I am looking for singers (male & female), preferably with Tamil knowledge, lyricists, drummers, keyboard players, flutists, guitarists for my album. If you are interested, please leave a comment or contact me via my profile page

Friday, October 22, 2010

Review: Jaya TV Hariyudan Naan

Episode : Week of October 20, 21, and 22 2010

If there is one program I keenly follow these days, it is Jaya TV's Hariyudan naan. It has been very informative and educational which have seldom been dished out to singers or outsiders in the past.

My peeve has always been how the singers in this show are no way near comparison to the kick-ass kids in the Vijay TV super singer.

The show has now reached Top-12 stage, and I will be posting my take on the weekly episodes.

Apart from the distractions of the opening sequence, and the odd dancers (what on earth were they doing?), this was one of the shows I liked because of the consistent performances of all the singers.

October-20th:

Niranjan Krishna
I had written him off with his horrible show of 'Vellai pookal' song where a very simple song was too tough to handle. However, from there it has only been a show of success. He has learned and practised a lot and the result shows. The previous episode where some of the participants (Niranjan, Ravishankar, Lakshmi and Gopalakrishnan) attempted a kalyani extempore rendition was amazing. Niranjan and Ravi were the leading artists.

Such confidence was evident in todays show's 'Paaradi Kanne Konjam' song from Vallavanakku Vallavan. My initial reaction was that he hadmade a bad choice, but he more than made up with his charanam performance. There were occasional thalam slips, but overall as the judges pointed out the shruthi was on target. I see him as a strong candidate for the top-5

Karthik
Has an excellent voice, but his weakness has been his diction (I recollect he grew up in North, and only recently picked up Tamil). He got kudos from MSV for singing Sambo Siva Sambo from Ninaithale Inikkum, when MSV said that if he had known of Karthik he would not have sung the song himself!, quite a promising talent.

'Varaga Nadhi Karai' (continued here) from Sangamam was his selection, IMO a song with wonderful potential to showcase his abilities. He made slight adjustments to the song which kind of simplified some of the sangadhis. I felt he was slightly short on shruthi with the first line throughout the song. A very decent performance, and definitely a strong wildcard for top-5

Bhargavi
I remember seeing her in one of the other shows with SPB/Jaya TV before. She has come a long way in this show. Has had a very good run and attitude all along.

Her selection was 'Kannalane' from Bombay. I felt she was constantly short on breath, evidenced by barely audible last word of pretty much every line in charanam, granted this is a tough song. Yet again a very decent performance, but I felt with the song's potential, and her talent better justice could have been done to both. A strong top-5 candidate

October-21th:

Shenbagaraj
He stole our hearts with his flawless rendition of 'Nanda Nee En Nila' song earlier in the show. Was not a front runner in the early stages, has now started performing consistently.

He sang 'Vaa Vennila' from Mella Thiranthadu Kadhavu. His earlier problems of breathing had gone away and the vocal consistency could be felt clearly . I heard pitching issues at the start of the pallavi, however he eased into a nice rhythm with the charanams. The backing female vocals by Sharanya was excellent! An 'ok' performance. His chances of top-5 depend entirely on his upcoming performances. Wait and watch!

Ravishankar
After his standout swarams in the practice show, I felt even more disappointed that with all that skills he has not done a better job on the show. Other than couple of oustanding performances, more often than not he has been dishing out pedestrian renditions. Is he a bit too casual? or appearances misleading?

'Aaryuire Manippaya' (continued here) from Guru was his song. Any song with ARR's vocals would be tough due to the high pitch, however that was least of his worries - some pitching issues, some nervousness and some bad swaram singing in the first interlude let his performance down. He sang the female version's upper octave using his lower register which is quite tough. His improvisation/touches very nice, and showed his creative side. Overall I did not hear a love song. Follow Hari's comments and Ravishankar's response, sounded much better. He has the potential to be a wildcard for top-5, but will he live up to it? Time will tell.

Gopalakrishnan
His strength is his weakness. He applies too much of gamakams and carnatic style to all songs as a standard template. That is a sure shot at failing to make it big. In the past he has not displayed that ability to tone it down, surviving by a smart selection of songs that suit his style.

'Ellorum kondaduvom' from Pava Mannippu was his selection. A very neat and decent performance. Everything was textbook, and quite notable was his toned down 'bhagavathar' style. This augurs very well for him. The chorus was comical, aptly noted by Sharath. A very strong performance, but not standout. IMHO he will not make it to top-5, but am willing to be surprised.

Nancy
Initially one of my top-5 picks along with Anush, she fell off the radar rather dramatically. Her trouble has been borderline shruthi on occasions. She came in for some severe criticism by the judges before receiving a lifeline. Will she get her act together?

Her choice was 'Athimara poovidhu' (continued here) from Sadhanai - at the start it felt she had not left her bad habit behind, but we are in a for a pleasant surprise. The syncopation was executed perfectly, sangadhis were correctly quantized and her flourishing touches (3m 23s) were nice. More than anything you could clearly see how she enjoyed singing. I replayed this song 3-4 times to enjoy her rendition. The exchange with Sharath split my sides. Simply her best on this show ever. Very strong comeback, a definite wildcard for top-5.

