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Karthik (born November 7, 1980 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu) is an Indian playback singer.
Karthik started his professional singing career as a backing vocalist and soon became one of the most sought-after singers in Tamil cinema going on to become a popular vocalist in South Indian cinemas spanning multiple languages and attracting collaborations with many leading composers.
Karthik had a good interest in music early in his life and had learnt Carnatic music during his school days. Later on he started singing for his college band and regularly participated in IIT Madras Fest ‘Sarang’.
Being an ardent fan of A.R Rahman, Karthik always dreamt of meeting the musical great. After searching a lot of avenues, he happened to find out that one of his close friend’s cousin was singer Srinivas, who sang many songs for Rahman. During their brief chat, Srinivas asked Karthik to sing a few lines, and was impressed by his voice and asked him to look at singing more seriously. Taking cue, Karthik resumed his singing lessons.
After nearly a year since his meeting with Srinivas, Karthik received a call one night from him. Apparently Rahman needed a fresh voices for backing vocalists for a song from Pukar and Srinivas could not get in touch with one of the singers and then he remembered Karthik and tried to get in touch with him. Ironically Karthik was out with his friends and was not reachable for quite some time. As luck would have it, he managed to get the information just in time and rushed to the recording studio.
Having spent over a year being a backing vocalist, Karthik got his break during the re-recording of One 2 Ka 4. For the background score of one of the scenes in the movie, A. R. Rahman wanted a high-pitched alap and Karthik along with other chorus singers gave a shot at it. Rahman impressed with the voice, asked him stay back for the recording. Karthik grabbed the opportunity with both hands and performed, with Rahman giving him pointers and walking through the alap. He struck gold with this session and soon Rahman asked him to perform for a song Nendhukittaen from the film Star.
When Minnale hit the screens in 2001, the tune on everyone’s lips was the catchy riff of Maddy. Very few knew that the tremendously popular track was sung by a young Karthik, not that he‚Äôs very much older these days! Nearly a decade and close to a thousand songs later, Karthik’s career rainbow seems to be splashing one colour after another with no sign of even sky being the limit.
There are a few very defining characteristics that set Karthik apart. For instance he is one of the few active crooners in the industry today who can effectively blend the intricacies of classical Indian music with global styles reaching from throaty hard rock to a mellower lounge tuning. Be it a poppish Enakoru girlfriend or an emotion riddled Anjalai, Karthik has a versatility that is rare. He is also possibly one of the first singers to perform professionally without the aid of a double-figure orchestra. Playing with a hand-picked bunch of professional musicians which include Roland Bennet, Karthik has certainly laid the clich that audiences do not enjoy improvisations of film tracks, to rest.
With numerous solos, constantly increasing rhythms, pace, life and yet maintaining the spirit of the original, Karthik and his five piece act have been making waves at shows across South India.
Language doesn’t seem to be too much of an obstacle for Karthik. Be it Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam or Hindi, chances are most of the chart-toppers are courtesy of the man with the golden voice.
Quite a regular fixture on most South Indian cinema music productions, Karthik is now looking to broaden his musical horizons with forays into the realms of fusion and exploring his potential as a complete musician. With a couple of Filmfare awards and a State Awards collected along the way, there doesn’t seem much space for doubt about where he‚isheaded.He performed in cultural fest of BITS-Pilani Hyderabad campus on 27 March 2010.
Karthik has sung a number of songs for many popular music directors, including A. R. Rahman, Ilayaraaja, Yuvan Shankar Raja, mickey j meyer and Harris Jeyaraj. Karthik has sung songs in several languages – Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannada. Ennaku Oru Girlfriend from the Tamil movie Boys was one of his huge hits as was Oru Maalai from the 2005 film Ghajini. and his songs for TELUGU films for kotha bangaru lokam(nijanga nenanaa..),happydays(arare arare,oh my friend) are very popular. His recent track in 2008, the gaana inspired “Ava Enna” from the 2009 film Vaaranam Aayiram has been well received. And also his Song in ‘Ghajini'(2009)”Behka” is Hit track all over the world. And a top chart-buster in Kannada was “Alle Alle” from the movie Savaari.
With a brilliant voice quality and a wide range of songs, he’s loved all over South-India. He’s making his presence felt in the B-town also.
Karthik performed with Bennet Roland at Festember 08, the annual cultural fest of NIT Trichy and Ragam 08, the annual cultural fest of the National Institute of Technology Calicut, on 28 March 2008.Karthik has sung at the recent Indian Premier League Twenty 20 cricket events held in Chennai. Karthik with Bennet performed at Nova 9, the ninth foundation week celebration of UST Global in Trivandrum on August 22, 2008. He married Ambika on July 12, 2006 in Tirupathi and been blessed with a girlbaby.He has also performed with his full zeal along with Bennet Roland in Techofes’10 the annual cultural festival of College of Engineering, Guindy (CEG), Chennai. A really scintillating performance it was.