director, the supportive reason behind this is my brothers. They too work hard like me. That's why it was possible for me to accomplish the task of composing music for such huge number of films! So to say, all my 4 brothers have their own share in my present success!'

As a brother Deva showers upon them (brothers) his heart-felt felicitations and his brothers, on their part, continue to take greater pains professionally, to add to the well-meaning achievements of Deva in the future also! This quality of Deva has enhanced his image among the top brass of the cineworld! Hence, veteran music director M.S.Viswanathan has conferred upon Deva the most suitably coined title, "Thenisai Thentral". As if doing full justification to this title, Deva's tunes and musical scores never fail to pour sweet honey in the form of melodious songs into our 'yearning' ears! Among the films whose music was composed by Deva, 7 became silver jubilee hits! 100 days films were 34.

In Kannada, he composed music for many blockbuster films. All the songs in the 1997 super hit film Amrutha Varshini starring South Actors Ramesh Aravind, Suhasini Maniratnam, Sharath Babu and others is still remembered by the audience. The songs in the film are considered as the evergreen songs in the history of Kannada Cinema and they are the most sung songs in the reality shows even today. Deva has composed songs for many block buster hit films starring South Super Star Dr. Vishnuvardhan, a star of 220 movies in five different languages. The films Kotigobba, Simhadriya Simha, Raja Narasimha, Kadamba, Vishnu Sena were all the films in their combination. The songs Kaverige Kaalungura, Sahasa Simha, Annayya Thammayya, Priya Priya, Kalladare Naanu, Barthanavva Bhoopa, Malnad Adike, Pancha Koti Kannadigare, Yamini Yaaramma, Sangathiye, History Gotha written by Kannada Star Upendra and all the songs above sung by Indian play back singer Dr.S. P. Balasubrahmanyam are super hit songs and still remain as the favourites of the Kannada audience.

He recently made a special appearance in the film Modhi Vilayadu. On 31 July 2011, Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalitha has made him as the head of the Tamil Nadu Iyal Isai Nadaga Mandram. In 2014, Anirudh Ravichander chose Deva to sing a gaana song in his album Maan Karate and labelled Deva as the "father of the Gaana genre".[4]

Honours[edit]

Veteran music director M. S. Viswanathan conferred the title Thenisai Thendral upon Deva for his contributions.

Awards[edit]

In 1990, he received his first Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Music Director. He received the Tamil Nadu Government's Kalaimamani Award in the year 1992. In 1995, the film Aasai brought him another state film award. For Baasha, he got the Tamil Nadu Arts and Cultural Academy Award. Award by Guinness world records for Sivappu Mazhai world fastest movie from script to screening. He has also been honoured by awards from popular journals like Dinakaran, Cinema Express and Screen.

Criticism[edit]

One of the major criticisms against Deva is plagiarism.[5] He is known for lifting snippets and sometimes even the full song from famous old and recent English pop songs and using them as his own. Some of the alleged lifts include famous boy band Blue, the song "Alane" by Wes, Celine dion, Pakistani band Junoon, English bands Sasha, Linkin Park, The Wonders, Michael Jackson, Backstreet Boys, etc.

Partial filmography[edit]

Tamil films[edit]

