Karthik (singer)

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Born (1980-11-07) 7 November 1980 (age 43)
OriginChennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Occupation(s)Playback singer, composer
InstrumentsVocals, keyboard
Years active2000–Present

Karthik (born 7 November 1980) is an Indian playback singer and composer. Karthik started his professional singing career as a backing vocalist and has since been working as a playback singer. He has sung more than 8000 songs in 15 Indian languages including Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Odia, Bengali, Marathi and Hindi.[1]

Early and personal life[edit]

Karthikeyan hails from Tiruvarur district. He is a trained Carnatic music vocalist. He was part of a college band and regularly participated in IIT Madras Fest Saarang. An ardent fan of A. R. Rahman, Karthik's dream was to meet Rahman and sing for him. Playback singer Srinivas, who collaborated often with Rahman was Karthik's close friend's cousin. Srinivas encouraged Karthik to look at singing as a career, which prompted Karthik to resume his singing lessons. One year later, Srinivas recommended Karthik's name to Rahman, who needed fresh voices for backing vocalists for a song from Pukar. Karthik eventually got the opportunity and recorded for the song. Having spent over a year being a backing vocalist, Karthik got his break during the Rahman's scoring of One 2 Ka 4. For the background score, A. R. Rahman wanted a high-pitched alap and he eventually chose Karthik to sing the alap. Soon after, Rahman asked him to sing the song "Nendhukittaen" from the film Star.

Karthik was a CA aspirant before he became a professional singer. He is married to Ambika, they have a daughter and a son.


Karthik has sung a number of songs for many popular music directors, including A. R. Rahman, Ilaiyaraaja, Hamsalekha, Vidyasagar, Devi Sri Prasad, Harris Jayaraj and Manisharma, in several languages – Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi. "Ennaku Oru Girlfriend" from the Tamil film Boys was one of the biggest hits of the year as was "Oru Maalai" (Ghajini; 2005). His songs for Telugu films for Kotha Bangaru Lokam (Nijanga Nenenaa), Happy Days (Arare Arare, Oh My Friend), "Badhulu Tochanai" (Mr.Perfect), "Manase Guvvai" (Naa Peru Shiva), "Oh Oh My Friend" (Oh My Friend), "Yedhuta nlichindhi choodu" (Vaana), "Meghama" (Journey), "Yevvaro" (Bodyguard) are very popular. His other popular songs include "Mundhinam Paarthene" and "Ava Enna", both from Vaaranam Aayiram (2009), the title track from Unnale Unnale, "Behka" from Ghajini.

Karthik has sung Kannada songs and has many super hit chart buster songs to his credit like Ale Ale, Anuraaga Aralo Samaya, Thangaliyalli Theli Hode, Nee Chummu Chummu Munjaaneli, Manasaithu Ninna Myaale, Sum Sumne Yaako, Hosadondu hesaridu Nanange, Kanne Koodiruvaaga, Madhumasa, Nenapidu Nenapidu, Thanthaane Thannamthaane, Baruve Odi Odi Nalidu, Raktha Sambandhagala, Saluge Saluge, Mannige Mara Bhaarave and many more.

In 2010, he sang a track "Behene De", from Hindi film Raavan, which is widely considered as the biggest song in his career.[2] The track, which topped music charts for many continuous weeks, also received rave critical reviews.[2] Karthik also performed the Tamil and Telugu versions of the same song, titled "Usure Poghudhey" and "Usire Poyene" respectively. He also sang "Adhigora Choodu" in the movie Mirapakaay.

The song Yayum Ngayum from the album Sandham: Symphony Meets Classical Tamil is considered as one of Karthik's career best for the way how he has brought sensuality to the 2000 year old poetry. He received wide appreciations for the theme song of 10th World Tamil Conference from the same album Sandham: Symphony Meets Classical Tamil. The album was featured in Amazon's Top#10 International Music albums in July 2020.[3][4]


He has composed music for a multi lingual Coca-Cola Advertisement (for Rajeev Menon featuring actor Vijay)[5] and Prince Jewellery advertisements. He is the music director of Vasanthabalan's period film Aravaan and Srinivas Raga's Okkadine starring Nara Rohit and Nithya Menen in Telugu.

