KOCHI: The freshness and mood of the song have definitely rubbed on her. As the melodious strains of Nalla mamboo paadam... capture hearts and people enquire about the sweet female voice in the duet, the singer is basking in happiness. “People have slowly started recognising that it’s I who have sung it,” says Rajalakshmy.
But the journey so far has been no easy one for Rajalakshmy. A child prodigy, she became a professional singer at the age of 9, joining Cochin Kalabhavan.
She emerged the star of ‘Hamsadhwani’ perhaps, Malayalam television’s first music reality show.
Though a 12-year-old then, she whizzed past other competitors to be adjudged the runner-up.
“I was not the winner, yet people showered their appreciation,” she sounded emotional. Post the success she was everywhere - in stage shows, on albums and song tracks. But the wait for her “own song” lasted over a decade.
Jassie Gift gave her the first break- ‘Melayay megham...’ in Aswaroodan. She still can’t boast of many film songs. Yet Rajalakshmy is prepared to wait patiently for good days to come.
“Today reality shows are considered the best way to get into playback singing. Though I have sung tracks for many leading composers and have shared the stage with almost all singers during stage shows, I never got my song. It has been a very long wait for me and a step-by- step progress,” she said.
After Aswaroodan, she sang three songs in Kannada and one in Tamil. M Jayachandran then stepped in to change her career and gave her the melody - Nalla mamboo paadam...- in Sohanlal’s Orkkuka Vallappozhum.
“When I once told Jayachandran sir that I have not been able to make my mark in the industry, he said that there was a time for everything. And I’m so happy that he gave me the song which has given me a lot of recognition.” Rajalakshmy has sung the duet with Anand, another newcomer. Another duet that Jayachandran gave her was with Vineeth Srinivasan, in Katha Samvidhanam: Kunchakko (Neela koovala mizhi... ).
Born into a musical family, Rajalakshmy won the Best Voice Award at an all India-level singing competition when she was only 10. “It was a prestigious event. Sunidhi Chauhan was the winner the previous year. What makes me proud even now is that I sang a Malayalam song (S Janaki’s Thaliritta Kinakkal...).” Later Cochin Melodies brought out her first album, ‘Oru Kochu Swapnam’, which had nine songs of S Janaki. Rajalakshmy has sung on hundreds of albums and has done a number of stage shows. She is also learning classical music from Adoor P Sudarsanan.
She is happy to have found a perfect life partner in Abhiram Krishnan who “encourages and supports me a lot.” She won the state drama award for her singing in the play Nerariyum Nerathu. “I was pregnant then. And it was after our son (Aaryan) was born that I got the song in Aswaroodan.” Besides her family and her songs, she has another treasure - a showcase full of trophies and awards.
“See, this is the first award I got...when I was in first standard,” she chuckled, pointing to a small trophy with one of its handles broken.