Unni Menon

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Unni Menon
Birth name Nambalatt Naryanankutty Menon
Born (1958-12-02) 2 December 1958 (age 58)
Guruvayoor, Kerala, India
Genres Film score, Devotional
Occupation(s) Singer, music director, actor
Years active Early 1980s–present
Website Official website

Unni Menon is an Indian film playback singer. He has sung over 3000 songs in South Indian languages like Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada.[1] In the early part of his career, he spent many years as a low-profile playback singer.[1] The turning point in his career came when he sang the song "Pudhu Vellai Mazhai" from Mani Ratnam's award winning 1992 Tamil film Roja, composed by A. R. Rahman. He has frequently associated with A. R. Rahman, lending his voice to nearly 25 memorable songs from films like Karuththamma (1994) and Minsaara Kanavu (1997).

Early life[edit]

Unni Menon was born in Guruvayoor, the temple town in the Thrissur district of Kerala. His father was V. K. S. Menon, an officer in Tamil Nadu police and a native of Valanchery in Malappuram district and Malathy. He did his schooling in Guruvayoor and B.E.M. High School, Palakkad. Later, he attended the Government Victoria College, Palakkad, from where he graduated with a degree in Physics. Unni Menon exhibited great talent and enthusiasm for music in childhood, winning many prizes in competitions throughout his schooling and college life.[2]

Career[edit]

Unni Menon is basically a Malayalam film playback singer. Kunjunni, a violinist for music director Ilaiyaraaja introduced him to B. A. Chidambaranath, a music director, and Unni's musical career was launched in 1981–82. His maiden song "Amudhum Thenum" was never released, but with "Pon maane kobam eno" he became a noted singer in 1984.[1] He was a track singer and after listening to his tracks for the film, Kadathu, KJ Yesudas asked to the music director, Shyam, to make it straight. And after the huge success of the Kadathu songs ("Olangal Thaalam Thullumbol", "Punnaare Poonthinkale", etc.), Unni became a regular singer for the hit music director, Shyam. Shyam has given him a good number of popular songs like "Maanathe Hoori Pole" (Ee Naadu), "Valakilukkam Oru Valakilukkam" (Munnettam), "Kaayampoo Korthu Tharum" (Aarorumariyaathe) and "Thozhuthu Madangum Sandhyayumetho" (Aksharangal). After Shyam's decline from the film music field, Unni's career in Malayalam film musicdom also went into shades. During that period, he has given some hit private albums such as Raagageethi and Raaga Lahari, with his contemporary playback singer, Ashalatha.

Unni Menon moved to Chennai (then Madras) where he had a job in the Heavy Vehicles Factory at Avadi. Many of the prominent recording studios of South India were located in Chennai. His interest in music led him to visit these studios regularly and formed acquaintances with many prominent artists like the singer K. J. Yesudas and composer Ilayaraaja. Soon he had graduated from singing tracks for prominent singers and was becoming a singer sought after by many music directors.[3]

In 1980s he had few lone hits in Tamil film 'Oru kaidhiyin dairy', singing for Ilayaraja. His career got a major boost in 1992 when A. R. Rahman offered him the song "Puthu Vellai Mazhai". That song went on to become a huge hit, as were all the other songs from the film. Since then he has sung many songs which have become big hits.

In 2003, Unni Menon added a new dimension to his career when he acted and composed music for the Malayalam film Sthithi besides singing the songs in the film.[4]

Unni menon is the leading Singer in 2009 Malayalam Devotional Album Saranamanthram directed by Kamalan.

