Sooraj Santhosh

Sooraj Santhosh (born September 19, 1987) is an Indian singer, songwriter, producer, and composer. He straddles the worlds of independent music and playback singing, moving smoothly between the two. Sooraj is the recipient of a Kerala State Film Award (2016),[3] 2 Mirchi Music Awards,[4] and a Kerala State Film Critics Award (2021).[5] He has sung around 300 songs in 8 languages.

Sooraj Santhosh
Sooraj at a Concert
Sooraj at a Concert
Background information
Born (1987-09-19) 19 September 1987 (age 35)
Paravur, Kollam, Kerala, India[1][2]
  • Singer
  • Songwriter
  • Music Composer
Formerly ofMasala Coffee

Sooraj released his independent solo EP, The Gypsy Sun, in 2020. It’s a multi-genre, multi-lingual album that consists of 5 songs.

Sooraj was the co-founder of the folk-rock group Masala Coffee, and he composed and performed with them until 2019, when he decided to dedicate more time to his own creative endeavors. Now he performs with his own band, Sooraj Santhosh Live.

Early lifeEdit

Sooraj was born on September 19, 1987, in Kerala, India. His was not a musical family. His father Santhosh Kumar worked for the Forest Department, and his mother Jayakumari was a teacher.  Neither they nor their extended family had any musical connections. It was the music teacher in Sooraj’s mother’s school who identified his affinity to music when he was 5 yrs old. She taught him a song that he sang beautifully. It was on her advice that Sooraj’s parents took this seriously and enrolled him at the age of 6 in Tharanganisari School of Music founded by Dr. K. J. Yesudas. His initial years at that institution were difficult since he was thrown abruptly into the midst of senior singers. As a child he struggled to understand what was happening and what was expected of him. But he gamely stuck on with the constant encouragement of his mother who ensured that he attended classes regularly. Sooraj has also been under the tutelage of Prof K. Omanakutty, Kollam G.S Balamurali, and Parvathipuram Padmanabha Iyer.

Sooraj completed his High School and Higher Secondary level education in Government Model Boys Higher Secondary School, Thiruvananthapuram. In High School he participated and won prizes in School Youth Festivals and State Youth Festivals.[6] He graduated in Commerce from Mahatma Gandhi College, Trivandrum, and did his Post-Graduation in Commerce from Mar Ivanious College, Trivandrum. While in college he took part in National University Youth Festivals and won prizes consistently.

One of the programs he participated was a musical competition on Surya TV where the renowned flautist Kudamaloor Janardanan was one of the main judges. Each performance was followed by a host of questions from the judges on music and its intricacies. It was an interesting format and Sooraj went on to win the competition. It was after this that he started learning music from Shri Kudamaloor Janardanan. That opened a new world for him. He realized that there was so much more to music than taking part and winning in competitions. This is the moment that opened his mind to the world of music, and he became fascinated with the magic of music. The doubts that kept cropping up constantly in his mind were being resolved, and he had found someone who could provide clarity.

Sooraj went on to perform vocal concerts in his home-town Trivandrum.


After completing his Post Graduation, Sooraj moved to Chennai where he felt he could focus more on his music. His entry into playback singing was completely unexpected. While in college he had auditioned for the renowned composer G. V. Prakash Kumar, and after two years he got a call for a recording. It was the song Inkaa Etho for the movie Darling (2010 film) which released in 2010. This song got him the Best Upcoming Singer award from Radio Mirchi that year. More opportunities came his way to work with various composers in Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam and Telugu. In 2010, Sooraj accompanied his mentor and guru Shri Kudamaloor Janardhanan for a fusion ensemble at the Kovalam Literature Festival, where he was the sole singer in the group.

In 2012 he sang with the Austrian rock band Ashram Oriental Rock, a 7 member Indo-Austrian band. He accompanied them on their European tour in 2011.[7] They travelled across Europe in a unique initiative to perform within prisons.

