His mellifluous voice will transport you to tranquillity and his grounded nature will elevate the respect you’ve had on him. Born into a musical family, Haricharan, a carnatic vocalist and renowned playback singer shares his love for music with AMRITHA PREM

When did you boil down on becoming a singer?

As a kid I was keen on learning carnatic music and have performed as a vocalist in almost all the sabhas in India. The appreciation I got when I performed in a well known programme in a regional channel convinced me I was meant for this, though my parents were sceptical initially about my decision. But things began to favour me once my songs got recognition. They are happy now.

How did `Kadhal’ happen?

VS Ramanan, presenter and host of a popular show was an acquaintance of Joshua Sridhar (Music Director of Kadhal). He suggested me to go for auditions, as Joshua was looking for a fresh voice. I went to his office; along with many others, I too performed and Joshua instantly liked my voice. I sang three songs for this movie, which remain my all time favourite.

What’s your approach to a song recording?

Nothing in specific, whatever makes the song better, I go for it. Once I enter the studio, the director explains me the situation and the composer briefs me about the tone and the emotions involved. It’s my role to combine all these aspects imaginarily and perform. I usually memorize my lyrics and then record it closing my eyes. I also
believe in spontaneous recording to long hours of practising and performing it, unless and until it is required.

Which song do you consider the toughest among, all your collections?

Aariro from Deiva Thirumagal, because as a third person I must emote the relationship perfectly shared between a mentally challenged father and his daughter. GV Prakash suggested me to go home, practice and come back after giving his inputs and I did it.

On what basis do you choose your songs?

I don’t go by a rule book per say to choose. All that I do is listen to the song before recording to check its pitch and determine if it matches my range. Also, I see if the song sounds good in my voice.

What’s your approach to people/fan’s feedback?

I take them very seriously and take it in the right sense when flaws are pointed out.

You have travelled with AR Rahman for the last five years. Tell us about your experience.

As a kid, I was a part of this troupe named `Issai Mazhalai by Ramjhi’, where I got a chance to perform
as backing vocal artist with many other kids for films such as Lagaan, Kannathii Muthamittal, etc. I always wanted to work with him since then. Srinivas (singer) has spoken about me to Rahman many times and that’s how I got the chance to sing for the movie Kochadaiiyaan. I consider working with him as a blessing, be it in studios or live concerts.

 

Tell us about your band Bennet and the Band:

All my live concerts are with this band named `Bennet and the Band’, where Bennet is the guitarist and we have many other amazing singers.

Why are there plus one shows that happen in the name of concerts?

I will say it’s the absence of resources i.e., adequate time, but it can be avoided. Also, western countries do follow plus one shows, but they perform it brilliantly by adding more visual effects such as lights, videos, etc. making it an experience!

Which quality makes a great playback singer?

The ability to switch between emotions swiftly.

Who are your all-time favourite artists?

Sid Sriram, Hariharan and Shankar Mahadevan. They keep me inspired all the time and during my live shows, I sing most of their songs in my own way, but without losing the originality.

Your future plan.

I wish to come up with an album of my own (independent music) for my audience.