Age is nothing but a number for this nightingale. As we sit for a chat K S Chithra, appeared very enthusiastic and full of energy other than a small cold that disrupted her voice occasionally. And as she began speaking in her mellifluous voice about music, the heart and soul of her existence, even the small hitch was easily forgotten. The six-time national award winner has none of the airs about her and appeared ever so gleaming and pleasant as we have always seen her to be.
K S Chithra who no longer prefers to sit at home for too long, post her only daughter’s untimely death, says she is always trying to do something that is connected to music. Music seems to be the one thing that has helped her glue the pieces back together to an extent.
Thanks to reality shows now our evenings are made more rhythmic and melodious as the audience get to hear the sweet renderings of K S Chithra on every other day. Chithra who has been a judge on many a reality show says, she really enjoys the latest one where the participants are kids. “It is one show that I eagerly wait for every month these days,” she chuckles.
“The energy and positive vibe that is generated on the sets of the show is incomparable. The reason I have cold is because of dust on the sets and constant travel to these shows. But that show is one thing I wouldn’t miss for the world. The love and sincerity of the children towards us is overwhelming. They come up to us very freely and ask for chocolates, toys and so on. The time I get to spent with these kids is something that I enjoy most these days,” says Chithra.
So are reality shows a good way to boost your career? “These days there is no dearth of singers. Hence I don’t know the practicality of everybody being able to make it big. But it is definitely a great exposure to the kids which otherwise they would never have got. Children are given excessive training on these shows and the opportunity they get to interact with eminent singers is not a small thing.”
Asked if the new singers lack seriousness she says, “I personally has had no bad experience as we don’t get the opportunity to record together and hence don’t know what the capacity of these singers are. But what I have heard from music directors generally is that the new kids lack dedication and have an attitude problem. What I have experienced is, when I go to record after a singer I have seen them leaving behind the papers of the song they just recorded.
“As far as I am concerned it is a record of what I did, when I sang the song, who composed and so on. I have heard music directors saying that some of them don’t even bother to bring in a paper or pen to write down the lyrics and learn. I am not saying this is the case with everybody but there are people like this also.”
She says the singers today don’t get an opportunity to see the senior singers. “I was lucky that I got an opportunity to stand and sing with my seniors such as K J Yesudas, SPB, Hariharan, Janaki and so on. That made a lot of difference as we got to learn a lot from them.”
Even though an established award winning singer, K S Chithra does not shy away from the prospects of learning more. She speaks enthusiastically about some of her upcoming projects and says, “There are couple of songs whose work is pending, I have to finish up all that. These are non-film songs which will give me an opportunity to learn new keertanas and more classical as well. Among film songs it is Malayalam that I do mostly these days and some Tamil and Kannada,” Chithra quips.
When something such as Malayalam music awards is being initiated for the first time in Kerala who else to better represent it than, K S Chithra herself. She says, “Recognition is important to every artiste. The other day I was watching a film and found that no credits were given to the singers, which is too much. Recognition like these would definitely be a boost to them.”
Apart from her singing and world of music K S Chithra is also busy with her fund-raising organisation ‘Sneha Nandana’ which aims to provide financial help to long-forgotten musicians and singers.