In 2014, Sooraj became one of the co-founders of the band Masala Coffee. He was their frontman and he also produced music for the band. They performed in innumerable venues, both nationally and internationally. Sooraj along with Masala Coffee scored music for two films – Uriyadi, and Kannum Kannum Kollaiyadithaal. In 2019, Sooraj bid adieu to the band and started on his own path to create the music he had always wanted to.

All this while, Sooraj was simultaneously singing playback, and sang for some of the major composers in South India like Ilaiyaraaja, Yuvan Shankar Raja, D. Imman, Charan Raj (composer), G. V. Prakash Kumar, Devi Sri Prasad, Thaman, Bijibal, Gopi Sundar, Jassie Gift, Vivek Sagar, Vishnu Vijay, Shaan Rahman, Justin Varghese, Sushin Shyam, Justin Prabhakaran, Rex Vijayan to name a few.

In 2016 he was awarded the Kerala State Film Award for Best Playback Singer for the song ‘Thaniye’, composed by Vishnu Vijay for the film Guppy.[8]

Sooraj’s first international project was with Sri Ganesh B Kumar and the European Chamber Choir. He performed the Shanmukha Kavacham in Germany along with the Choir and worked closely with Mr Nicol Matt, the popular new age German composer. Sooraj is the first male Indian singer to perform with the Chamber Choir of Europe. It is the world’s first Choral composition from India, that’s now a part of the Western Classical Choral repertoire.[9]

Independent MusicEdit

In 2019, Sooraj started work on his solo independent EP, The Gypsy Sun, which had five songs in it. It’s a multi-lingual album with tracks in Malayalam, Hindi and Tamil. The songs were released in 2020 -22. He collaborated with musicians from across genres for this, like the hiphop artist Insanoid, music producer Varkey, and the renowned singer Sayanora.[10]

Over the years Sooraj has collaborated with several independent artists across geographies and genres.

Meanwhile Sooraj has been producing his own songs, one of which was the thought-provoking single titled Aalayal Thara Veno. This song questioned many regressive and backward-looking ideas that were existing unchallenged and unchanged in a popular folk song. Sooraj’s song was welcomed by the youth and accepted wholeheartedly. However, he had to face a lot of backlash from certain sections of society who found it difficult to accept the need to question existing beliefs even if they were problematic. It was a very challenging period for the artist, since a lot of online attacks were vicious and turned very personal.

Sooraj Santhosh LiveEdit

In 2016 Sooraj formed his own five-piece band called Sooraj Santhosh Live. He performs across national and international venues with his band, where he primarily presents his own compositions, along with the songs he has sung playback in films. Sooraj also showcases the musical pieces and compositions of artists and composers whose works resonate with him. The core idea behind Sooraj Santhosh Live is to communicate with an audience and perform what Sooraj as an artist would like to convey.


Sooraj’s initial foray into the world of theatre was as an actor when he attended a workshop with Janabheri. They are a theatre group based in Shoranur, who have made a mark in the contemporary theatre scene through their unique theatre productions. Later in 2022, Sooraj composed and produced music for Thaaram (The Dismissed Shadow), a Janabheri Production that explored new possibilities in interpreting the current socio-political realities.

Thaaram (The Dismissed Shadow) was performed across venues in Kerala, including the Kerala Sangeeta Nataka Academy Theatre Festival, and Rangaprabhath Theatre Festival.

In February 2023, Thaaram was one of the entries selected for the International Theatre Festival in Bodoland.[11]

Masala CoffeeEdit

Sooraj Santhosh was the co-founder and former lead vocalist of Masala Coffee, which made its debut on Kappa TV's Music Mojo. The band composed the soundtrack for the Tamil movie, Uriyadi, co-produced by Nalan Kumarasamy.[12][13] They composed the title track and featured in a promo video for the Malayalam movie, Hello Namasthe.[14] Masala Coffee performed at the RAAG 'N' ROCK Indie Music Festival at Al Nasr Leisureland, Dubai, on September 11, 2015,[15] releasing their first music video titled 'Aalayaal Tharam Venam',[16] in 2016. In November 2019, Masala Coffee announced that they were cordially parting ways with Sooraj, so the latter could pursue a promising solo music career. Sooraj made his independent band latter which came to know as Sooraj Santhosh Live [17]

