Santhosh Narayanan

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Santhosh Narayanan
Santhosh Narayanan and his Wife at ‘Kadugu’ Movie Premiere (cropped).jpg
Background information
Born (1983-05-15) 15 May 1983 (age 39)
Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Film score
  • Jazz
  • Indian folk
  • Hip hop
  • Rock
  • Electronic
  • Composer
  • music producer
  • arranger
  • singer
  • music director
Instrumentsvocals, piano,flute, keyboard
Years active2012–present

Santhosh Narayanan is an Indian composer and musician in the Tamil film industry.

Early life[edit]

Santhosh Narayanan was born in Tiruchirappalli, India. He is the younger of two children. He was educated at RSK Higher Secondary School, Tiruchirappalli. Santhosh Narayanan completed his B.E., Computer Science & Engineering at J. J. College of Engineering and Technology, Thiruchirapalli. After completing his education, he worked as a recording engineer, arranger and programmer, before beginning to produce independent music and compose for films.[1] He composed the music including two original songs for the Telugu short film Advaitham,[2][3] He was also part of the contemporary folk music band "La Pongal" in which he performed in a few live shows in 2009.[1]

Through Mani, Santhosh also got to work on a couple of Rahman soundtracks starting with Guru.[4]


2012–2013: Debut success[edit]

He made his debut as an independent music director in the 2012 Tamil film Attakathi directed by Pa. Ranjith. He got the opportunity through its producer C. V. Kumar who saw him working in his studio.[5] Santhosh composed a song in the Gaana genre for the film, "Aadi Pona Aavani", and gave a then-unknown Gana Bala, who had been singing gaana songs at funerals until then, the chance to sing it. Along with "Aadi Pona Aavani", a second gaana song, "Nadukadalula Kappala" was recorded for the film.[6][7] Both songs went on to become popular, making Gana Bala a star, and were said to have brought back gaana to Tamil cinema.[8] Sify wrote that the gaana songs were "one of the major highlight of the film"[9] and Behindwoods called the Attakathi album an "experimental yet fresh attempt".[10] Following Attakathi, he composed the music for the films Uyir Mozhi and Pizza, the directorial debuts of Raja and Karthik Subbaraj, respectively. All three albums, Attakathi, Uyir Mozhi and Pizza were recorded and mastered by Leon Zervos at Studios 301 in Sydney Australia;[11][12] furthermore, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra had performed for the soundtrack of Pizza,[12] which also saw Santhosh collaborating with Gana Bala again, albeit on a Blues number this time.[5] For Uyir Mozhi, some of the songs Santhosh had scored for a private album were used by the director.[13] Santhosh's work in Pizza was positively reviewed. According to Sify, Santhosh Narayanan's music was a "major plus" of the film,[14] and IBN Live described the score as "splendid".[15] The song "Mogathirai" from the soundtrack album was also listed by in their Top songs from 2012 list.[16] Behindwoods at the end of 2012 wrote, "Santosh Narayanan brought a different sound to Tamil cinema this year. Even his gaana tracks in Attakathi were freshly produced and the soundtrack of Pizza was eclectic to say the least".[17] He also won accolades that year: the Jaya TV 2012 award for Sensational Debutant Music Director for Attakathi,[18] and the Big Tamil Melody Award for Best Debut Music director for Pizza.[19] He worked on the black comedy film Soodhu Kavvum directed by the Director Nalan Kumarasamy next. Gana Bala was given a "gana-rap" in the film,[20] "Kaasu Panam", which went on to become one of the most popular songs of the year.[21][22] His work in the film earned him the Vijay Award for Best Background Score.[23] His other releases of 2013 were Pizza 2: The Villa, a sequel to Pizza, and Billa Ranga, his first Telugu and only full-fledged Telugu project until date.


