Unni Menon (born 2 December 1955) is an Indian film playback singer. He has recorded over 4000 songs in many Indian languages including 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 with 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 27 popular songs from films like Karuththamma (1994) and Minsaara Kanavu (1997).

Unni Menon
Unni Menon.jpg
Background information
Birth nameNambalatt Naryanankutty Menon
Born (1955-12-02) 2 December 1955 (age 67)
Valanchery, Kerala, India
GenresFilm score, Devotional
Occupation(s)Singer, music director, actor
Years activeEarly 1980s–present
WebsiteOfficial website

Early lifeEdit

Menon was born in Valanchery in the Malappuram district of Kerala to V.K.S Menon and Malathy. His father was an officer in Tamil Nadu police and a native of Guruvayoor in Thrissur district. He did his schooling at Basel Evangelical Mission Higher Secondary School, Palakkad.[2] Later, he attended the Government Victoria College, Palakkad, from where he graduated with a degree in Physics. He exhibited great talent and enthusiasm for music in childhood, winning many prizes in competitions throughout his school and college days.[3]

CareerEdit

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.Paanchajanyam a Hindu devotional audio album on Lord Guruvayurappan brought him a lot of fame in the Malayalam audio world.

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.[4]

In 1980s he had few lone hits, "Pon maane kobam eno" in Tamil film 'Oru kaidhiyin dairy', with a nickname Vijay, 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.[5]

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

AwardsEdit

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")[5]

Film Guidance Society of Kerala Film Awards:

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

North American Film Awards

Kalaimamani Honour by Tamil Nadu Government

  • 2018 - Contribution to Playback singing[7]

