The third edition of Raj TV’s Rajageetham Awards, an annual voice hunt event, came to an end at a gala ceremony at Chennai on Saturday. The awards for 2003-04 were given away to winners in the presence of composers A R Rahman, Harris Jayaraj, Deva, Bharadwaj and others, as veterans from the field P B Srinivas and TM Soundararajan (recipient of life time achievement award on the day) looked on.
The two winners declared on the day, Vidyashankar for male voice, and Suchitra for female voice, have already been assured of a chance to sing in the forthcoming film by Sivasree Pictures. This is no different from the successful run of the past winners from the show, who have now moved on to careers in playback singing.
Said Chandrasekaar, Executive Vice-President, Programmes and Production, Raj TV, “The programme bridges TV and film industries in terms of identifying singing talent and fresh voices. Generally, there is a feeling of goodwill and people trust the program to throw up the best voices from all over Tamil Nadu.”
He added that the music channel Raj Musix from the network, which is to be launched shortly, would also have talent shows.
The initial hour or so saw the hosts highlighting the success and recognition earned by their ‘finds’ in the field of Tamil film music. Winners of yesteryears who were catapulted into the Tamil Film music fraternity following their Rajageetham awards were present to perform for the audience, and their presence endorsed the recognition and purpose of the show itself.
“What is gratifying is that the industry has accepted talent from the show and also that the winners have gone on to prove that they are among the best. The show has only gotten bigger over time and will continue to be a crowd puller for Raj TV,” said B Shankar, VP – Marketing & Sales, Raj TV.
Haricharan who auditioned for the show at age 14, went on to win. On Saturday, he rendered for the audience the two songs from the recent hit ‘Kadhal’. He landed the opportunity following his win at Rajageetham. Another past winner Madhumita, who has gone on to lend her voice to over 40 songs, treated the audience to a popular song she sang to the tune of A R Rahman. Rahman himself has introduced another of the winners, Mukesh. Once the objective of the awards was underlined, one saw popular playback singer Chitra soulfully render a couple of her super hits to mesmerize the audience.
A packed auditorium (overflowing, actually), some of the best playback singers and composers from Tamil filmdom, a healthy spread of leading producers and directors, and arguably the most loved voice on Tamil Television - Abdul Hameed’s - make Rajageetham an event property to cherish for Raj TV. In a land where cinema forms the core of all entertainment - print, television and radio - its not surprising that film music, and the drive to enter the domain, should evoke so much interest among audiences. The journey from being a starry-eyed enthusiast to being the star’s voice starts here for the aspiring many.