I heard the original, but for some rough edges, Nancy outdid the original, which in itself is a huge feat considering that it is S.Janaki that we are talking about.

Sharanya
After some mediocre performances initially she has been as solid as rock, and undoubtedly deserving her billing. Except for occasional odd performance she is one of the front runners for winning the title.

Her selection was 'Pollada madana' from Hey Ram was surprisingly odd, since it is a very mediocre song (getting my shield ready for brickbats from hardcore IR fans). However her rendition was flawless and serene. A classic Sharanya performance, a definiteTop-5 candidate.

October-22nd:
Venkatesh
A classic example of born talent, conquering his demons one step at a time without any training whatsoever. His voice is his biggest asset, and sangadhis come naturally to him. Can he build on his skills with formal training during the past month?

'Nagoor Pakathile' from Vellai Roja was his selection. His voice is now even better. Sangadhi crystal clear. A very clean performance, a strong wildcard for top-5, but my gut tells me he will pull off the surprise to make it.

Lakshmi
Like Bhargavi, she started out on the wrong foot, and has gone from strength to strength, and somehow you can see everyone pulling for her :)

She sang 'Andha Sivakami' from Pattanathil Boodham. Not sure how this qualifies for the 'qawwali' round, which could be said about many songs, but so is life. As close to perfection as one can get. As Sharath pointed out, the song is made of sangadhis, and Lakshmi's rendition and the quantization were all just perfect. A strong top-5 candidate.

Harini
I had always felt that along with Vanitha, who is not part of the competition anymore, Harini always went with the 'Malgadi Subha' style of songs. While it is not fair to expect everyone to be master of all styles, it automatically puts her on a wicket. She surprised everyone with her performance in the last round.

'Unnai thaan' from Vazhkai Padagu was her selection. A surprisingly nice performance, just like her previous round. However, I still find her voice needs lot of polishing and a lot of practice to move forward her in her career. I don't think she has in it to crack the top-5 at this time.

Anush
Like Lakshmi, I definitely have a soft-corner towards Anush - he is very likeable. Even the judges share the same which explains his tenure in the show despite very average performances over the past few weeks. I still like him and believe he has the talent, but he has to deliver on the promise to survive the marathon to top-5

He sang 'Indha Kadal' from Nanbargal, a very average performance, IMHO a let down considering his talent. Some pitching issues and breath control distracted him from his best. As much as I would love to see him in the top-5, I just don't think he can make it.

Overall Verdict: I think Nancy and Lakshmi share the top honors for this week. You can see the judges' take here

Forecast for Top-5: Niranjan Krishna, Bhargavi, Sharanya, Lakshmi, ??? (Shenbagaraj, Venkatesh, Nancy in no particular order)

Hope you enjoyed the review, and please comment.


10 comments:

Aishwarya said...

good stuff. i've not heard about this program, i'll definitely check it out.

Arvind Srinivasan said...

hey, thanks :)

N.Srinivasan said...

Hi Arvind,
I thought that was a good analysis.
Like you, I love watching Hariyudan Naan for its uniqueness.
Somehow I am not able to understand as to why these singers can not reach the levels of Vijay TV Airtel Super singers' level, even though they are very talented.
I agree with you on your comments about Ravi Shankar. He is extremely talented but fails to deliver at the right time. I have reservations on Bhargavi reaching Top-5 because she is good at a particular style. I do have a good opinion about Karthik from his performances. My Top-5 is Sharanya, Lakshmi, Karthik, Niranjan, Gopal or Ravi Shankar.

Arvind Srinivasan said...

Thanks N. Srinivasan - come back every week to share your views

N.Srinivasan said...

Hope you watched the Retro show on 10/28/10. I should say it was disappointing. All of those who sang did well below their potential. Most of them were not on sruthi and it was sad to see a poor show after a good qawali session. I hope rest of the singers do some kind of a justice to their rankings...

Arvind Srinivasan said...

I will catch up over the weekend

Anonymous said...

I think top 5 would be Niranjan, Saranya, Karthik, Nancy, Lakshmi

Pittan said...

We are a whole big group of ardent fans of Hariyudan Naan from London. It is our favourite all time show and we think the maestro Hari is just super.He is kind, caring and most of all exemplies all the sensitive and intuitive qualities of a wonderful and talented human being. Really respect his calm and humane guidance to the young aspiring singers. Our favourite is Nancy.She has such a clear, sweet and mellifluous voice.Her song choices are superb as well.We are hoping she will be one of the top 5.We have confidence in the Great Mr.Hari and we are certain he will recognise her innate talents and nuture her.Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Hai I wish to join in your musical musings. Kindly guide me

Anonymous said...

Hai, I am a regular watcher of Hariyudan Naan. Especially I am a fan of Ravishankar. I think he is filled with every music genre. His performance during Hindustani style viz. 'kalaiyum neeye, maalaiyum neeye, is too good.
My son s. saiprabhu who is a polytechnic student knows to play every percussion instrument besides vocal and flute. I watch your ad. through this web. and I wish to join him with Arvind in his album. Kindly contact him at sekarsaiprabhu@gmail.com. I am from Thanjavur.