Santhosh Narayanan worked exclusively on Tamil films. He had four soundtracks released that year, the first being the album to the romantic drama Cuckoo. Cuckoo's soundtrack was highly appreciated by critics who called it an "alluring and immersive album"[24] and "the best soundtrack that composer Santhosh Narayanan has produced yet".[25] The song "Manasula Soora Kaathey" from the album reached number one position in the Tunes all India charts,[26] while Outlook named it one of South India's top songs of the year.[27] The score received equal praise with Baradwaj Rangan terming it as "great",[28] IANS as "life-affirming",[29] Rediff as "sensational"[30] and Sify as "outstanding".[31] The next release was Karthik Subbaraj's second directorial, Jigarthanda, which was promoted as a "musical gangster story".[32] While Cuckoo featured live instrumentation, Santhosh Narayanan used electronic musical instruments for the recording in Jigarthanda, who recorded almost all the songs in a studio in Sydney, Australia for nearly two months.[33] The soundtrack and score featured a melange and fusion of several genres, including Gangsta rap, folk, electro.[33] His work was well received again; while The Times of India, in its album review, wrote that "Santhosh Narayanan shows, yet again, that he is one of those composers to watch out for — both for his new sounds and tunes",[34] The Hindu's Baradwaj Rangan stated that "his flamboyant score imbues even the weaker scenes with a Tarantinoesque swagger".[35] After Jigarthanda, he worked on the action-drama film Madras. The Hindu described his score as "excellent".[36] The soundtrack to Enakkul Oruvan, the Tamil remake of the Kannada film Lucia, for which he had composed the score, was his final 2014 release. The album was also lauded by critics.[37] Behindwoods named him the "most promising among the younger composers".[38]

In 2015, he worked on 36 Vayadhinile, the Tamil remake of the Malayalam film How Old Are You.[39] Upcoming projects of Santhosh Narayanan include the next films of directors Karthik Subbaraj and Nalan Kumarasamy.[40] In 2016, he composed songs for Sudha Kongara's bilingual sports drama Irudhi Suttru(filmed simultaneously in Hindi as Saala Khadoos).[41] The Hindi adaptation film, "Saala Khadoos" however did not feature background score by Santhosh as Rajkumar Hirani, the co-producer of the film brought in composers Sanjay Wandrekar and Atul Raninga who had worked with him in 3 Idiots and PK to compose the background score. Kashmora to be directed by Gokul,[42] and Manithan were his other noted released in 2016 apart from Kabali, the biggest Tamil project so far in his career. In 2016, a music critic from The Hindu labelled Narayanan as one of the three in "the new-age musical trio of Tamil cinema" alongside Sean Roldan and Pradeep Kumar.[43]


The year 2016 was one of the most packed years for Santhosh Narayanan. Six releases during the year including music compositions for Iruthi Suttru, Manithan, Kadhalum Kadanthu Pogum, Iraivi, Kabali, Kaashmora, Kodi.

In 2017, he composed for the Vijay-starrer Bairavaa. Santhosh's next release was as a guest composer, in the filmMeyaadha Maan, a production venture of his Karthik Subbaraj. In May 2017, Santhosh signed for Kaala, his second film for Superstar Rajinikanth. In 2018 he gave scored Karthik Subbarraj's silent thriller film Mercury and Vetrimaaran's Vada Chennai, the latter being Santhosh's 25th as a composer. In 2020 with new projects which were Kasada Thapara, Jeeva starrer Gypsy and Penguin.


He was involved with Dulquer Salmaan's 2021 Malayalam film Salute, before being replaced by Jakes Bejoy.[44] He also composed the soundtrack and film's score for Sarpatta Parambarai; It marked the composer's fifth consecutive film with Pa. Ranjith, since his and the director's debut film Attakathi (2012). According to Santhosh, he said that "the film is influenced by the aspects of Madras, as it is mostly about the descriptive and realistic portrayal of North Chennai, while the boxing culture during the 1970s also serve as the subplot". He worked with Maajja on independent music as Enjoy Enjami sung by Arivu, Dhee and himself which clocked 19 million views within one week of release making it the highest watched Tamil music video album and keeping now at 296 million views. Also on the music video Neeye Oli sung by rappers Shan Vincent de Paul, Navz-47 and himself. Neeye Oli also featured in Sarpatta Parambarai as the theme song. His upcoming releases are Anel Meley Pani Thuli, Gulu Gulu and Buffoon in Tamil, Dasara in Telugu and Pathonpatham Noottandu and Anweshippin Kandethum in Malayalam.


As solo composer[edit]

Year Tamil Other Languages Notes Music Label
2011 Adwaitam (Telugu) National Film Award for Best Educational/Motivational/Instructional Film Short Film
2012 Attakathi Think Music India
Uyir Mozhi Film unreleased Saregama
Pizza Think Music India
2013 Soodhu Kavvum Vijay Award for Best Background Score
Nominated—Vijay Award for Best Music Director
Nominated—South Indian International Movie Award for Best Music Director
Think Music India
Pizza 2: The Villa Think Music India
Billa Ranga • (Telugu) Think Music India
2014 Cuckoo Mirchi Award For Best Album of the Year Think Music India
Jigarthanda Vijay Award for Best Background Score Think Music India
Madras Think Music India
2015 Enakkul Oruvan Think Music India
36 Vayathinile Think Music India
2016 Iruthi Suttru Saala Khadoos (Hindi)
Guru (Telugu)
Simultaneously made in Tamil and Hindi languages.
Background score composed by Sanjay Wandrekar & Atul Raninga.
Film remade in Telugu later.
Lahari Music
Kadhalum Kadandhu Pogum Sony Music India
Manithan Sony Music India
Iraivi Sony Music India
Kabali Think Music India
Kodi Dhwaja♦# (Kannada)
Kaashmora Songs weren't dubbed in the Hindi dubbed version. Think Music India
2017 Bairavaa Songs weren't dubbed in the Hindi dubbed version. Lahari Music
Meyaadha Maan Think Music India
Server Sundaram Unreleased film Think Music India
2018 Kaala Wunderbar Films
Mercury Silent film

