Parakkal Unnikrishnan (born 9 July 1966) is an Indian Carnatic vocalist and playback singer.[1]

P. Unnikrishnan
Background information
Born (1966-07-09) 9 July 1966 (age 57)
Palakkad, Kerala, India
GenresIndian classical music
Occupation(s)Playback Singer, Classical Singer & Judge (Idea Star Singer, Airtel Super Singer 2008, Surya Singer 2013)
Years active1992–present

Early life and background edit

Unnikrishnan was born to K. Radhakrishnan and Dr. Harini Radhakrishnan in Palakkad, Kerala.[2] The family home, Kesari Kuteeram, was a well-known[by whom?] landmark of Madras city, with great grandfather Dr. K. N. Kesari, an Ayurvedic physician and the promoter of the Telugu women's magazine Gruhalakshmi.

He went to Asan Memorial Senior Secondary School, Chennai.[3] He later transferred to Santhome Higher Secondary School in Chennai and completed his schooling in 1984.[3] He graduated from Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda College, Chennai, and received his B.Com degree from the Madras University.[citation needed] He earned a General Law and Post Graduate Diploma in Personnel Management and Industrial Relations.[citation needed]

He worked as an executive in Parry's Confectionery Ltd. from 1987 to 1994, when he quit his job to become a professional singer.[citation needed]

Singing career edit

Unnikrishnan was initiated into Carnatic music aged 12 by V. L. Seshadri.[4] He was inspired by Sangita Kalanidhi Dr. S. Ramanathan.[1] Later, under the tutelage of Savithri Sathyamurthy, a student of Dr. S Ramanathan herself, helped Unnikrishnan polish his craft and become the singer he is now regarded as.[5] He attended a special workshop for six months on "Veena Dhanammal Bhani" under Sangeetha Kalanidhi T. Brinda and Sangeetha Kalanidhi Dr. T. Vishwa Nathan.[6]

He won the National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer for his debut film songs "Ennavale Adi Ennavale" and "Uyirum Neeye".[7] These songs were composed by A. R. Rahman, with whom Unnikrishnan gave most of his memorable songs. He is the first male playback singer to be awarded the national award for a Tamil song.[citation needed] He was one of the permanent judges in the reality television show AIRTEL Super Singer on Vijay TV in seasons (2006, 2008, 2010–2011, 2013, 2015–2016, 2018) and 2008 Idea Star Singer on Asianet.[citation needed]

Unnikrishnan is also becoming known for his experimental work. In 2008, he presented a novel jazz concert in Thiruvananthapuram with the Eli Yamin Jazz Quartet and pianist Anil Srinivasan.

He prefers singing classical songs over pop music.[citation needed] He is the recipient of many awards like Tamil Nadu's Kalaimamani, Nada Bhushanam, Isai Peroli, Yuva Kala Bharathi, Isayin Punnagai, Isai Selvam, Sangeetha Kalasarathy, Sangeetha Chakravarthy.[citation needed] In 2014, he received the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi Award for Classical Music.[8]

In 2012, Unnikrishnan rendered a series of Devotional songs on Lord Ganesha, Lord Ayyappan, Lord Venkateswara, and Devi among others. The albums were produced by Gaananjali Recordings and were composed and released by Manachanallur Giridharan. The album titles include Ayyan Malai Engal Malai, Om Nava Sakthi Jaya Jaya Sakthi, Sabarimalai Va Charanam Solli Va, Vindhaigal Purindhai Nee En Vazhvile, jeans, and Uchi Pillaiyare Charanam.[9] Notable among them is the Harivarasanam, part of the Ayyappa album and is the only other popular rendering after the famous K. J. Yesudas's.[10]

Personal life edit

Unnikrishnan is married to Priya, a Bharathanatyam and Mohiniyattam dancer and a native of Kozhikode, Kerala. They were married in November 1994 and have 2 children – a son named Vasudev Krishna (b. 1997) and a daughter named Uthara (b. 2004). Uthara won the National award for playback singing for her debut song "Azhagu" in the movie "Saivam". Both Unnikrishnan and Uthara received national awards for their debut songs.

Vasudev is passionate about cricket and is a member of the Madras Cricket Club and Life Member of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association.[11]

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Touch of class". The Hindu. 23 October 2003. Archived from the original on 17 November 2003. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
  2. ^ "Unnikrishnan:Profile And Biography". 9 July 1966. Archived from the original on 5 May 2010. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
  3. ^ a b Prince Frederick (27 December 2020). "How the tide turned for Santhome in 1983". The Hindu.
  4. ^ "Unni Krishnan: From indifference to involvement". The Hindu. 8 January 2020.
  5. ^ "The gentle perfectionist". The Hindu. 6 March 2014.
  6. ^ "Friday Review Thiruvananthapuram / Focus : Heights of melody". The Hindu. 30 June 2006. Archived from the original on 21 January 2007. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
  7. ^ Suanshu Khurana (30 March 2015). "10-year old Uthara to receive National Award 20 years after father singer P Unnikrishnan got". The Indian Express.
  8. ^ "Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi Award: Classical Music". Department of Cultural Affairs, Government of Kerala. Retrieved 26 February 2023.
  9. ^ "Ayyan Malai Engal Malai". iTunes. November 2012.
  10. ^ The popular Harivarasanam song by Unnikrishnan, next only to the famous K. J. Yesudas's number. 28 November 2012. Archived from the original on 13 December 2021 – via YouTube.
  11. ^ "Bowled by music". Deccan Herald. 13 January 2008. Archived from the original on 17 May 2008.

External links edit