His first song ′Inka Etho′ composed by G.V Prakash for the Telugu Darling won him the Mirchi Music Awards South conducted by Radio Mirchi for the Best Upcoming Singer in Telugu (2010). "A Special program on the Mirchi Music Awards hosted to felicitate all the singers and musicians of South India"[18] Sooraj made his debut in Malayalam with the song ′Ee Ramayanakkootil′ in the film Second Show. Music was composed by Nikhil Rajan starring Dulquar Salman.

Sooraj made his entry into the Tamil film industry by singing ′Uyirin Suvaril′ and ′Vegam vegam′ in the movie Sridhar (2012)for which music was composed by Rahul Raj. He got his break with a duet song ′Yamma Yamma′ in All in All Azhagu Raja (2013) with Shreya Ghoshal, music composed by S. Thaman. ′Othakadai othakadai′ and ′Yaelley Yaelley′ from the film Pandiya Naadu (2013)[19] composed by D. Imman are other Tamil songs. His recent song ′Madai Thirandhathu′ was for music director M M Sreelekha in the film Kaadhal Solla Aasai.

He has been nominated in the category of Best Upcoming Vocalist (Male) in Malayalam (2013) by Music Mirchi Awards, for his rendition of the song 'Iniyum Nin Mounam' for the movie KQ.[20]

He won the Kerala State Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer for the song "Thaniye Mizhikal" from the film Guppy.[21] He also won the Janbhumi film awards 2017 and SIIMA 2017.

Solo albumEdit

The Gypsy Sun

Sooraj is working on his debut solo album, which is a multilingual album consists of 6 songs, Recently he released one among them. ‘Thani Malayalam’ which has wooed the audience with its unique theme and offbeat composition. The song's genesis is rooted in Sooraj's love for language. The Music Video features eminent personalities from Malayalam literature, culture, art and cinema like M T Vasudevan Nair, Sara Joseph, Benyamin, Nedumudi Venu, Peeshapilly Rajeevan, Artist Bhattathiri, Methil Devika, Peruvanam Kuttan Marar, Ramachandra Pulavar.[22][23]



Year Film Song Music


2013 Second Show Ee Ramayanakootil Nikhil Rajan
2013 Lokpal Arjunante Ratheesh Vegha
2013 Mayam Mayam Ratheesh Vegha
2013 Rebecca Uthup Kizhakkemala Nin Neelamizhi Ratheesh Vegha
2013 Ladies and Gentleman Palaniram padarume Ratheesh Vegha
2013 KQ Iniyum Nin Mounam Stephen Devassy
2015 Mallanum Mathevanum Azhakey Allimalarey[24] Suman Bichu
2015 Kunjiramayanam Salsa Justin Prabhakaran
2015 Madura Naranga Oru Naal[25] Sreejith - Saachin
2015 Madura Naranga Melle Vannu Konjiyo Sreejith - Saachin
2016 Hello Namasthe Ulakil Karanamila Masala Coffee
2016 Guppy Thaniye Vishnu Vijay
2016 Team 5 Azhcha Gopi Sunder
2017 Ramante Eden Thottam Kavitha Ezhuthunnu Bijibal
2017 Njandukalude Naattil Oridavela Enthaavo Justin Prabhakar
2017 Himalayathile Kashmalan Akkidi Aravind Chandrasekhar
2017 Solo Aalayaal Thara Venam Masala Coffee
2018 Queen Vennilave Jakes Bejoy
2018 Naam Adichu Polichu Ashwin Sivadas and Sandeep Mohan
2018 Tank Takara Ashwin Sivadas and Sandeep Mohan
2018 Get Out House Ashwin Sivadas and Sandeep Mohan
2018 Kaly Kinnam Katta Kallan Rahul Raj
2019 June Adyam Thammil Ifthi
2019 Kumbalangi Nights Uyiril Thodum Sushin Shyam
2019 Ambili Aaraadhike Vishnu Vijay
2019 Android Kunjappan Version 5.25 Pularan Neram Bijibal
2019 Underworld Paravakal Yakzan Gary Pereira & Neha Nair
2019 Subharathri Aalameenithinaadiyonu Bijibal
2019 Valiyaperunnal Labbaikkallah Rex Vijayan
2019 Dear Comrade Mazhamegham Justin Prabhakaran
2020 Anveshanam Ilam Poove Jakes Bejoy
2020 Gauthamante Radham Theythaka Tharam Anuraj O.B
2020 Kappela Kannil Vidarum Sushin Shyam
2021 Roy Arikin Arikil Munna P. M.
2021 Malik Theerame Sushin Shyam
2021 Madhuram Gaaname Hesham Abdul Wahab


