Musical Journey of Swarnalatha Playback Singer
Swarnalatha was an Indian female playback singer. She was portraying herself as a leading singer in the film industry in the later 80s where the melodies were in the wanted category and made her prove successful. Within the span of 2 decades she had sung over 7000 songs in all Indian languages like Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Hindi, Malayalam, Urdu, Bengali, Punjabi and Badaga.
Swarnalatha has sung a lot of south Indian film songs though she sang for many Hindi and other languages as well. Swarnalatha has always been a favorite singer for Rahman. This aspect and her dedication towards the work have ended up in fetching her national award for the song “porale ponnuthaiye” composed by Rahman himself. Many memorable songs were a rendered edition of Rahman for swarnalatha.
The distinctive and divergent voice of Swarnalatha reached high octaves quickly that made her voice more popular with that of melody numbers. Ultimately, it led her name to reckon in no time in the play back music industry. It was in the later 80s that made her in hike giving ample amount of songs that engrossed her career with melody and fast numbers, though the latter part was relatively low in number comparatively.
Personal Life of Playback singer Swarnalatha
Swarnalatha was born in Athikkodu near Chittur in Palakkad district in the state of Kerala. Her parents were K.C.Cherukutty and Kalyani. It was no wonder that she was successful in her career as her father was a harmonium player and a singer; inheriting the musical genes from him. The musical family then moved over to a town called Badravathi (paper town) in Shimoga district. This was the place where Latha had her former education. Her first guru was her own sister name Saroja and took over music even in her early teens. It was the most popular and veteran music director in the industry – M.S.Viswanathan who introduced Latha to the musical film combination industry.
The luckiest part of her start in the career was when her first song was with a duet with the awesome singer K.J.Yesudas. Her first debut song was in a movie called Neethikku Thandanai for a song written by Barathi – Chinnanchiru Kiliye. Her first song was released in the year 1987. This made a good start for Swarnalatha for her career as a play singer in the film industry starting with the Tamil language to be her first song.
Swarnalatha was a very quiet and a shy woman which made her not to be in screens for she had a great shy to face camera. Though, she performed many stage concerts; all her singing was so straight, with her music doing the straight talking.
Career and Livelihood of Playback singer Swarnalatha
In the year 1987, Swarnalatha shifted to Chennai. This shifting made her life an unforgettable one which made her meet M.S.Viswanathan; a musician who makes wonders in films and makes this one possible reason for the movie to run successfully in theatres during the late 70s and early 80s. This made her more concentrated in her career and taking over many songs. This opportunity turned out to be a golden offer for her; making her voice the most wanted by many musicians in the industry. Subsequently, she was recruited by legendary musicians like Rahman and Illaiyaraaja. Most of her songs turned out to be melodies for her voice could reach higher octaves that made her unique from other singers. She also made her a part of the Bollywood music industry. One of her hit number in the Hindi film industry was “Hai Rama Yeh Kya Hua” from the movie Rangeela set to the tunes of Rahman.
She had given her best out of which many songs turned out to be grand hit of the year and still are categorized under evergreen melodies. Such melodies are “Malayil yaaro manathodu pesa” for the movie Chatriyan, Porale Ponnuthayi for Karuthamma which was a national award winner directed by Bharathi Raja and set to the tunes of Rahman. Rahman’s experimental songs like “Mukkabal” from Khadhalan, “Mottu Vittada” from Pavitra were also well spoken in her career discography.
Some of the other music directors she worked with were Deva, Vidya sagar, Harris Jayaraj, Anu Malik, Shankar – Essan – Loy, Raj – Koti, Yuvan Shankar Raja, Mani Sharma, Hamsalekha and many other musicians. She had sung all songs of Lata Mangeshakr and Shamshad Begum in the movie Anarkali (Tamil dubbed version of the Hindi movie Mughal – e - Azam) and she was praised by the acclaimed bollywood music director late Nauhad Ali.
Swarnalatha had performed many stage shows and concerts too throughout the world. Vocalist Mano has sung several duet songs with her through her course in the development of career. Apart from performing in many live shows, Mano was also a good friend of Latha.
Awards and Recognitions of Swarnalatha playback singer
• National award for the best female playback singer in the year 1994 for the song “Porale Ponnuthayi” from the film Karuthamma composed by Rahman.
• Tamil Nadu state award for the best female play back singer for “Poovomma Oorkolam” from the movie Chinna Thambi in the year 1991 under the composition of Illaiyaraaja.
• Tamil Nadu state award for the best female play back singer for “Poorale Ponnuthayi” from the movie “Karuthamma” in the year 1991 under the composition of Illaiyaraaja.
• Cinema express awards for:
“muquala muquala” from Khadalan in the year 1995
“Akkadannu Nanga” from Indian in the year 1996
“Ulunthu Vidaikayile” from Mudhalvan in the year 1999
• In the year 2002, the song “Rakkama Kaiya Thattu” for the film Thalapathy was among the songs listed in a BBC world top 10 music poll; wherein the song was performed by S.P.B and Swarnalatha.
Final Breath of Playback singer Swarnalatha
Swarnalatha passed away in a private hospital in Chennai at the age of 37 due to cardiac arrest followed by interstitial lung disease after being admitted since she had a difficulty in breathing. She had already been in a treatment for lung infection for more than a year and had not recorded songs during that particular period. It can also be said that we are missing a great playback singer and it is also not the age for her to leave her last breath.