Year Film Title Notes
1989 Manasukketha Maharasa Debut film as a composer
Kaaval Poonaigal
1990 Vaigasi Poranthachu Winner Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Music Director
Mannukketha Maindhan
Namma Ooru Poovatha
1991 Pudhu Manithan
Vasanthakala Paravai
Nadodi Kadhal
Gangaikarai Paattu
Mangalyam Thanthunane
1992 Amma Vanthaachu
Annamalai
Ilavarasan
Oor Mariyadhai
Madhumathi
Government Mappillai
Brahmachari
Pondatti Rajyam
Samundi
Suriyan
Therku Theru Machan
Unakkaga Piranthen
Solaiyamma
Pattathu Raani
1993 Kattabomman
Sendhoorapandi
Rojavai Killathe
Moondravadhu Kann
Vedan
1994 En Aasai Machan
Rasigan
Indhu
Namma Annachi
Jallikattu Kaalai
Pathavi Pramaanam
1995 Aasai Winner Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Music Director
Nominated : Filmfare Award for Best Music Director
Baasha Nominated : Filmfare Award for Best Music Director
Deva
Seethanam
Gandhi Pirantha Mann
Nadodi Mannan
Pongalo Pongal
Thirumoorthi
Marumagan
Maaman Magal
Thaikulame Thaikulame
Pullakuttikaaran
1996 Avvai Shanmugi
Gokulathil Seethai
Senathipathi
Gopala Gopala
Kadhal Kottai Nominated : Filmfare Award for Best Music Director
Kalloori Vaasal
Maanbumigu Maanavan
Panchalankurichi
Kalki
Vaanmathi
Kaalam Maari Pochu
1997 Aahaa
Abhimanyu
Arunachalam
Bharathi Kannamma
Saathisanam
Thadayam
Iniyavale
Dharma Chakkaram
Ettupatti Rasa
Vaaimaye Vellum
Sishya
Kadhal Palli
Kaalamellam Kadhal Vaazhga
Kaalamellam Kaathiruppen
Kalyana Vaibhogam
Mappillai Gounder
Nerukku Ner Nominated : Filmfare Award for Best Music Director
Nalla Manasukkaran
Nesam
Once More
Pagaivan
Pathini
Periya Thambi
Porkkaalam
Rettai Jadai Vayasu
Periya Manushan
Thedinen Vandhadhu
1998 En Uyir Nee Thaane
Iniyavale
Kaadhale Nimmadhi
Kannedhirey Thondrinal
Urimai Por
Santhosham
Natpukkaga
Ponvizha
Ninaithen Vandhai
Priyamudan
Sandhippoma
Sundara Pandian
1999 Aasaiyil Oru Kaditham
Anantha Poongathe
Chinna Raja
Oruvan
Ooty
Hello
Kanave Kalaiyadhe
Kannodu Kanbathellam
Nenjinile
Anbulla Kadhalukku
Minsara Kanna
Rojavanam
Unnaithedi
Unnaruge Naan Irundhal
Guru Paarvai
Vaali Nominated : Filmfare Award for Best Music Director
2000 Appu
Vetri Kodi Kattu
Eazhaiyin Sirippil
Kushi Winner Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Music Director
Nominated : Filmfare Award for Best Music Director
Mugavaree Nominated : Filmfare Award for Best Music Director
Vallarasu
Sandhitha Velai
Unnai Kan Theduthe
Seenu
Thai Porandachu
Manu Needhi
2001 Chocolate
Citizen
Engalukkum Kaalam Varum
Kannukku Kannaga
Maayan
Sri Raja Rajeswari
Lovely
Veettoda Mappillai
Love Marriage
Lootie
Virumbugiren
Kadal Meengal
Ulagai Vilai Pesava
2002 Bagavathi
Panchathanthiram
Red
Pammal K. Sambandam
Samasthanam
Vivaramana Aalu
Maaran
2003 Chokka Thangam
Dum
Soori
Kadhal Kirukkan
Ramachandra
Indru
Military
2004 Devathayai Kanden
Adi Thadi
Jore
Ramakrishna
Kavithai
Engal Anna
Jaisurya
Gajendra
Maha Nadigan
2005 Englishkaran
Nanbanin Kadhali
Girivalam
Selvam
Super Da
2007 Thirumagan
Viyabari
Solli Adippen
Manikanda
Adavadi
Pasupathi C/O Rasakkapalayam
Cheena Thaana 001
2008 Kodaikanal
2009 Aarumugam
Mattuthavani
2010 Sivappu Mazhai
Pen Singam
Kutti Pisasu
2012 Kondaan Koduthaan
2014 Dummy Tapassu

Kannada films[edit]

Telugu films[edit]

Malayalam films[edit]

Television[edit]

  • Mahabharatham
  • Vaira Nenjam

Reused tunes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b DINAKARAN dinakaran.com. "dinakaran". web.archive.org. Retrieved 20 July 2014. 
  2. ^ "Deva tamil music director". behindwoods.com. Retrieved 20 July 2014. 
  3. ^ "The Hindu : Cinema Plus / Cinema : my first break". hindu.com. Retrieved 20 July 2014. 
  4. ^ "Maan Karate Songs Review – OnlyKollywood". onlykollywood.com. Retrieved 20 July 2014. 
  5. ^ "chronicles of plagiarism in indian film music". itwofs.com. Retrieved 13 February 2012.