Awards[edit]

Tamil Nadu State Film Awards:

  • 2002 – Best Male Playback SingerVarushamellam Vasantham (Song: "Enge Antha Vennila") and Unnai Ninaithu (Songs: "Ennai Thalatum" and "Yaarindha Devathai")
  • 1996 – Best Male Playback Singer – Minsara Kanavu (Song: "Ooh lalala")[4]

Film Guidance Society of Kerala Film Awards:

  • 2011 – Best Male Playback Singer – Beautiful (Song: "Mazhaneer Thullikal")

North American Film Awards

Partial filmography[edit]

Song Movie Year Music Director Lyrics
"Thiruvaavaniraavu" Jacobinte Swargarajyam 2016 Shaan Rahman Manu Manjith
"Maranamethunna" Spirit 2012 Shahabaz Aman Rafeeq Ahammed
"Mazhaneer Thullikal" Beautiful 2011 Ratheesh Vegha Anoop Menon
"Kalli Kattil" Thenmerku Paruvakaatru 2010 N. R. Raghunanthan Vairamuthu
"Unakku Endru Oruthi" Oru Kalluriyin Kathai 2005 Yuvan Shankar Raja Na. Muthukumar
"Oru Chembaneer Pooviruthu" Sthithi 2002 Unni Menon, M. Jayachandran, Sunny Viswanath
"Ennuyir Thozhi" Kangalal Kaidhu Sei 2004 A. R. Rahman P. Vijay
  • Kangalal Kaithu Sei (2003)
  • Mullavalliyum Thenmavum (2003)
  • Enakku 20 Unakku 18 (2003) (in Tamil and Telugu)
  • Bala (2003)
  • Unnai Ninaithu (2002)
  • Star (2001)
  • Jodi (1999)
  • Rhythm (2000) (in Tamil and Telugu)
  • Kadhalar Dhinam (1999)
  • Varushamellam Vasantham (1999)
  • Uyire (1998)
  • Minsaara Kanavu (1997)
  • Mr. Romeo (1996)
  • Tom & Jerry (1995)
  • Karuththamma'(1994) (In Tamil and Telugu)
  • Puthupatty Ponnuthayee (1994) (Tamil)
  • Thiruda Thiruda (1993) (in Tamil and Telugu)
  • Pudhiya Mugam (1993)
  • Roja (1992)
  • Mimics Parade (1991)
  • God Father (1991)
  • Akkareakkareakkare (1990)
  • Kuttettan (1990)
  • Pavakoothu (1990)
  • In Harihar (1990)
  • Carnival (1989)
  • Naaduvazhikal (1989)
  • Ramo Speaking (1989)
  • Sruthi (1987)
  • Vazhiyorakkazhchakal (1987)
  • Shyama (1986)
  • Nyayavidhi (1986)
  • Sneulla Simham (1986)
  • Kshamichu Ennoru Vakku (1986)
  • Ithile Iniyum Varu (1986)
  • Rajavinte Makan (1986)
  • Ennu Nadhante Nimmi(Song :Poove Arimullapoove) (1986)
  • Gandhinagar 2nd Street(1986)
  • Chekkeran oru Chilla(1986)
  • Kandu Kandarinju (1985)
  • Ee Lokam Ivide Kure Manushyar (1985)
  • Oru Nokku Kanan (1985)
  • Adhyayam Onnu Muthal (1985)
  • Boeing Boeing (1985)
  • Vellarikka Pattanam (1985)
  • Shantham Bheekaram (1985)
  • Vannu kandu Keezhadakki (1985)
  • Angadikkapurattu (1985)
  • Aarorumariyathe (1984)
  • Koottinlamkili (1984)
  • Aksharangal(1984)
  • Umanilayam(1984)
  • Sandyakenthinu Sindooram(1984)
  • Belt Mathai (1983)
  • Bhookambam (1983)
  • Iniyenkilum (1983)
  • Himam (1983)
  • Kolakomban (1983)
  • John Jaffer Janardhanan (1982)
  • Ee Naadu (1982)
  • Palangal (1982)
  • Paanchajanyam (1982)
  • Thenum Vayambum (1981)
  • Munnettam (1981)
  • Kadathu (1981)

Malayalam album songs[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c S.S.Kavuta. A melodious journey . The Hindu. Retrieved 29 November 2008
  2. ^ Biography in official website, additional text.
  3. ^ Chennai Online interview, additional text.
  4. ^ a b Official site
  5. ^ The Best Playback Singer Award from NAFA

External links[edit]