Only one song and background score

Pariyerum Perumal Think Music India
Vada Chennai 25th Film
Songs weren't dubbed in the Hindi dubbed version.
Wunderbar Films
2019 A1 Think Music India
Otha Seruppu Size 7 One song only. Divo (record label)
2020 Gypsy Saregama
Penguin Sony Music India
2021 Parris Jeyaraj Think Music India
Karnan Think Music India
Jagame Thanthiram Netflix film

Songs were dubbed only in the Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam dubbed versions.

Sony Music India
Vellai Yaanai Direct-to-television film (Sun TV) Divo (record label)
Sarpatta Parambarai Amazon Prime Video film Maajja
Navarasa Netflix anthology series (Episode: Peace) Think Music India
Kasada Thapara SonyLIV film

Guest composer. Composed one song "Vaazhvome"

Sony Music India
2022 Mahaan Amazon Prime Video film Sony Music India
Kadaisi Vivasayi Muzik 247
Gulu Gulu Sony Music India
Andhagan Sony Music India
Naai Sekar Returns
Dasara (Telugu)[45][46] Filming.
Pathonpatham Noottandu (Malayalam)[47] Debut in Malayalam cinema.

Background score only.

Anweshippin Kandethum (Malayalam)[48][49] Filming
Buffoon Filming
Anel Meley Pani Thuli produced by Vetrimaran and directed by R. Kaiser Anand filming[50] OTT Release SonyLIV

Background score only[edit]

Year Tamil Other Languages Notes Music Label
2009 Nenu Meeku Telusa...? (Telugu) Additional background score Only
2013 Lucia Additional Background Score Only. (Opted out after composing 2 themes)
2022 Pathonpatham Noottandu (Malayalam)[47] Original Background score


Year Film Songs Composer Notes
2014 Kappal "Kaali Pasanga" Natarajan Sankaran
2014 Jigarthanda "Baby", "Dhesayum Ezhundhaney" himself
2015 Enakkul Oruvan "Endi Ippadi" himself
2015 36 Vayathinile "Naalu Kazhudha" himself
2016 Kadhalum Kadandhu Pogum "Ka Ka Ka Po", "Bongu Kichan" himself
2016 Remo "Daavuya" Anirudh Ravichander
2016 Iraivi "Kaadhal Kappal" himself
2016 Kaashmora "Dhikku Dhikku sir" himself
2017 Server Sundaram "Bro" himself
2017 Meyaadha Maan "Address song" himself
2017 Vizhithiru "Pon Vidhi" Sathyan Mahalingam
2018 Pariyerum Perumal "Karuppi", "Naan Yaar" himself
2019 A1 "Chittukku" himself
2020 Gypsy "Very Very Bad","Desanthiri" himself
2020 Jagame Thandhiram "Rakita Rakita Rakita", "Aala Ola", "Naan Thaan Da Mass", "Bujji" himself
2021 Master "Polakattum Para Para" Anirudh Ravichander
2021 Parris Jeyaraj "Bacha Bachikey" himself
2021 Karnan "Kandaa Vara Sollunga", "Uttradheenga Yeppov" himself
2021 Sarpatta Parambarai "Neeye Oli" (Film version) himself
2021 Mahaan "Soorayattam", "Evanda Enakku Custody" himself
2021 Kasada Thapara "Vaazhvome" himself
2022 Anbarivu "Ready Steady Go" Hiphop Tamizha
2022 Buffoon "Madichu Vecha Vethala" himself
2022 Kaathuvaakula Rendu Kadhal "Kaathuvaakula Rendu Kadhal" Anirudh Ravichander
2022 Gulu Gulu "Maatna Gaali", "Inner Peace", "Amma Nah Nah" Himself
2022 Thiruchitrambalam "Thenmozhi" Anirudh Ravichander


