The crooning stars

The crooning stars

The crooning stars

There's always been a crop of actors in Sandalwood who loved getting behind the microphone and the number only seems to be growing.
Rajkumar sang most of his songs in his latter movies. Vishnuvardhan too crooned occasionally for his movies. The Kannada actors who are now keeping alive the tradition of acting and singing are Radhika Pandit, Yash, Meghana Raj, Puneeth Rajkumar and Upendra.

While some actors take naturally to singing, others have to be given that extra push. Actor Yash says that he turned a singer with 'Annthamma' for 'Mr and Mrs Ramachari'. "'Annthamma' is a slang that is used by youngsters in the Mysuru and Mandya region. It literally translates to 'anna-thamma' and is a popular way of greeting one another. The director was determined that I sing the song. It became very popular on social media," says Yash.
Another song sung by Yash, 'Annange Love Aagidhe' from 'Masterpiece', also became a superhit. "I don't think I am cut out to be a singer because there are trained singers out there. Sometimes there are directors who rope in actors to sing because it adds to the popularity of the project. I think that trend is here to stay," elaborates Yash.

His wife and popular actor Radhika Pandit recorded a rap song for the title track of her movie 'Drama' and again lent her voice to a song in 'Zoom'. But she doesn't seem too enthusiastic about singing. "I don't want to rule out the possibility of singing, but I'd rather stick to what I am comfortable doing rather than stray into an unknown territory. I am more of an actor than a singer," she says.

Actor Meghana Raj first sang for 'Bahuparak'. She later sang for 'Devaravane Bidu Guru' and lent her voice to songs like 'Shuruvaaythu special classu' in 'Jindaa' and 'Yekaangi Neenaadeya' in 'Liftman'.

"My father discovered this talent of mine when I was very young. I used to sing for some of his stage performances and that grew on me. Acting is easy but singing is tough because the actor has to emote according to how you sing. But that's a challenge worth attempting. I think I am getting better with every song that I sing," says Meghana.

Actor Vasishta N Simha confesses that he moved from Mysuru to Bengaluru to become a singer. "It was my dream. I got my first big break in 'Kirik Party' when I was offered the song 'Neecha Sullu Sutho Naalige'," says Vasishta. He recently sang the unplugged version of 'Marete Hodenu' in 'Dayavittu Gamanisi'.

"I want to be able to sing songs that challenge me. Voice modulation is an important part of being both an actor and singer," reasons Vasishta.