Superhit singer. Fitness junkie. Animal lover. Suchitra Karthik or simply Suchi as her fans fondly call her, is a woman of many hats. And she does it all with effortless elan. With her latest song from Vanakkam Chennai — Ailasa Ailasa trending with over 38,000 views a week in the cyber world, Sonali Shenoy caught up with the singer to find out what it was like doing a duet with Anirudh Ravichander, how she manages her yoga workouts with midnight recording schedules and why cows should rule the world someday.
You’ve always been associated with upbeat, vibrant, folksy numbers, but Ailasa is different — tell us all about how the song happened and what working with Anirudh was like...
There have been softer numbers — Tharai Erangiya for Thaman being a significant one. Recording Ailasa was awesome! Ani is a very encouraging, chilled-out music director. He makes the process more like jamming together, rather than instructing. But he’s clear about what he wants and goes about getting it in a very calm, mature way.
What’s on your career wishlist for the next five years — do you have a set plan or you taking things one day at a time?
Oh boy! It’s tough enough for me to figure out what I want five days from now, so I live in the moment.
Have you ever considered composing music? Isn’t it the next transition for someone as musically-oriented as you...
Well, singer Ranjith and I jam together whenever time permits. There’s some stuff we’ve come up with and it has attracted some interest. But everything’s quite fluid right now. Ranjith and I are just focusing on having fun with music and going with the flow.
Is there a genre of music that you haven’t tried and would like to this year?
Yes! So much! I’d love to try film songs with a carnatic touch, interesting stuff like Ailasa and Arjuna Arjuna (Settai), actually...anything and everything!
Is there a second album in the making?
Talks are on.
When we spoke last I remember you were quite passionate about the work the Blue Cross is doing. Do you have pets...are you involved in any animal welfare projects (do you still drink soy milk?)
I do have a pet, a pug called Kapaleeshwari. I love animals of all kind, so I try and pitch in with animal rescues and finding homes for abandoned dogs. And yes, I still drink soy milk!
Do you really believe cows will rule the world someday (as per your Twitter bio)?
Hahaha yeah...I sincerely hope so. Jesus said, “the meek will inherit the earth,” and when I see so much cruelty around, I truly wish a massive tsunami would wipe out the earth in one shot and life can start again (maybe a few cows will escape it and rule after!).
We hear you’re quite the fitness junkie. Any tips you could give us?
Oh well, whatever floats your boat really. It’s just important to have some sort physical activity in your life. Yoga, swimming, a sport...anything. Right now, I’m into functional fitness, a very exciting form of physical activity, and I train under Jyotsna John. Yoga will always be my first love, though.
Everyone’s excited about Evam’s Ali J...have you ever thought of teaming up with the hubby and doing a play?
Actually we met when we did a play together — Love Letters. We didn’t start dating until much later though. The big news is that Ali J has made it to number two on the official top 10 if The Fringe festival in Edinburgh! It’s a huge leap for Evam and I’m incredibly proud of how big they think. Its a colossal, massive thing for an Indian theatre group. It sets the bar rather high, even for themselves, in future.
What about films, are there any on the cards in the months to come?
A few, but one never knows, until you see your name on the CD, and listen to it and recognise it as your own voice!
How do you like to unwind and let loose?
Working out is a way to unwind, for me. I really look forward to working out at 6am every day. There have been times when I have finished work at 2 or 3am, and headed to Jyotsna’s after just a couple of hours of sleep. Yeah, I’m weird like that.
Hanging out with Karthik, and travelling with him (we do one big holiday every year) is also wonderfully de-stressing.