Year Film Song Music Director
2012 Sridhar Uyirin Suvaril Naane Rahul Raj
2012 Sridhar Vegam vegam Rahul Raj
2012 Chandramouli Kala Kala kala Kala Maragadhamani
2012 Chandramouli Dharmam Vazha Maragadhamani
2013 Pandiya Naadu Yaeley Yaeley Maruthu D. Imman
2013 Pandiya Naadu Othakadai Othakadai Machaan D. Imman
2013 All in all Azhagu Raja Yamma Yamma S. Thaman
2013 Varuthapadatha Vaalibar Sangam Yennada Yennada D Imman
2013 Kadhal Solla Aasai Madai Thiranthathu M. M. Srilekha
2014 Bramman Vaanathile Nilavu Devi Sri Prasad
2014 Sooraiyadal Adiye Sarithaana Mithun Eshwar
2014 Kadavul Paathi Mirugam Paathi Naan Indru Naan Thaane Rahul Raj
2014 Anjaan Kaadhal Aasai Yuvan Shankar Raja
2015 Soan Papdi Enga Kaattula Mazhai Dhanraj Manickam
2014 Mozhivathu Yadhenil Vilai Illathadhu Nithyan Karthick
2015 Ore Oru Raja Mokka Raaja Malare Mooche Eduthu Suman Bichu
2015 Thoppi Paava patta naanga Ramprasad Sundar
2015 Achcharam Perazhaghai Thirudida Srikanth Deva
2015 Ivanuku Thannila Gandam Mappilla Mappilla A7
2015 Nanbargal Narpani Mandram Sirichaenae Chinna Ponudha Srikanth Deva
2015 Kanchana 2 Motta Paiyan S.S.Thaman
2015 Vaa Deal Vaa Deal S.S.Thaman
2015 Kida Poosari Magudi Chinna Paya Vayasu Ilaiyaraaja
2015 Ithiraiyil Varum Sambavangal Anaihtum Karpanaiyae Somariyum Neethan Maria Jerald
2015 Vasuvum Saravananum Onna Padichavanga Vasuvum Saravananum D Imman
2015 Puli Mannavanae Mannavanae[26] Devi Sri Prasad
2015 Pattanathu Raja Edho Ondru Thonudhadi Manoj
2015 Selvandhan Rama Rama Devi Sri Prasad
2015 Mooch Marachan Bommai Nithyan Karthik
2015 Jippaa Jimikki (2015) Ayyo Ayyo Ranib & Mohanrajan
2015 Kuttram Nadanthathu Enna Nee Konjumbothey Naresh
2015 Meymarandhaen Paaraayo En Kaadhale Himesh Reshammiya
2015 Meymarandhaen Paaraayo Appuram Enoa Himesh Reshammiya
2016 Vidayutham Allipoo Mithun Eshwar
2016 Uriyadi Agni Kunjondru Kandaen Masala Coffee
2016 Uriyadi Kantha Masala Coffee
2016 Munnodi Akkam Pakkam K. Prabu Shankar
2017 Tubelight Kaathirunden Indra
2018 Santhoshathil Kalavaram Kaatru Vaanga Nalla Kaatru Sivanag
2018 Maniyaar Kudumbam Adi Pappali Palame Thambi Ramaiah
2019 Kanne Kalaimaane Endhan Kangalai Yuvan Shankar Raja
2019 Naadodigal 2 Adhuva Adhuva Justin Prabhakaran
2020 Kannum Kannum Kollaiyadithaal Kanave Nee Naan Masala Coffee


