When a runaway hit is made

The duet sung by Subin Ignatius and Delsy Ninan in the Dileep-starrer ‘Karyasthan’ got an overwhelming response.

Published: 29th December 2010 08:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 02:44 PM   |  A+A-


Subin and Delsy at a stage show (ENS)

Music runs in his family and it comes as no surprise that Subin Ignatius, son of composer Ignatius of the celebrated Berny-Ignatius duo, found  his entry into the world of playback singing quite smoothly. As for Delsy Ninan, the song ‘Malayalipenne’ in the Dileep-starrer ‘Karyasthan’ which she sung with Subin, is the third in her repertoire of Malayalam film songs which got an overwhelming response. The duo share their excitement about delivering a hit song, their musical journeys and the dreams in a tete-a-tete with expresso.

When Subin says it was scriptwriters Siby K Thomas and Udayakrishna who ‘recommended’ him to his uncle and father for ‘Karyasthan’, don’t roll your eyes. “I was supposed to debut in playback through a film of theirs, the music of which was to be done by Deepak Dev. But the project never took off and they wanted to make up for it with ‘Karyasthan’,” says Subin, who graduated in music from Maharaja’s College, Ernakulam. This is not the first time that he is singing in films. As a child, he rendered the song ‘Minnaminni’ in the Kunchacko Boban-starrer ‘Priyam’ which was received well. Subin perfected the musical gene he inherited by attending private music lessons and gaining a professional degree in music besides doing carnatic concerts and stage shows.

He took part in Amrita TV’s ‘Superstar Global’ in 2008 and ended up as the seventh runner-up. “I had no worries that I couldn’t make it to the top. The programme earned me a good platform and popularity.” Subin says he was at ease while crooning ‘Malayalipenne’ that marked his grand entry in to playback singing. “After all, it was a family affair,” he says with a smile. And he makes no bones about the fact that the highlight of his voice is its immense range. “High pitch comes easy to me. Which is why I may not be able to do justice to songs composed for other singers. Similarly, they might not feel at ease singing a song composed for me.” Subin does not consider playback singing the ultimate destination in his musical journey. “There is tough competition out there but I will give my best to stay afloat. If I don’t make it, I can always fall back on carnatic concerts and stage shows. I would also like to try my hand at composing.”

Subin confesses that sometimes he does feel the pressure when he is compared to his uncle and father who are established names in the music industry. “I wish that some day, they should be known under my tag rather than me being known in theirs,” he says cheerfully.

When she sang the track of the song in ‘Karyasthan,’ little did Delsy know that it was to be the final version. “I was pleasantly surprised,” she says in her musical voice. The singer who emerged one of the five best singers of Sun TV’s popular music show ‘Sapthaswarangal’ during her Masscom days at Women’s Christian College, Chennai, soon made her way to ‘Girlz,’ Kerala’s second all-girls band. “I entered playback singing through the critically acclaimed film ‘Isra’, the music of which was done by Sunny Viswanath,” says Delsy. She sang the title song of the film with Australian singer Seraya Young. “Sunny introduced me to Jassie Gift and I sang ‘Neelathadakangalo’ in ‘Balram versus Tharadas.” The popular song associated her with the music of films including ‘Aswaroodhan’, ‘Sooryakireedam’, ‘Subhadram’, the Telugu film ‘John Apparao 40+,’ Jassie Gifts’s Tamil film ‘T Nagar’ and the title songs of a handful of Malayalam television serials.  

Meanwhile, she  also anchored ‘Star Wars’ on Kairali, ‘Hridayaragam’ on Asianet Plus, ‘Naalumani Pookkal’ on Jeevan TV and is now hosting ‘Candlelight’ on Kairali. That she misses her dear friend and singer, the late Sainoj, is evident. “We were thick friends and together we anchored some television shows. He was a star in the making and his untimely death came as a bolt from the blue to all his loved ones,” says Delsy. Although she had no formal training in classical music before her entry in playback singing, Delsy now learns Hindustani from Ustad Fayaz Khan and carnatic from


Stage shows have taken her places and Delsy has been part of shows in 22 states in the US. And guess what she loves to bring back from the places she visits? “Loads of exotic goodies for my puppies!” she says with a hearty laugh.

Good luck to the singers who are waiting in their wings to scale new musical highs.


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