Versatile Malayalam Playback Manju Menon who has rendered songs in excess of 800 albums.
Give her any genre song, Manju will sing with much ease. She has rendered songs for several Malayalam movies, albumbs in addition to umpteen number of stage shows. Her husband, Murali Menon is also an excellent singer.
Although, Manju Menon has rendered songs in many Malayalam movies, four songs she sang for Jayaraj movie, Desadanam were instantenous hits and quite unforgettable at that. Manju Menon rendered two solo songs and two duet songs in the movie out of the nine songs. The track, Nanmayerunnoru and Kaliveedurangiyallo were the solo songs she rendered melodiously and enthralled the music lovers, while her two duet tracks such as Naava Mukunda Hare, which she sang with Deepankuran and Neelakarmukil, which she accompanied Kunjanujathi Thamburatti. The best part is that she was singing along with musical stalvarts of Kerala inluding KJ Yesudas and Sujatha Mohan.
Another amazing song that flowed out of Manju Menon’s mellifluous voice was for the film, Sopanam, starting with Tharanoopuramchaarthi Mookamam Shyaparibhavampeythu Manju Veenu….with the aesthetic lyrics of Kaithapram Damodharan Nampoothiri and the liting composition of SP Venkitesh, Manju Menon has immortalised the song. In fact, this very song was her foray into the Malayalam playback singing horizon, though she had learnt music and was performing at various stage shows.
Hailing from Palakkad, Manju Menon did her schooling from Gujarathi Vidyalaya in Mattanchery in Ernakulam District, where she was the top singer of her school. The winning streak continued and by the time she pursued her college education at Saint Mary’s Girls too, she won the top accolades in the light music competition. Manju Menon did her BA and MA Music from Government College, Chittur. Early part of the training Manju Menon had from Ramankutty Menon and Teacher cum Singer Jency, subsequently, she further honed her singing skills and nuances from Palakkad MB Mani, Palakkad KS Narayanaswamy and Puthuparyaram Unnikrishnan, all of them were great exponents of Carnatic Music in her hometown. Manju also did stage shows along with the renowned Malayalalam singer P Jayachandran’s troupe for more than a couple of years, only to join the troupe of yet another stalwart vocalist of Kerala, KJ Yesudas. Also, she has done several stage shows with the music composer, late Raveendran. What is more, Manju Menon has share stage and rendered songs with conceivably most of the singers. She is also the Grade Artist in All India Radio.
Cassettes and Albums
Rendering songs in excess of 800 Albums is not an easy task in any case, as Manju Menon has rendered songs in the albums of music composers such as Arjunan Master, Raghukumar, Jerry Amaldev, Kaithapram Viswanathan, Vidhyadharan Master, Raveendran Master, Kannur Rajan, M Jayachandran…the list goes on. She has rendered songs for renowned music firms including Magna, Sargam Audio, Tharangini, Manorama Musics, Ranjini, Nisari and more. In addition to that she had performed in Akashavani and Doordarshan in many television series.
In fact, the big break came Manju’s way, when a music lover, Mullassery Rajagopalan, who got introduced to her through singer P Jayachandran, who in turn, spoke to his frind and film maker Jayarajan that paved the way for her to sing in the film Sopanam. Although she rendered the track for the song, Tharanupuram, along with KJ Yesudas, for it to be finally recorded in the voice of KS Chithra. Eventually, when Chithra came at the studio for recording this song, she happened to hear the song rendered by Manju Menon, the nightingale opined that as it is, the song has been beautifully rendered and there is no need for Chithra to sing. Chithra also said that it was a question of the future of a singer. Thanks to Chithra’s selflessness, Manju Menon’s track was retained in the movie and it became an instant hit, thus catapulting her reputation into a new height. Eventually, Manju was flooded with offers and Jayaraj again made her sing four songs in his film Desadanam. After the phenomenal success of this film, Manju Menon never had to look back. More films came her way, including Santhathamsumasharam in Aaran Thampuran, Ee Swarasandhya Safalam in the movie Asuravamsham, Hridhayaragamazha in the film Quotation, Mazhaputhumazha in the cinema Kissan and more songs.
Apart from singing, Manju Menon has also anchored a slew of television shows including Onnam Ragam in Doordharshan, Shubarathri in Jeevan Television, Music edition Suprabhatham …Morning show …in Asianet and more.
Awards and Accolades
Manju has won several awards and accolades in her successful vocation of vocal rendition. In 2006, through the play, Kottayathu Thampuran she won the Kerala State Award for Best Female Singer for the song written by the late lyricist Girish Puthanchery and music composed by Alappey Rishikesh. Right now Manju Menon is pursuing her doctorate in music from Srisankaracharya University. Besides her husband Murali Menon too is a great singer, the couple’s only daughter Bhadra K too is a promising singer, who is pursuing a course in Music. If all these years, the duo, Manju Menon and Murali Menon were singing together, going forward, the trio consisting of the couple and their daughter will enthrall the music buffs of Kerala. The Indian News wishes the gifted family well.