Beyond expectations

Capturing hearts

Beyond expectations

High school is hardly the time to be making life-altering decisions but Renjith Unni decided to follow his passion for music at that tender age. “I started training in Carnatic music at a very young age. By the time I reached ninth standard, I had decided that music will be my career and my profession,” says the affable artiste.

It was not a resolution made in vain. Over the years, he has been pursuing his dreams with a dedication that is inspiring. After a postgraduate course from Madras University, he is now completing his MPhil in Carnatic music and looking forward to taking a doctorate in the same. And as they say — it is the things that we work hardest for that will reward us the most. Renjith is one of the voices behind ‘Jimikki Kammal’, the song that has a huge fan following around the globe and is one of the most popular tracks in the musical world right now.

“I feel very lucky to have been a part of this song. My uncle is a good friend of Lal Jose (the director of the movie) and had told him about me and my interest in music. So when this project was conceived, Lal Jose asked me to contact Shaan Rahman (music director) who asked me to send some demos. I didn’t think much of it but Shaan soon called me for the recording. While narrating his vision of the campus song, he specifically told me that it must be simple and that we will avoid many takes to  retain the naturality. We finished the recording in around half an hour,” reminisces Renjith, whose first foray into the Malayalam playback industry was with the movie ‘Dr Love’.

‘Jimikki Kammal’ has gone on to capture ears, hearts and eyeballs with many uploading their own dance versions of the song on social media. Was the team expecting this kind of a response? “All of us did think that the song will be noted but our expectation does not even match up to one-tenth of the result,” says Renjith.

Personally, Renjith does not have any favourites when it comes to genres and listens to anything that catches his fancy. “I study the details of any song that attracts me. If I find it interesting, I have to know what is going on in it.”

The singer follows the same approach when it comes to work — a reason why he can effortlessly straddle the distance between soulful Carnatic strains and infectious ‘filmi’ beats.

“I just want to be associated with music, not any specific genres.” Which is why his influences span a wide range of artistes, right from Michael Jackson and A R Rahman to G Devarajan, Raveendran and Yesudas. His tone is one of awe as he speaks about them and calls himself lucky to have been alive during their lifetime.

So were his parents okay with his decision to become a singer? “My parents were very supportive. They just had one thing to tell me ‘You have complete freedom to choose your field but you shouldn’t have reason to regret it later. Be sure of the choices you make and put in a lot of effort to fulfil your dreams.’ I have been following it to this day,” he smiles.

 The rewards came later though, the challenges had to be overcome first. “There were times when I used to think that this is not the right choice for the future and become depressed. But I guess challenges are there in any field, not just music. The important thing is to focus on your passion and remember the reason you started,” he sums up.

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