Music Composer Vijayakumar Chambath honours Unni Menon for achieving Kalaimamani Award 2018 from Tamil Nadu Government
Vijayakumar Chambath, the music composer cum singer honoured renowned playback singer, Unni Menon on March 5, 2019 at the Trinity Waves Studio in Chennai for his achievement of receiving the prestigious Kalaimamani Award from the Government of Tamil Nadu.
Vijayakumar Chambath falicitated Unni Menon on the occasion of a devotional song recording composed by the former. In fact, Unni Menon is getting the Kalaimamani Award for 2018. The award will be conferred to the winner by the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Edappadi K. Palaniswami at an official event to be announced later. The awards were stalled eight years back and has now been revived and a total of 201 artist are being conferred the awards.
Hailing from Kerala, Unni Menon has rendered in excess of 3,000 songs in a long career. Unni Menon has rendered songs in many south Indian languages such as Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada. Born in the temple town of Guruvayoor in Thrissur district of Kerala, his early part of schooling was in Guruvayur, Basic Evangalical Mission High School Palakkad and Government Victoria College, also in Palakkad. A graduate in Physics, Unni Menon showed promise right from his school days and won many accolades for his singing talent. Though, the initial part of his career progressed in Malayalam films, with a slew of opportunities given by the music composer, Shyam. Unni Menon had rendered super hit songs such as Thozhuthu Madangum Sandhayinnetho and many more songs.
Through Ilayaraja’s violinst Kunjunni, Unni Menon got the opportunity to touch base with music composer B.A. Chidambaranath and that was how his musical career which got kick-started in 1981-82. Starting off with Amudham Thenum, his first song that never saw the light of the day, nevertheless, his destiny changed, when he rendered Pon Mane Kopam Eno, with the music direction of Ilayaraja in 1984. Since then, Unni Menon never looked back. That was one phase of Unni Menon, who was also a track singer by then.
When he got an opportunity to sing songs for the Malayalam film Kadathu under the music composition of Shyam, the dominant singer, K.J. Yesudas happened to hear Unni Menon’s track song, he was so impressed and asked the music director to take the track songs for the movie instead of him rendering the songs. That was a shot in the arm for Unni Menon. Two songs in the movie Kadathu, Olangal Thaalam Thulumbol and Punnaare Poonthinkale became instant hits. Since then, Unni Menon became a regular singer for Shyam and the duo produced some excellent songs such as Maanathe Hoori Pole in the IV Sasi directed movie, Eenadu; Valakikukka oru Valakilukkam in the movie, Munettam; Kaayampoo Korthuth Tharum in the film Aarorumariyathe and Thozhuthu Madangum Sandhayenetho in the cinema Aksharangal. After a sustained period of time, came the downward slide for the music composer Shyam and subsequently Unni Menon’s career too took a hit. During that time, Unni Menon rendered songs in lot of private albums in the likes of Raagageethi and Raaga Lahari with female playback singer Ashalatha.
Another super hit private album was Paanchajanam, a devotional musical audio album on Lord Guruvayoorappan. Eventually, Unni Menon relocated to Chennai and took up a job in Heavy Vehicles Factory in Avadi. Even while working, Unni Menon was in touch with the who’s who of Tamil music industry and from track singing, he was also graduating into playback rendition. When he recorded the song, Pon Maane Kopam Eno in the movie Oru Kaithiyin Dairy, his name on the cover of the cassette read, Vijay. This Ilayaraja song became a rage.
A decade or so, he did render songs in various languages, his second big break came in the form of A.R. Rahman’s musical hit song Puthu Vellai Mazhai in 1992. Also in 2003, he acted and did the music score for the Malayalam movie, Sthithi, where he had also rendered a song. Ever since, Unni Menon became a regular singer in Tamil and Malayalam movies. In addition to that, he had also rendered many songs in Telugu and Kannada as well.
With his unique melancholic voice, Unni Menon had carved a niche in the highly competitive vocal playback segment with immense popularity in all the four south Indian film world. His song, Paartha Mudhal Nale, in the Kamal Hassan starer Vetayaadu Vilayadu was a super hit song. Similarly, his Malayalam song, Maranamethunna Nerathu is a poignant song, which elevated Unni Menon’s stature very high. The Indian News wish both Unni Menon and Vijayakumar Chambath best wishes.