Nov 24, 2005


I LOVE THEIR MUSIC.. true example of 'Secular India'.. Most of you know of Shankar - Shankar Mahadevan; ever since his 'Breathless' and 'Varaaga nadhi karai oram', he has fast climbed up the ladder of pinnacle and glory as one of the best singers of our country. I love his voice... Bubbly, full of emotions, naughty and peppy. Now, about the other two of the trio..

Ehsaan - Ehsaan Noorani, the Guitarist. Born and bred at Mumbai; Studied at The Musicians Institute (Hollywood). Has his own blues band. Was into advertising in late 80's.. Famous ads: 'Give me red', Cadbury's Perk. Worked as a freelance under Laxmikant-Pyarelal and Kalyanji-Anandji.

Loy - Loy Mendonsa, the Pianist. Worked under Ranjit Barot.

Shankar Mahadevan is a software engineer; plays Veena since the age of 5; gave his first solo performance when just 11; is a member of 'Mynta', an Indo-Swedish constellation which is a jugalbandhi between Indian classical and European music.

Ehsaan and Loy worked together for several jingles; the trio's first joint venture was for Pepsi ads in early 90's.

They have some truly unforgettable albums in Hindi.. My favorites are
Mission Kashmir: Bumbro, (Lovely dance), Rind Posh mal (terrific picturization), Chupke se and Soche ke (sweet melodies).
Dil Chahta Hai: All songs.. this movie's songs took Hindi music by storm; best among them is Kaise hai (superbly sung by our Srinivas).
Kal Ho Naa Ho: Again, all... you would have seen this in my 'Hot music' for a long time.. I still love listening to the songs.. esp. the title song and 'Pretty woman'.
Armaan: Mere zindagi mein aaye..
Bunty aur Babli (this one rocks.. I strongly recommend this new movie) Everyday I sing "Dhadak dhadak".. :-)

Unfortunately, Tamil directors havent used them, surely depriving us of what could have been some wonderful albums. Probably they were afraid after 'Aalavandhan'. Even that had some good numbers.

What I like about their music is their unique use of less-known instruments from different parts of the world. This, added to their blend of Indo-'Rest-of-the-world' music, gives us some new sounds and tunes in their songs. They share a mutual respect from one another, which is very important for their success so far. And Shankar would be one full-time and busy music composer who would have sung more for other music directors than under the 'SEL' combo. He, and my favorite Hariharan are two of the modern-day singers I always enjoy listening to.

Info on this triplet can be found here, and here .


Kris said...

Raju, Alavanthan padathai maranthutingale..though not a great effort..the theme music was good... Yeah they are very successful in Hindi... (Even in our tamil industry , we had a triplet...AGOSH...)

Nitin said...

i thought they did good in Alavandhan, , they are successful in bollywood, i guess they are among the top in bollywood other than arr. i liked their music in that vivekoberoi, aishwarya rai movie too, but my favorite would have to be dil chahta hai.

Nitin said...

Raju, see the pak-eng series? inzamam is amazing.

Anand Prabhu said...

raju... for me too hariharan and SM are favourites... I have not listened to too many hindi songs.. but the title song in "Kal Ho Na ho" is an amazing number... one of the wonderful songs I enjoyed...

I like bumbro(MK) and Jane kyoen in DCH.. amazing songs...

ada-paavi!!!! said...

the trio are good, i liked the music for dil chatha hai, not too good, but better than the usual hindi music churned out

NaiKutti said...

shankar's another song which i like is from RHYTHM the song is "Thaniye Thannan Thaniya Naan..." and needless to say, breathless is a masterpiece

Prabu Karthik said...

DCH was awesome.

i am not too much into hindi songs but i have lot of respect ofr these guys.

As u said even aalavandan was good.

padam flop adhukku ivanga enna panuvaanga?

visithra said...

u know how it is with the industry everything is based on past performance linked to others - do hope theyre used in tamil

that siri siri song till today brings a smile ;)

narayanan said...

Loy Mendonsa, if am right was the one who composed the Doordarshan Tamizh news music, pretty good for those days.

As of this trio in Tamil,either they need to compose kuthu songs or they need a high-profile director to pick and pay them.

DCh and 'Its the time to Disco' from 'Kal Ho Na Ho' were the only two I've heard so far, both are my favourites.


Raju said...

Kris, I just corrected myself with the sentence in the middle about Aalavandhan.. you commented a minute or two after my first draft.. I am yet to see that movie.. a rare Kamal movie that I have missed.. Who are 'Agosh'?
Nitin, yeah.. they are really a much sought-after trio in Bollywood.. Vivek-Aish movie "Kyun ho gaya na"? That movie's story was sooo boring and dull, I didnt pay much attention; but I do remember that I liked atleast a couple of songs from that one.

