On My Pinboard - Nelson Kumar

Last Updated 20 June 2019, 11:54 IST

Violinist Nelson Kumar’s tryst with music started with a diploma in music from Government Music College, Chennai in 1983.

In 1985, he started his journey as a studio recording artiste. He went on to create film music and devotional songs and has played the violin for more than 1,000 films, including many by composer and songwriter Hamsalekha.

The latest films he has worked for include ‘Thrayambakam’ and ‘Aa Karala Rathri’.


“I love Carnatic music. My favourite music composer is Hamsalekha in the Kannada film industry. He is the most talented music artiste in the state. His melodies, lyrics and the orchestration used in his music is unique. In other South Indian industries, I love Ilaiyaraaja’s craft. His music, while being of a different style, has a different effect and he has also orchestrated Indian ragas in Western instruments.”


“Music director, singer-songwriter and composer Ilaiyaraaja has been a huge inspiration in my life. I started playing music by listening to his work in the film ‘Annakili’. The heights he has reached are inspiring. On the personal front, my parents are my biggest driving force. My mother was a teacher; she used to bring several books from the library for me which created a positive shift in my life.”


“I haven’t got a chance to travel a lot. I like travelling through South India and I especially love Chennai for its cultural richness, art and music, despite the place being hot and humid. I also love Mahabalipuram for all the historic sights and sculptures there. I have also enjoyed visiting places in Kerala, including Kochi.”


“My entire family is a huge fan of Rajinikanth. His films like ‘Baasha’ and ‘Petta’ are quite impressive. The film ‘Mullum Malarum’ saw a different style of acting by the actor. He has a magnetic charisma and is able to impress people of all ages. Even my grandson is his huge fan. In Kannada films, Dr Rajkumar is a favourite. I loved his acting and his voice. I was lucky to meet the actor once; he was a humble person.”

The Bible

“I read a lot and most of my favourites are from Tamil literature. I love the works of Vairamuthu. But my favourite book is The Bible. I like the King James version and find the teachings in it very relevant, especially the focus on loving oneself and the people around.”

Rice and sambhar

“I am not a fussy eater. My comfort food is rice and sambhar. I also love biryani and Andhra-style vegetarian meals.”

(Published 20 June 2019, 11:49 IST)

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