Year Film Song Music Director
2008 Villagelo Vinayakudu Muddugaare Manikanth Kadri
2010 Darling Inka Edho GV Prakash Kumar
2012 Marina Snehitudokadunte Girish
2012 Crazy (Dubbed version) Alagodhey Alagodhey S Thaman
2012 Theme Music S Thaman
2013 ABCD: Any Body Can Dance (Dubbed version) I am a fool Sachin-Jigar
2013 Chirunavvula Thotaku Swagatam Sachin-Jigar
2013 Tadakha Viyyalavaru S Thaman
2013 Palnadu Kalley Kalley Palike Imman D
2013 Satya 2 Bhashma dhaari Shree, Ishq
2013 Satya 2 Samaram Daarilo Velithey Sanjeev, Darshan
2013 Adhee Lekka Emaina edhemaina Chinni Charan
2013 1-Nenokkadine O Sayonara Sayonara Devi Sri Prasad
2014 Legend Thanjavuru Devi Sri Prasad
2014 Ra Ra Krishnayya Come on baby Achu Rajamani
2014 Alludu Sreenu Labbar Bomma Devi Sri Prasad
2014 Rabhasa Dam Damare S Thaman
2014 Paathshala Friendship Day Anthem Song Rahul Raj
2014 Power Nuvvu Nenu Janta S Thaman
2014 Aagadu Bhelpuri S Thaman
2014 Ala Ela Yedutakaladu Bheems Cecirolio
2014 Ala Ela Yenduke[27] Bheems Cecirolio
2015 Tiger Hey Tiger S Thaman
2015 Maha Maharaju Evaremi Antunna Hiphop Tamizha
2015 S/O Satyamurthy One & Two & Three Devi Sri Prasad
2015 S/O Satyamurthy Chal Chalo Chalo Devi Sri Prasad
2015 Mosagaallaku Mosagaadu Oho Sundari Manikanth Kadri
2015 Mosagaallaku Mosagaadu Raamaaya Raamabhadraaya Manikanth Kadri
2015 Rakshasudu (2015) Masss (Remix) Yuvan Shankar Raja
2015 Ganga Gundabbaayi SS Thaman
2015 Ak Rao Pk Rao Nuvu Vachetappudu K S Rao
2015 Rahadhari Na Manasu Rahul Raj
2015 Srimanthudu Rama Rama[28] Devi Sri Prasad
2015 Jaya Suriya Urike Chilaka D Imman
2015 Prema Leela Jatha Kadathaavo Himesh Reshammiya
2015 Prema Leela Jvaliyinchele Himesh Reshammiya
2015 Nenu Sailaja Masti Masti Devi Sri Prasad
2016 Nannaku Prematho Love Me Again Devi Sri Prasad
2016 Pellichoopulu Ee Babu Gariki Vivek Sagar
2016 Maari (Maas) (Dubbed version) Donu Donu Donu Anirudh Ravichander
2016 Supreme Anjaneyudu Neevadu Sai Kartheek
2017 Jaya Janaki Nayaka Andhamaina Seetakoka Chiluka Devi Sri Prasad
2018 Soda Goli Soda Teeranney Bharath Madhusudhanan
2018 Sanjeevani Jaano Sravan KK
2019 Ee Nagaraniki Emaindi Maarey Kalaley Vivek Sagar
2019 Brochevarevarura Vaale Chinukule Vivek Sagar
2019 Nandini Nursing Home Nanney Nanney Achu


