Kalyani Menon

Kalyani Menon is an Indian playback singer who has worked in the Indian film industry. After beginning her career in the 1970s as a classical singer, Kalyani has since established a parallel career as a singer in the film industry and worked extensively with A. R. Rahman during the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Kalyani Menon
Born (1951-06-23) 23 June 1951 (age 69)
Kerala, India
GenresPlayback singing
Years active1977–present


Kalyani Menon learned classical music from M. R. Sivaraman Nair and made a mark as a classical vocalist, before gradually branching out into singing for films. An early Malayalam film song which garnered her acclaim was "Kanneerin Mazhayathum" for composer M. S. Baburaj in Ramu Kariat’s Dweepu (1977).[1] She began working in Madras during 1977, through Dhananjayan’s Malayalam dance drama Magdalana Mariyam that was choreographed as part of the Vallathol Centenary celebrations. Kalyani sang Vallathol Narayana Menon’s lines that were set to tune by the Dhananjayan. Her first film song in Tamil was with composer Ilaiyaraaja for the song "Sevvaaname Ponmegame" from K. Balaji’s Nallathoru Kudumbam (1979) and the track found frequent airtime. Balaji continued to ensure that Kalyani sang in some of his films in the early 1980s such as "Nee Varuvaaiyena" from Sujatha (1980), "Thanniya Potta Sandhosham Pirakkum" from Savaal (1981), "Aei Rajave Un Rajathi" from Vazhvey Maayam (1982) and the reflective "Vidhi Varaindha Padhai Vazhiye" from Vidhi (1984). Kalyani also sang other popular songs in the period such as "Naan Iravil Ezhuthum Kavithai Muzhuthum" from Suba Muhoortham (1983) and "Theril Vandhaal Devadhai" from an unreleased film called Mookuthi Meengal.[1]

After a period away from the film industry, Kalyani Menon worked on several albums for A. R. Rahman during the 1990s and early 2000s. She recorded for songs including "Vaadi Saathukkudi" in Pudhiya Mannargal (1993), and followed it up with the "Omana Thingal" sequence in "Kuluvalile" from the Rajinikanth-starrer Muthu (1995).[1] She later worked on songs including the title track from Alaipayuthey, "Adhisaya Thirumanam" from Parthale Paravasam (2001) and for the three versions of Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa (2010) made by Gautham Menon in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi. Kalyani also featured in Rahman's historical Vande Mataram album; and also in Ussele, the album by Srinivas, in which Kalyani and P. Unnikrishnan sang Gopalakrishna Bharathi’s "Eppo Varuvaaro" set to a modern beat.[1]

Personal lifeEdit

Kalyani Menon is the mother of Rajiv Menon, who has worked in Indian films as a cinematographer and director.[2][3][4] Rajiv became acquainted with music composer A. R. Rahman and worked with him on commercial and film projects as a result of the composer's music work with Kalyani.[5] As a mark of respect, when the audio cassette of Rajiv Menon's Kandukondain Kandukondain (2000) was released in a grand function, Kalyani Menon was called to receive the first cassette from Kamal Haasan. Kalyani had also made a brief appearance in the film as Aishwarya Rai’s music tutor.[1]

Notable discographyEdit

Year Song title Film Music Director Notes
1979 "Sevvaaname Ponmegame" Nallathoru Kudumbam Ilaiyaraaja
1980 "Nee Varuvaaiyena" Sujatha M. S. Viswanathan
1993 "Vaadi Saathukodi" Pudhiya Mannargal A. R. Rahman
1994 "Indiraiyo Ival Sundariyo" Kadhalan A. R. Rahman
1995 "Kuluvalile" Muthu A. R. Rahman
2000 "Alaipayuthey" Alaipayuthey A. R. Rahman
2001 "Adhisaya Thirumanam" Paarthale Paravasam A. R. Rahman
2008 "Jalashayyayil" Laptop Sreevalsan J. Menon
2010 "Omana Penne" Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa A. R. Rahman Also co-lyricist
2010 "Kundanapu Bomma" Ye Maaya Chesave A. R. Rahman Also co-lyricist
2012 "Phoolon Jaisi Ladki" Ekk Deewana Tha A. R. Rahman Also co-lyricist
2018 "Kathale Kathale" 96 Govind Vasantha


  1. ^ a b c d e https://www.last.fm/music/Kalyani+Menon/+wiki
  2. ^ http://fullpicture.in/interview-detail/114/the-imaginarium-of-r.html
  3. ^ Padmanabhan, Savitha (6 March 2000). "Chords & Notes". The Hindu. Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  4. ^ http://www.rediff.com/entertai/2000/sep/11rajiv.htm
  5. ^ Mathai, Kamini (2009). A.R. Rahman: The Musical Storm. ISBN 9780670083718.