Partial filmographyEdit

List of tamil songs recorded by Unni Menon

Year Movie Song Music Director Lyrics Co-artist(s)
1992 Roja "Pudhu Vellai Mazhai" A. R. Rahman Sujatha Mohan
1993 Captain Magal "Vaanambadi" Hamsalekha Sujatha Mohan
Gokulam "Sevvanthi Poo" Sirpy P. Susheela
Pudhiya Mugam "Kannuku Mai Azhagu" A. R. Rahman
"Idhudhaan Vazhkai" Sujatha Mohan
Thiruda Thiruda "Veerapandi Kottayile" A. R. Rahman K. S. Chithra, Mano
1994 Chinna Madam "Putham Puthu Oorukku" Sirpy
Karuthamma "Poraale Ponnuthayi" A. R. Rahman Sujatha Mohan
Sindhu Nathi Poo "Kadavullum Neeyum" Soundaryan S. Janaki
Veettai Paaru Naattai Paaru "Petha Manam" Deva
1995 Jameen Kottai "Manichittu Thaalatile" Sirpy
Villadhi Villain "Bombai Maami" Vidyasagar Sujatha Mohan
1996 Kizhakku Mugam "Iniyenna Pechu"(Male) Adithyan
Mr. Romeo "Mel Isaiyae" A. R. Rahman Swarnalatha, Srinivas, Sujatha Mohan
Pudhu Nilavu "Vanna Vanna Pookal" Deva
Take It Easy Urvashi "Idhayathil Iruppavale" Soundaryan Swarnalatha
Vishwanath "Jil Endru Veesuthu" Deva
1997 Minsara Kanavu "Mana Madurai" A. R. Rahman K. S. Chithra, Srinivas
Pudhayal "Ochamma Ochamma" Vidyasagar Uma Ramanan, S. P. Balasubrahmanyam
1998 Uyire "Poongkaatrilae" A. R. Rahman Swarnalatha
1999 Jodi "Kadhal Kaditham" A. R. Rahman S. Janaki
Kadhalar Dhinam "Daandiyaa Aattamumaada" A. R. Rahman
"Enna Vilaiyazhagae"
Kudumba Sangili "Petha Manasu" Sirpy Sujatha Mohan
Maanaseega Kadhal "Signal Kidaikatha" Deva Anuradha Sriram
Ninaivirukkum Varai "Anbe Nee Mayila" Deva Sujatha Mohan
Pudhu Kudithanam "Nilavukku Ennadi" Deva Harini
Time "Ninachapadi" Ilaiyaraaja
Unnaruge Naan Irundhal "Poori Poori" Deva Swarnalatha
2000 Aval Paavam "Ponnanaval" Pradeep Ravi
Chinna Chinna Kannile "Chinna Chinna Kannile" Sampath Selvan
Eazhaiyin Sirippil "Karu Karu Karupayi" Deva Anuradha Sriram
"Sakkaravalli"
"Purave En"(Version ll) Sujatha Mohan
James Pandu "James Pandu Da" S. A. Rajkumar Mano
Mugavaree "Yeh Nilavae" Deva
Pennin Manathai Thottu "Kannukkulle" S. A. Rajkumar
Rhythm "Nadhiye Nadhiye" A. R. Rahman
Sabhash "Paalai Keeley" Deva Anuradha Sriram
Seenu "Kuchalaambaal" Deva Harini
Unakkaga Mattum "Ammaadi Nee Enna" Bobby Shankar
"Kaadhal Seiya" Srinivas
Unnai Kodu Ennai Tharuven "Pethava Kanniru" S. A. Rajkumar
Vaanathaippola "Mainave Mainave" S. A. Rajkumar K. S. Chithra
Vaanavil "Oh Penne"(Version ll) Deva Swarnalatha
2001 Aanandham "Gokulathu Radhai" S. A. Rajkumar Sujatha Mohan, S. P. Charan
"Kalyana Vaanil" Sujatha Mohan
Alli Thandha Vaanam "Kannalay Miya Miya" Vidyasagar Sri Vardhini
Kadal Pookkal "Alai Alai" Deva Srinivas, Swarnalatha
Love Channel "Enge Ennathu Vennila" Deva Sujatha Mohan
Poove Pen Poove "Kannukuley" Subhas Jawahar
Shahjahan "Minnalai Pidithu" Mani Sharma
Star "Machha Machhiniye" A. R. Rahman Ganga Sitharasu
2002 123 "Hey Penne" Deva
Bala "Poopoovai" Yuvan Shankar Raja Ganga Sitharasu
Gummalam "Yaaro" Gandhidasan
Karmegham "Etumula Veti Kati" Vidyasagar Antara Chowdhury
Maaran "Aanantham Aanantham" Deva Sujatha Mohan
"Kannukulle"
Unnai Ninaithu "Ennai Thalattum" Sirpy Sujatha Mohan
"Yaar Indha Devathai"
Varushamellam Vasantham "Enge Andha Vennila"(Male) Sirpy
Virumbugiren "Thodu Thodu" Deva
2003 Bheeshmar "Nadagam Pol Vaazhkaiyila" S. P. Venkatesh
Chokka Thangam "Ettu Jilla" Deva Anuradha Sriram
Enakku 20 Unakku 18 "Sandhippoma" A. R. Rahman Chinmayi
Priyamaana Thozhi "Penne Neyum Pennaa" S. A. Rajkumar Kalpana Raghavendar
Sena "Theerathathu Kathal" D. Imman Nithyasree Mahadevan
Thennavan "Vatta Vatta" Yuvan Shankar Raja Padmalatha
2004 Autograph "Ninaivugal Nenjil" Bharathwaj
Kangalal Kaidhu Sei "Ennuyir Thozhi" A. R. Rahman P. Vijay Chinmayi
2005 Amudhae "Anbe Adu Oru Kalam" Sunil Xavier Sujatha Mohan
Kicha Vayasu 16 "Sila Neram" Dhina
Oru Kalluriyin Kathai "Unakku Endru Oruthi" Yuvan Shankar Raja Na. Muthukumar
Thavamai Thavamirundhu "Oru Muraidhan" Sabesh–Murali
Veeranna "Manithaney Kalangathey" Soundaryan
2006 Kasu "Nee Oru Paarvai"(Duet) V S Udhaya Nirosha
"Nee Oru Paarvai"(Solo)
Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu "Partha Mudhal" Harris Jayaraj Bombay Jayashri
2007 Achacho "Pengal" M K S Narula Khan Mahathi
Rasigar Mandram "Nilavae" S P Boopathy Reshmi
Thirutham "Kadhal Kanmaniye" Pravin Mani K. S. Chithra
2008 Ezhuthiyatharadi "Kangalil Vanthathillai" Sri Mahan
Kadhal Endral Enna "Margazhi Thimuttavaa" K Bharathi
Vedha "Ennai Naan" Srikanth Deva
2009 Aarupadai "Poove Oru Naal" Azhvar Sri
Mariyadhai "Yaar Parthathu"(Version ll) Vijay Antony
Unnai Kann Theduthe "Kagetha Puveni" Sirpy K. S. Chithra
  • Kadathu (1981)
  • Munnettam (1981)
  • Thenum Vayambum (1981)
  • Paanchajanyam (1982)
  • Palangal (1982)
  • Ee Naadu (1982)
  • John Jaffer Janardhanan (1982)
  • Kolakomban (1983)
  • Himam (1983)
  • Iniyenkilum (1983)
  • Bhookambam (1983)
  • Belt Mathai (1983)
  • Sandyakenthinu Sindooram (1984)
  • Umanilayam (1984)
  • Aksharangal (1984)
  • Koottinlamkili (1984)
  • Aarorumariyathe (1984)
  • Angadikkapurattu (1985)
  • Vannu kandu Keezhadakki (1985)
  • Shantham Bheekaram (1985)
  • Vellarikka Pattanam (1985)
  • Boeing Boeing (1985)
  • Adhyayam Onnu Muthal (1985)
  • Oru Nokku Kanan (1985)
  • Ee Lokam Ivide Kure Manushyar (1985)
  • Kandu Kandarinju (1985)
  • Chekkeran oru Chilla(1986)
  • Gandhinagar 2nd Street(1986)
  • Ennu Nadhante Nimmi (Song :"Poove Arimullapoove") (1986)
  • Rajavinte Makan (1986)
  • Ithile Iniyum Varu (1986)
  • Kshamichu Ennoru Vakku (1986)
  • Snehamulla Simham (1986)
  • Nyayavidhi (1986)
  • Shyama (1986)
  • Vazhiyorakkazhchakal (1987)
  • Sruthi (1987)
  • Ramji Rao Speaking (1989)
  • Naaduvazhikal (1989)
  • Carnival (1989)
  • In Harihar Nagar (1990)
  • Pavakoothu (1990)
  • Kuttettan (1990)
  • Akkareakkareakkare (1990)
  • God Father (1991)
  • Mimics Parade (1991)
  • Roja (1992)
  • Pudhiya Mugam (1993)
  • Thiruda Thiruda (1993) (in Tamil and Telugu)
  • Puthupatty Ponnuthayee (1994) (Tamil)
  • Karuththamma (1994) (In Tamil and Telugu)
  • Tom & Jerry (1995)
  • Mr. Romeo (1996)
  • Minsaara Kanavu (1997)
  • Uyire (1998)
  • Kadhalar Dhinam (1999)
  • Rhythm (2000)
  • Jodi (1999)
  • Star (2001)
  • Shahjahan (2001)
  • Varushamellam Vasantham (2002)
  • Unnai Ninaithu (2002)
  • Bala (2002)
  • Enakku 20 Unakku 18 (2003) (in Tamil and Telugu)
  • Mullavalliyum Thenmavum (2003)
  • Kangalal Kaithu Sei (2004)
  • The Legend (2022)