Cricket: I watched Inzamam batting early on 5th day.. After the fall of Naved's wicket, his approach was strange.. for 3 or 4 overs, he took a single off the first ball and 'exposed' Shoaib. Had Shoaib got out early, Inzamam would have been criticized, much like Laxman was, during the test vs Pak in Bangalore. Somehow Shoaib hung on and gave company to Inzamam; nevertheless, it was a very good innings. Other two games: Our loss today was disappointing... Hope we win the next one atleast and square the series.. we seem to have a long way to go. And in Aus, Lara batted wonderfully.. but I wont be surprised WI losing despite another Lara double hundred.
Anand, cool.. yeah, KHNH, shot in 'ur place' is a lovely song.. Jane kyun was picturized wonderfully.. very different tune..

Raju said...

Vatsan, if you listen to Dil Chahta hai a few times, you will surely appreciate its music.. The lyrics in "Tanhayee" is, uncharacteristic of most Hindi songs, very very deep and good..
Karthik, "thaniye" is among my favorites of Shankar too.. On my favorite songs of his, I should write a separate post.. :-)
Prabu, the good thing that has happened to Hindi film music after Rangeela is, the old-fashioned Hindi music, with 'violin-based' orchestra is rarely used.. The music directors had to think of different tunes, with different hearing experience. Same with this trio too... And the songs are mostly not typical-hindi.. Even if one doesnt understand the lyrics, the songs are still enjoyable.. Try out a few of his recent ones, esp. 'Bunty aur Babli' and u will realize that they are quite enjoyable..
Vis, mm.. if S-E-L come to Tamil music, it would be a wonderful competition, with already excellent Rahman-Yuvan-Harris-Vidyasagar usually doing a convincing job.

'Siri siri' song? mmm... it was a different attempt.. :-)
Narayanan, what happened to Raghuvaran? "That was a good foto".. :-)

Interesting news on Loy.. DD Tamil news? mm... looks like 'age old days'...

They can do very well with with kuthu songs.. As u said, a good director with a successful movie is what they require.. I wish someone like Balaji Sakthivel uses them..

narayanan said...

Raju, Agosh was(actualy were) the composers for KT.Kunjumon's downfall movie 'Kodeeswaran', a little google ;) and ended up here saying 'Agosh(Agosh is an acronym and it refers to 3 people - Anand, Ghosh and Shaleen', never knew until today. They composed for a few more less known movies.
Yeah I too liked that Raghuvaran pic, just liked this bug from the bugging u flash forward, so made it as a avatar :).

Generally I don't like high profile composers getting into the kuthu field, it rather spoils their style. A very good example would be Rahman composing for Rajini movies, there's no wavelength match at all. Deva is da man for those :D.


Anonymous said...


Shankar and Hari are my fav too. Reason they can sing in Hindi and Tamil with equal fineese, which is a very rare trait.Even SPB would rank below them in this regard. This might be attributed to their upbringing though.

Shankar is genious, he is the best when it comes to "Bhava".

Both are good at Improvising..

Raju said...

Narayanan, thanks for the info on Agosh.. mm... I was totally out of the news on 'Kodeeswaran'.. I thought of googling.. but no time yesterday..

That pic was 'Arivujeevi' written all over it.. Sema getup.. One question by someone in ur blog at which I had a hearty laugh was "Narayanan, your foto looks like Raghuvaran.." :D... Bug is cool too..

If you are in Rome, you have to be a Romanian.. Tamil cinema-le famous aganumna kuthu pattu pottudhan aganum.. but it need not be the typical Vijay kuthu song.. Can be a very intelligent one as 'Pettai Rap'.. I agree with u on Rajini-Rahman combo.. Muthu was good, Padayappa OK.. but it was awful in Baba..
Anon, welcome..

Agree with u on Shankar and Hari.. Living in Mumbai helps them.

"Bhava"...? I dont understand.. is it a musical term?

Anonymous said...

"Bhava" is a musical term. Raaga , taala and Bhava are three main ingredients of music..

Bhava is expression..

Shankar can convey the mood of a particular song better than many of his contemps ..

If we ask KJ Jesu ( Melodies la pisthu ) to sing a Namma ooru Kuthu paattu.. he might not be able to pump in as much life as Shankar can do..

But at the same time Shankar can also sing stuff like " Breathless " effortlessly

He is versatile..

narayanan said...

'Tholaivinile Vaanam' is a lovely melody in case you missed listening to 'Kodeeswaran'. 'Thaam Tharikita Thom' is decent. rest of the songs are trash.
Hariharan has some Tamizh links in his family and pretty sure he is from a Tamizh/Malayalam origin, pretty sure Shankar has some ties too. Anyway both have that south'ish touch in diction which you can easily find out listening to Lata Mangeshkar or Asha singing a Tamizh song.

Anon, I don't quite agree SPB not being as versatile (maybe not that good in Hindi diction), but one cannot have a 36 year long career without it.

IMO, ability to sing a kuthu song does'nt merit versatility. Imagine, a nasal voice like Jassie Gift's voice can become a hit.

