There are moments when we are glad to have be in the audience of a riveting performance provided by an artist who has nurtured his art for a lifetime. The sadhane (devoted practice?) is very poignantly visible, and the performance is so enchanting, we stop our activities and barely move for fear of the spell being broken. Music usually produces these moments. Acting, Books, Architecture, Design also produce them, but the spell binding capacity of Music is extraordinary.
Vijay Prakash is one of the few singers who have the capacity to provide these spell binding moments again and again. Almost ten years ago, as a youngster, his performances in the famous TVS SaReGaMa music competition on TV were superb. The program set very high standards and managed to bring out and showcase the top class music talent in the country. Among the performers Vijay Prakash enthralled listeners with his singing. He did not win the contest. I was not aware of his presence for a long time after those scintillating moments in the program.
That was 1999.
I am glad, I have been listening to this fantastic singer even though I had not realized it. There are song bytes that you like without being able to get the details of who has performed.
One of them was a remix of Kahan Se Aye Badra.
The original is a fantastic song sung by the legendary Yesudas. I was very impressed by the way the remix was sung. Only recently, did I come to know the singer is Vijay Prakash. He has sung jingles, devotional songs, ghazals, classical music, fusion, remix and even for foreign films, including a Chinese film! He has sung in Kannada, Tamil, Hindi and the pronunciation is fantastic. The amazing versatility and range of this singer is unbelievable.
Why are we not getting enough of such a performer in mainstream cinema? Kannada movies could easily benefit from a singer who is at home singing in Kannada and vastly capable like him. He can easily carry off a whole movie full of songs.
People are of the opinion that his voice may not match the main character artists voice. By making a choice on those lines, they are losing out on the golden opportunity to make their songs outstanding and memorable. I think there are ways to circumvent this creatively. There can be many movie songs which play out in the background. This gives opportunities to picturise the song sequence without insisting on lip synching and adding a new dimension to story telling. Characters breaking into song and dance have become the norm, but these are not the only ways to bring songs to movies and story telling.
I do understand that this is definitely not a limiting factor for a great singer. There is a whole universe for music in India outside of movies. Vijay Prakash will definitely be reaching those heights. However, I only wish his amazing
talent is acknowledged and tapped by the medium of cinema.
Some of his film based songs so far are
Manmohini Morey in the film Yuvvraaj. Incidentally in a rain man type scene where the character reveals a miraculous gift for music much beyond what normal humans can hope for!
Sooni Sooni in Cheeni Kum. This is a song based on the fantastic Mandram Vantha Thendralukku Tamil song in Mouna Raagam
Sannate Mein. This is a creepy, eerie song from the movie Baaz
Black Hole. This is a cheerful, fun song with Adnan Sami for Hanuman Returns.
He has performed in Swades (Pal Pal Hai Bhari), Slumdog Millionaire (Jai Ho), Naan Kadavul (Om Siva Om), Mathrubhumi, Lakshya, Tere Naam, Kaal, Waqt and other movies. However, in my humble opinion, the sections given to him don’t do any justice to the immense potential of this young performer.
Here is hoping, we will get some more fantastic golden hits from him.
These days, we get the chance to see Vijay Prakash in the Kannada Asianet Suvarna channel program called Star Singer 2. He is now on the other side as a judge, though I wish we would have the opportunity to listen to him again perform his magic, at least once in a while in the program.
Credits and a big thanks go out to swahaya for collecting and making the you tube channel of videos of Vijay Prakash’s songs available for us.