|Born||20 November 1950|
|Origin||Tamil Nadu, India|
|Occupation(s)||Film composer, music director|
|Instruments||Vocals (playback singing), guitar, keyboard/harmonium/piano|
Devanesan Chokkalingam, popularly known as Deva, 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.
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.
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, Manasukketha Maharasa, 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.
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".
Veteran music director M. S. Viswanathan conferred the title Thenisai Thendral upon Deva for his contributions.
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.
One of the major criticisms against Deva is plagiarism. 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,Dr.Alban, Backstreet Boys, etc.
|1994||Bhale Pellam,Greeku veerudu|
- Vaira Nenjam
|1998||Unnidathil Ennai Koduthen||as himself|
|1999||Chinna Raja||as himself|
|2004||Adi Thadi||himself in song "Thagadu"|
|2009||Modhi Vilayadu||himself in song "Modhi Vilayadu"|
- Kotigobba (2001) from Baashha (1995) (3 songs added with one of them being reused version of "Athanda Ithanda" from Arunachalam (1997))
- Simhadriya Simha from Kattabomman (1 song "Priya Priya" has been reused; while "Kalladre Naanu" was reused as "Poove Mudhal Poove" in Kadhal Kirukkan with different vocals and instrumentations; "Malnad Adike" was reused from "Kottapaakum" in Nattamai).
- Naaga from Kushi (3 songs "Megam Karukuthu", "Macarina" and "Oru Ponnu" has been reused).
- DINAKARAN dinakaran.com. "dinakaran". web.archive.org. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
- "Deva tamil music director". behindwoods.com. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
- "The Hindu : Cinema Plus / Cinema : my first break". hindu.com. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
- "Maan Karate Songs Review – OnlyKollywood". onlykollywood.com. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
- "chronicles of plagiarism in indian film music". itwofs.com. Retrieved 13 February 2012.