Year Film Song Music Director
2013 Kamasutra 3D Saawariya Sachin-Sreejith
2013 Kamasutra 3D Har Har Mahadev Sachin-Sreejith


Year Film Song Music Director
2014 Hara (2014 film) Hare Rama Jassie Gift
2015 Titlu Beka Hrudya Maaro Nobin Paul
2016 Godhi Banna Sadharana Mykattu Ale Moodadhe Charan Raj
2016 Srinivasa Kalyana Bettadmele Srinivasu Midhun Mukundan
2017 Ondu Motteya Kathe Keli Nodri Midhun Mukundan
2019 Mundina Nildana Manase Maya Masala Coffee
2019 Dear Comrade Kareyuveya Justin Prabhakaran

Music albumsEdit

Year Album Song Music Director
2014 Love Policy Sakhiye En Sakhiye Sreejith-Sachin
2015 London Love Azhake Ninave Yesu
2016 Yeshunadha Krooshithane Jeneesh John
2016 Aalayaal Thara Venam Aalayaal Thara Venam Masala Coffee
2016 Dhuun Theme song Sreejith Edavana
2016 Blue Rose Konjhum Vaarthayaal Siddhartha Pradeep
2015 Titlu Beka Hrudaya Maaro Nobin Paul
2016 Kari Samaya Veghangal Masala Coffee
2019 Namma Kanaath Kannadi Kaadey Afzal Yusuf
2014 Nizhalayi maraam vettonnu thundam pathinaru Muralee Radhakrishnan


Kerala State Film Awards

2016: Best Male Playback Singer - 'Thaniye Mizhikal',[29] Guppy[30]

Other Awards

2010: Mirchi Music Awards South, Best Upcoming Singer (Telugu) - 'Inka Etho', Darling

2017: Janmabhumi Film Awards, Best Playback Singer - 'Thaniye Mizhikal', Guppy

2017: SIIMA, Best Playback Singer (Malayalam)- 'Thaniye Mizhikal', Guppy[31][32]

International concertsEdit

  • US-Canada tour with Music director Devi Sri Prasad for a series of performances in cities across USA and Canada (July–August 2014)[33] - 'Team for US Tour'
  • Sooraj performed with the band Masala Coffee in Dubai on 17 October 2014 at the inaugural ceremony of KPL Dubai Season 3.[34]
  • Sooraj and his band, Masala Coffee will be performing live for Raag 'N' Rock - The Indie Music Festival, on 11 September 2015 in Dubai[35][36]
  • Sooraj is the Soloist Tenor who will be accompanying the Chennai-based composer Mr. Ganesh B. Kumar and team to premiere the Shanmuga Kavacham with the European Choir Group. It is the world's first Choral composition from India, to adorn the Western Classical Choral repertoire. This composition titled “Shanmuga Kavacham”[37] is a spiritual masterpiece in Tamil, written by the Saint / Poet Srimath Pamban Swamigal, in 1891. The World Premiere of “Shanmuga Kavacham”, along with other selected mantras would be performed in Choral a cappella style in Germany on 20 September 2015 at Kurhaus Weisbaden / Friedrich-von-Thiersch-Saal, Germany. This auspicious event is titled “Mantra Meets Classic” and will be conducted by Mr. Nicol Matt, one of Germany's few new generation conductors enjoying international reputation.[38][39]
  • Sooraj has accompanied Gopi Sunder to perform in Melbourne at 1330, Ferntree Gully Rd, Scoresby, VIC 3179 for the audio launch of the movie 'Team 5' on 1 October 2016.[40]
  • Sooraj has performed with Masala Coffee on 22 October 2016, at the Malaysian Independent Live Fusion Festival held at the StarXpo Centre, Kuala Lumpur.[41]
  • Sooraj and his band, Masala Coffee Performed for the Sarvesh Festival of Arts[42] at the Victoria Hall, Singapore, on 25 November 2016.
  • Sooraj has performed with his band Masala Coffee on 17 March 2017, at the Dubai Global Village.[43]


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Further readingEdit