Manjari, Kerala State Award winner (2004) for the song, ‘Mukilin Makalee’,
in movie director Jayaraj’s offbeat film ‘Makalkku’, has already secured a
unique place in the hearts of many music lovers. It is hard to believe that
Manjari is a final-year student of music. Manjari loves to sing both Hindustani
and Carnatic because she feels that there is divinity in both streams of music.
Her jump into the big league has provided her an opportunity
to give voice to compositions of Ramesh Narayan, Ilayaraaja, M.G. Radhakrishnan,
Kaithapuram Viswanathan, Vidyasagar, M. Jayachandran, Yuvan Sankar Raja and
the late Ravindran. The movies include `Garshom,' `Makalku,' `Achuvinte Amma,'
`Ponmudipuzhayorathu,' `Vadakkumnathan,' `Ananthabhadram,' `Kasturiman,' `Oru
Naal Oru Kanavu’ and ‘Classmates’. She has also sung for albums such as Balabhaskar's
`Mazhayil Aaro Oral’. She has to her credit over 40 Tamil and Malayalam movies
in less than two years in the industry.
Her first stage performance was with the band ‘Shiva’, the
Kolkota based rock band, when she was in Class eight. For a girl of her age,
Manjari's graduation from stage shows to the recording studio was remarkably
quick as well as smooth. It was in 2004 that she was casually asked by Malayalam
lyricist Gireesh Puthenchery to try out an audition for Ilayaraja who was at
that time working on a Malayalam film. A Hamsadhwani kirtana (`Sadasivan maindane...
') clinched the issue and she went on to complete five songs in two days. Manjari
has already secured a reputation as an Ilayaraaja favourite. No wonder, for
she has sung in most of his recent scores, including in the symphony, `Thiruvasagam'.
Music has been part of life for Manjari since the age of five. Her schooling
was entirely in Muscat. As Manjari settles down to learn more of Carnatic music,
fans can expect to hear more from this precocious talent.