Seriously can Shankar sing a extremely soft song or a film-classical song like 'Nee Pournami' in 'Oruvar Vazhum Alayam'?


PS: I dont have any qualms against Shankar or Hariharan, just trying to get what you mean. Hope Raju does'nt mind this digression :)

Raju said...

Anon, (ur name plz..)I guessed so.. (I thought in lines of Ragam, Thaalam, Bhavam).. but since I never learnt music, just wanted to make sure.
About Shankar being able to convey the mood of a particular song, that is what I mentioned as 'full of emotions'..
Though I like him, Hariharan, Karthik, and KK among the new generation singers, in terms of versatility, SPB was no less, IMHO... Evidence: Songs like "Maanoothu.." (Kizhakku seemaiyile), "Kozhi koovum.." (Vanna vanna pookkal), Singari sarakku (Khakhi chattai), etc.. May be as a person who has learnt music, you can catch the finer nuances in their way of singing.. (since SPB apparently hasnt learnt classical music the traditional way)
Narayanan, I dont mind any discussion/argument in my blog, even in matters unrelated to the main post.. :-)

I think I havent listened to any of the songs of 'Kodeeswaran'. I will, now that I know it has some good numbers..

Hariharan is a Palakkad Tamil brahmin, migrated to Mumbai..Shankar too is Tamil migrant.. But, unlilke Asha or Lata, they are very well fluent in Hindi, I havent heard of any accent in their hindi songs..

And, Shankar has got some soft songs in Hindi.. Unfortunate that our Tamil music directors call him only when they require a high-pitch singer.. I am sure he can sing a film-classical song too..

Barani said...

I have never questioned SBP's abilities in my comment anywhere. But for the diction part of it..
When it comes to TAMIL PLAY back -- SPB is a genius. Not to forget out "Vanden da PAALKAARAN" , "Gemini" from the . I just luv these songs.

I'm a big fan of SPB. I was only comparing Shankar with his cotemps.
For some reason currenlty SPB does not sing that much as he used to.. So Im not sure if you can count him amomg Shankar's contemps.

I agree with you that KK, Karthik , even Tippu are doing a great Job.Have a long way to go if they have to be on the same line as SPB. i think Karthik is the best of the Lot.

Jassi Gift's hit - SORRY IF I sound rude. His singng capabilites seem to be very limited. Luckily he has found a few takers for him.. Romba Naal sustain panna mudiyaadu inda formulavellam vechu.. Its like how Ramarajan was a hit actor a few decades back .. I think we should not consider him for this discussion at all.Given that we are discussing quality singers.

Shankar is one step above them..( SBP not included)

Coming to Shankar's ability to sing classical numbers. Raju pointed out right that the music directors down south have not considered Shankar as an option when it comes to classical based numbers. Pure economics - No other reason.. they can easily find Madhu Balakrishnans and Sreeram Parthasarathys for romba kammi paisa..

Shankar is a part of a world music group called "PURE SILK" .Try listening to some of their numbers if you could lay your hands on them, Shankar renders swaras effortlessly .. Its a very good collection. I'm sure all your doubts about Shankar's ability to sing classical based songs will be clear.

Raju :-)my anonimity was unintentional.

I just stepped into the world of blogs a couple of days back.. Have been reading all posts in your blog, and have also been reading a few other blogs listed in your page. Thanksgiving Long weekend -- sema vetti ;-)

narayanan said...

Barani I just wanted to know what you had meant in your previous comments :).

His singng capabilites seem to be very limited.

You are actually linient on him, his voice sucks big time :P. He along with one more guy, Devi Sri Prasad are'nt here to stay for too long.

Shankar is one step above them..( SBP not included)

idha thaan edhirparthen :)
Shankar and soft numbers is surprising? Can you tell me a few of them, never heard any so far.


Raju said...

Barani, everything u said is accepted. Jassie Gift has got famous suddenly only b'cos his voice is 'different'.. Once he sings a dozen, he will no longer be so..

thanks for the info on 'Pure silk'.. Hariharan's Ghazals are awesome.. Glad Shankar also has something similar.. I will listen to them when i get time..
Narayanan, there are plenty of them.. Some examples are: 'Azhagukku thai poruppu' (Aalavandhan) and its hindi version; 'Dil chahta hai-Reprise' song; 'Jaane yeh kya ho gaya' from Armaan; 'Dhuan Dhuan' from Mission Kashmir, to name a few..

For his classical touch, there was a song from 'Aastitva' where he sings a Hindustani classical song beautifully.

Me too said...

I love their music too! 'DCH' was out of the world!! Glad the Hindi Film Industry atleast has understood their potential.

Raju said...

Aparna, mm.. DCH songs are sooo nice.. I love them best while driving.. esp. the title song.. It feels as if I am going to Goa too.. :-) After Kal ho na Ho and Bunty aur Babli's success, we can surely hear a lot from them..

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