Telugu discographyEdit

Year Film Song Composer(s) Co-Singer(s)
1993 Donga Donga "Veera Bobbili" A. R. Rahman Mano, K. S. Chithra
1994 Vanitha "Poodota Poochindanta" A. R. Rahman Sujatha Mohan
1997 50 - 50 "O Meghana" A. R. Rahman
Merupu Kalalu "Ooh La La La"
1999 Premikula Roju "Vaalu Kanula" A. R. Rahman
"Dandiya Aatalu" Kavita Krishnamurthy, M. G. Sreekumar
Time "Oyyala Pandagochindhi" Ilaiyaraaja
2000 Maa Annayya "Maa Logililo" S. A. Rajkumar
Rhythm "Dhimtanana Dhimtanana" A. R. Rahman
2003 Nee Manasu Naaku Telusu "Kalusukundhama" A. R. Rahman
2004 Cheppave Chirugali "Nannu Laalinchu"(Duet) S. A. Rajkumar

Malayalam album songsEdit

  • Pranayamarmaram – 2009.
  • Aavani Kanavukal - 1997
  • Chingakili - 1992
  • Ponnavanni Pattukal - 2017
  • Eenathil - 2018

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c S.S.Kavuta. A melodious journey . The Hindu. Retrieved 29 November 2008
  2. ^ Shaji, K. a (28 September 2014). "His music bloomed across the border". The Hindu.
  3. ^ Biography in official website, additional text.
  4. ^ Chennai Online interview, additional text.
  5. ^ a b Official site
  6. ^ The Best Playback Singer Award from NAFA
  7. ^ Kalaimamani Awards (http://cms.tn.gov.in/sites/default/files/go/tour_t_31_2019.pdf)

External linksEdit