He has also released an album called "Music I Like". It is based on carnatic ragaas and it is a contemporary take on some well known keerthanas. The orchestration was done by the music director Sai Madhukar. [6]

He is the composer of the segment 'Guitar Kambi mele Nindru' directed by Gautham Vasudev Menon in the Netflix anthology movie Navarasa (2021). He has also composed music for an upcoming film "Joshua Imai Pol Kaakha".


As composer[edit]

Year Movie Role Languange
2012 Aravaan Tamil
Eka Veera Telugu
Jungle-The Battleground Hindi
2013 Okkadine Telugu
Aur Ek Dushman Hindi
Karnalattam Malayalam
2015 Courier Boy Kalyan Telugu
Courier Boy Kalyan Hindi
2016 Tamilselvanum Thaniyar Anjalum[7] Tamil
2020 Paava Kadhaigal (Vaanmagal) Tamil
2021 Kutty Story (Edhirpaara Muththam) Tamil
Joshua Imai Pol Kaakha Tamil
Navarasa (Guitar Kambi Mele Nindru) Tamil
  • The films are listed in order that the music released, regardless of the dates the film released.
  • The year next to the title of the affected films indicates the release year of the either dubbed or remade version in the named language later than the original version.
  • • indicates original language release. Indicates simultaneous makes, if featuring in more languages
  • ♦ indicates a remade version, the remaining ones being dubbed versions

As independent musician[edit]

Karthik is a part of a band called Arka which is a contemporary fusion band.

Arka denotes the Sun in Sanskrit and to rightly interpret the meaning, it is the warmth and radiance of music that spreads across everyone listening. With the exclusive intention of extending a new musical outreach, few renowned artists in unison have created this band and intend to broaden the horizons of Indian fusion music.

Arka is the epicenter of an erupting musical form with core and artists like Karthik, SelvaGanesh, Gino Banks, Ravichandra Kulur, Santhosh Chandran, Mishko M'Ba, and guest artists like the legends Vikku Vinayakaram and Swaminathan.

As dubbing artist[edit]

Dubbed and sang for the character Aladdin for its 2019 version. He also lent his voice to Allu Arjun for the Tamil dubbed version of Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo, and also rendered the songs for the same.


As part of the #MeToo movement, Karthik was accused of sexual harassment in 2018 by several anonymous women. Singer Chinmayi Sripaada tweeted these allegations messaged to her by women who wished to remain anonymous.[8] Karthik responded to the allegations by tweeting "I want to put it out there that I have never intentionally acted in a way that would make anybody feel uncomfortable or unsafe. If anybody felt hurt because of any of my actions in the past, please reach out to me directly. I do believe in facing the consequences of one's actions. I fully support #MeToo and if there's truth in anybody's grievance, I shall be more than willing to apologise or face legal action because I don't want to ever leave a sour taste in anyone's life".[9]


Year Program Channel Language Notes
2009 Thendral Sun TV Tamil Title song
2009-10 Amman (TV series) Sun TV Tamil Title song (with Priya Himesh)
2016 Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Lil Champs Zee Tamil Tamil Judging panel (with Vijay Prakash, Sujatha Mohan)
2017-18 Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Seniors Zee Tamil Tamil Judging panel (with Vijay Prakash, Srinivas)
2018 Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Lil Champs (Season 2) Zee Tamil Tamil Judging panel (with Vijay Prakash, Srinivas, Sujatha Mohan)
2018 Sa Re Ga Ma Pa 2018 Zee Telugu Telugu Judging panel (with Chinmayi Sripaada, Ramajogayya Sastry)
2019-2020 Sun Singer (Season 6) Sun TV Tamil Judging panel (with Mano, Remya Nambeesan)
2022 Telugu Indian Idol Aha Telugu Judging panel (with Nithya Menen, Thaman S)
2022-23 Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Seniors (season 3) Zee Tamil Tamil Judging panel (with Vijay Prakash, Srinivas, Remya Nambeesan)