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  2. ^ "Metro Plus Kochi : Short takes to success". The Hindu. 26 July 2010. Archived from the original on 30 August 2012. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
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  4. ^ "A Virtuoso's Musical Journey Santhosh Narayanan".
  5. ^ a b "'Atta Kathi' music composer ready with first 'unofficial album'". The New Indian Express.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 30 November 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ Udhav Naig (11 July 2013). "Gaga over gaana". The Hindu.
  8. ^ "Gana makes a comeback". The Times of India. 20 April 2013. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
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  11. ^ S. R. Ashok Kumar (21 January 2012). "Audio Beat: Attakathi". The Hindu. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
  12. ^ a b "'Pizza' will be a musical treat to the audience". CNN IBN. Archived from the original on 8 December 2013. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
  13. ^ S. R. Ashok Kumar (September 2012). "Audio Beat: Uyirmozhi". The Hindu.
  14. ^ "Movie Review : Pizza". Sify. Archived from the original on 22 March 2013. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
  15. ^ "'Pizza' Review: This Tamil film will keep you glued to your seat". IBNLive. Archived from the original on 25 October 2012.
  16. ^ "Top songs from 2012". IndiaGlitz. 29 December 2012. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
  17. ^ "15. Santosh Narayanan | Top 25 Music Directors in Tamil". Behindwoods. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
  18. ^ "Attakathi bags five awards". The Times of India. 28 December 2012. Archived from the original on 23 October 2013. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
  19. ^ Express Features (19 August 2013). "Melody awards". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
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  21. ^ "5. Kasu Panam – TOP 5 BEST SONGS OF 2013".
  22. ^ "Top Tamil Songs of 2013". Rediff. 18 January 2014.
  23. ^ "8th Annual Vijay Awards a grand success". The Times of India.
  24. ^ "Cuckoo (aka) Cuckoo songs review".
  25. ^ "Cuckoo – Music Review (Tamil Movie Soundtrack)-Santhosh Narayanan-Yuga Bharathi-Dinesh-Malavika – Music Aloud". Music Aloud. March 2014.
  26. ^ "Santhosh Naryanan pips Anirudh and AR Rahman". The Times of India.
  27. ^ "2014: Southern Film Songs – Vipin Nair".
  28. ^ Baradwaj Rangan (22 March 2014). "Cuckoo: Love is blind". The Hindu.
  29. ^ "'Cuckoo' – Blinded By Love". The New Indian Express.
  30. ^ "Review: Cuckoo is brilliant". Rediff. 21 March 2014.
  31. ^ "Movie Review : Cuckoo". Sify. Archived from the original on 21 March 2014.
  32. ^ "Will Jigarthanda bring about a change in Kollywood?". Firstpost. August 2014.
  33. ^ a b S. R. Ashok Kumar (15 March 2014). "Audio Beat: Jigarthanda – Fusion, folk, rap and more". The Hindu.
  34. ^ "Music Review: Jigarthanda". The Times of India.
  35. ^ Baradwaj Rangan (2 August 2014). "Jigarthanda: Racket science". The Hindu.
  36. ^ Srinivasan, Sudhir (27 September 2014). "Madras: A tale of two halves". The Hindu.
  37. ^ "'Enakkul Oruvan' Music Review Roundup: Critics Laud Santhosh Narayanan's Consistency [AUDIO]". International Business Times. 10 September 2014.
  38. ^ "Santhosh Narayanan – 2014's show-stealer".
  39. ^ "Santhosh roped in for 'How Old Are You/' remake". The Times of India.
  40. ^ "CV Kumar to launch three more movies". Sify. Archived from the original on 5 October 2014.
  41. ^ "Madhavan gets tough". The Hindu. 27 December 2014.
  42. ^ "Santosh Narayanan for Kashmora!". Sify. Archived from the original on 21 January 2015.
  43. ^ "'Vaa machaney'". The Hindu. 22 January 2016.
  44. ^ "Santhosh Narayanan's Malayalam debut delayed as makers of Salute change the composer". 28 July 2021.
  45. ^ "Nani goes for a rustic look in 'Dasara', 'Shyam Singha Roy' to release in theatres this December - The Hindu". The Hindu. 16 October 2021.
  46. ^ "Nani's 29th film is Dasara; motion poster out- Cinema express".
  47. ^ a b "Hit music composer Santosh Narayanan roped in for Vinayan's 'Pathonpatham Noottandu' - Times of India". The Times of India.
  48. ^ "Malayalam stars unite to announce Tovino Thomas' Anveshippin Kandethum". 21 January 2021.
  49. ^ "Composer Santosh Narayanan to make his Mollywood debut with Tovino film - Times of India". The Times of India.
  50. ^[bare URL]