Priya Mali was in for a sweet surprise when three months after she had rendered the Surprise Us number for Yuvan Shankar Raja’s Pyaar Prema Kaadhal album, she got a second call from the music composer.
“I was feeling jittery, fearing bad feedback from Yuvan Sir,’’ says the upcoming singer. “Imagine my surprise when Yuvan Sir asked me to do another song, Miss You Papa. I was jumping in joy.”
Priya — a 12th standard student at Kendriya Vidyalaya — honed her skills with renowned musician Hamsalekha in Bangalore before moving to Chennai. She’s now getting offers to sing across languages for big names in the industry like Thaman, Sharreth and Yuvan.
“The journey hasn’t been easy at all,” she says. After many auditions, Priya was introduced by Vijay Narayanan to the Tamil industry for the film, Palli Paruvathile, in which she sung the climax number, Kaala Neramathai. “It was a dream come true moment for me,” says Priya. The climax of Palli Paruvathile was actually re-written in the final stages to complement Priya’s track, after director Vasu Bhaskar got very impressed with the debutant singer’s voice.
The transition from Tamil to Telugu was rather easy for Priya. Such were her skills on the piano that composer Sharreth flew her to Hyderabad earlier this year for the promotional song in the Telugu film, Naa Nuvve. The song crossed more than 3.5 million views on YouTube, and proved to be a real game-changer for the singer.
Apart from singing in films, Priya also does ad jingles and composing for short films and video albums. However, the singer, who is set to appear for Plus Two board exams in March 2019, says that her demanding study schedule in March has come in the way of her accepting stage shows, and offers from leading bands.
The singer has been getting offers to do lead roles too in Tamil cinema. “I am not taking them up for the moment,” she signs off.