Year Category Language Song Film
2005 Best Male Playback Award Tamil Oru Maalai Ghajini
2007 Best Male Playback Award (Telugu) Telugu Arey Rey Happy Days
2008 Best Male Playback Award Telugu Nijanga Nenena Kotha Bangaru Lokam
2009 Best Male Playback Award Tamil Hasili Fisili Aadhavan
2010 Best Male Playback Award Tamil Usure Poguthey Raavanan
2016 Best Male Playback Award (Telugu) Telugu Yellipokey Shyamala A Aa
  • Other Awards
Year Category Song Film Language
2003 ITFA Best Male Playback Award Oru Ooril Kaakha Kaakha Tamil
2007 Nandi Award for Best Male Playback Singer Oh..My Friend Happy Days Telugu
2008 CineMAA Awards – Best Male Playback Singer Telugu
2009 Tamil Isaiaruvi Music Awards 2010 Hasili Fisili Aadhavan Tamil
2009 Vijay Awards 2010 Tamil
2010 Asiavision Awards Best Male Playback Singer Neelathamara Neelathaamara Malayalam
2010 Vijay Music Awards – Popular Singer Male Usure Poguthey Raavanan Tamil
2010 Tamil Nadu State Film AwardsTamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Male Playback singer Tamil
2010 Mirchi Music Awards South – Best Male Playback Singer Tamil
2011 TSR TV9 National film awards – Best Playback Singer (Male) Choosthunna Mogudu Telugu
2012 Amrita Film Awards 2012[10] – Versatile Singer[11] various songs Ordinary, Spanish Masala Malayalam
2012 Ghantasala Puraskar Award[citation needed] – Young Achiever Award 2012
2012 Mirchi Music Awards South – Best Male Playback Singer Kaatrai Konjam Neethane En Ponvasantham Tamil
2012 Mirchi Music Awards South – Best Upcoming Music Director Nila Nila Aravaan Tamil
2013 Globus Style Awards 2013[12] – Stylish Singer Award Malayalam
2013 Kerala State Film Award for Best Singer Janmandarangalil Orissa Malayalam
2017 Asiavision Awards Best Male Playback Singer ee Kaatu Adam Joan Malayalam
2018 Mazhavil Music Awards -/Best Male Singer Kadavathoru thoni Poomaram Malayalam
2021 SIIMA Award for Best Male Playback Singer- Tamil Anbe Anbin Peranbu Tamil


  1. ^ "Amrita Film Awards will honour Singer Karthik today with the Best Versatile SInger Award". Amrita. Chennai, India. 5 May 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Karthik is on a high". The Times of India. 23 May 2010. Archived from the original on 3 November 2012. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
  3. ^ "உலக கலைஞர்களின், கணீர் குரலில் உலகத் தமிழ் ஆராய்ச்சி மாநாட்டு பாடல்". 4 June 2019.
  4. ^ "Sandham: Music Review". 4 June 2019.
  5. ^ "Karthik to score for Vijay – Behindwoods.com – Tamil Movies News – Karthik Vijay Rajiv Menon". Behindwoods.com. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
  6. ^ Music I Like – Buy online at. Landmarkonthenet.com (28 September 2011). Retrieved on 25 September 2012.
  7. ^ "Success as a singer never made me complete". The Times of India. 2 October 2015. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  8. ^ Sripada, Chinmayi. "Chinmayi Sripada on Twitter". Twitter. Archived from the original on 16 May 2022.
  9. ^ "Singer Karthi finally responds to #MeToo allegations: Have never harassed anybody". India Today. Retrieved 6 March 2023.
  10. ^ "Amrita TV Film Awards". Amrita TV. Archived from the original on 14 October 2013. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
  11. ^ "amrita tv film awards 2012 photos00-354.JPG – Kerala9.com". kerala9.com.
  12. ^ "Globus Style Awards 2013, Event Gallery, Globus Style Awards 2013, KS Ravikumar". behindwoods.com.

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