Srinivas (singer)

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This article is about the 1990s playback singer Srinivas. For the 1950s playback singer, see P. B. Sreenivas.
Born (1959-11-07) November 7, 1959 (age 54)
Ambasamudram, Tamil Nadu, India
Genres Filmy, Ghazal, Carnatic
Occupations Singer and music composer
Years active 1994–present

Srinivas is a playback singer who has sung over 2000 songs in Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada and Hindi.[1] He has also worked independently as a music composer, working on films and private albums.

Early life[edit]

Srinivas was born in Ambasamudram, Tamil Nadu, though his family moved and has since then lived his entire childhood in Thiruvananthapuram. He started listening to Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, KV Narayanaswamy and others through his aunt Mrs. Padma Narayanan, his guru in music. The soul-stirring magic of Kishore Kumar-R.D.Burman deeply influenced him in his childhood days.

He went to complete his B.Tech from Bombay University, Department of Chemical Technology (UDCT, now known as ICT); during which he represented his university in youth festivals. After pursuing his career as a chemical engineer and a marketing professional for 10 years, his passion for music got the better of him, and did very well in that field.


In 1983, Srinivas approached music director Ilaiyaraaja, who was at the helm of Tamil film music. He was offered the opportunity to work with Ilaiyaraaja, but things did not work out, as he was suffering from severe throat infection that day.

In 1992, the soundtrack of Mani Ratnam's Tamil film Roja reignited his dreams of playback singing. Mani Ratnam introduced composer A. R. Rahman with this movie, who then went on to change the music scene in the whole Indian film industry. Encouraged by the use of fresh voices in Roja, Srinivas approached Rahman. Rahman took a liking to his rendition of Mehdi Hassan's ghazals and offered him work at Chennai.

In 1994, Srinivas shifted base to Chennai and started lending his voice to advertisement jingles and devotional albums.

His first foray into playback singing began with the song "Sorgam Enbathu Namakku" with Swarnalatha from the movie Nammavar, composed by Mahesh. It went on to became a runaway hit.

Only in 1996 he did gain recognition with the song "Maana Madurai" from A. R. Rahman's Minsaara Kanavu. Then came "En Uyire" in Mani Ratnam's Uyire.. (the Tamil version of Dil Se..). This Rahman composition catapulted Srinivas into fame.

Srinivas has sung for leading music directors like A. R. Rahman, Ilaiyaraaja, Deva, Vidyasagar, Bharadwaj, and in languages like Tamil, Malayalam, etc. He has made a foray into music direction through the Tamil movie Yai Nee Romba Azhaga Irukey, in which he was one among the five music directors. His composition "Ini Naanum naanillai" in that film is a major hit. His famous albums include Ussele Ussele and Paarvai. Also he has worked as a co-composer to Praveen Mani for Little John. He has composed music for Two Malayalam films titled Seetha Kalyanam & Train.

The playback singer from the south cut his first private album in Hindi titled Yeh Duniya Sab Ki. His other hits in Hindi include "Kaisi Hai Yeh" from Dil Chahta Hai and "Zindagi" from the film Yuvvraaj.

Srinivas is a close associate to A. R. Rahman from the very first day they got introduced. On working with Rahman, he says,

"There can be only one Rahman. Two years ago, he called me out of the blue to supervise his recordings. I consider it an honour. Earlier, he would be there to monitor every single take. I sometimes wonder if I can match his perfection standards," and adds, "He's at lightning speed when it comes to creativity and innovations. There are times when he compliments me and nothing feels as good as that. For me, it's like an award."[2]

He is a judge on Airtel Super Singer, aired in Vijay TV along with Sujatha and Unnikrishnan. In 2010, he released an album: Timeless Classics by Srinivas. This was a tribute to Mehdi Hassan and included major ghazals of him sung by Srinivas. It was released on Saregama and was launched by A. R. Rahman.[3]

In May 2011, he composed music for Jayaraj's Mammootty-starrer thriller The Train. In 2013, he composed music for the Tamil film 'Kangaroo'. He is presently judging a famous music reality show named Josco Indian Voice, telecasted in Mazhavil Manorama alongside Sujatha and Sharreth.


He has also bagged many prestigious awards. He was awarded the State Award by the government of Tamil Nadu twice, for his song "Minsara Poove" from the Rajnikanth film Padayappa and in 2007 for his song, "Maargazhiyil" from Onbathu Rooba Nottu. He got the Kerala State Award for the song "Baansuri" from the film Raathrimazha. He was conferred with the title Kalaimamani by the Tamil Nadu government. His other awards include the Cinema Express Award, IIFA Award, AV Max Award and Filmfans Award. Most recently, he was awarded the Kerala Film Critics' Award for Best Music Director, for the movie Seetha Kalyanam.

Personal life[edit]

He has two daughters. His elder daughter Sharanya Srinivas is an upcoming singer in the Tamil music industry.


As music composer[edit]

Year Tamil Malayalam
2006 Seetha Kalyanam
2007 Kadhal Valarthen
2011 The Train
2013 Kangaroo


  1. ^ "Video interview with Srinivas". Retrieved 2012-06-04. 
  2. ^ "There can only be one Rahman: Srinivas". The Times of India. 2010-11-08. Retrieved 2012-03-10. 
  3. ^ "Saregama India launches Timeless Classics by Srinivas". 2010-11-09. Retrieved 2012-03-10. 

External links[edit]