Yesudas stands for Kerala. There isn’t a living Malayalee who hasn’t sung her song once in her life. His song is there on everyone’s lips, in the heart and in the soul. If you like music, you automatically like Yesudas. The voice that began to dominate the musical days and nights of the Malayalees since the 1960s continues to resonate with the same intensity through the generations. What changes have occurred in her voice over the years? How did her voice evolve, which smoldered with their youthful intensity in the 60s? Try to take a trip through its singing history. Only the blessed can hope for such a rare depth and coherence of voice as he. He literally took the world by storm with his voice and made short work of the competition. Time has stood still before Yesudas. There is a reason he continues to remain irreplaceable. His interpretation of ‘Akale Akale Neelakasham’ for ‘Midumidukki’ is a fine example of his development as a singer. His change of tone of voice transforms the melody into a piece of beauty. Yesudas sang the same song again in 1995, 26 years later. For Adiathe Kanmani from Rajasenan. Written by Sreekumaran Thampi and composed by the legendary MS Baburaj, it continues to be one of the greatest hits of all time.

He followed punitive vows to maintain the purity of his voice. “Father, I only need the body of the Lord, I do not want blood” – Yesudas said to His Holiness Gregorius, who offered the Holy Eucharist at his marriage. During thanksgiving, he was offered bread soaked in wine. But at the request of the singer, His Holiness gave the bread without soaking it in the wine. It shows the kind of sacrifices he made to keep his voice pure. Yesudas was able to maintain the beauty of his voice with such disciplined practices throughout his life. He has never consumed alcohol or smoked. Not even tasted wine. Even a serving of ice cream was a rare occurrence.

He literally devoted his life to music. It was like a penance. “If I hadn’t been careful, it would have affected my voice. It would have looked exhausted. When more flesh accumulates in the larynx, our sound changes. I would say that musicians should also speak less to preserve the quality of their voice. There is a difference in muscle tone when talking and singing. You shouldn’t even speak with the same intensity; you have to keep a balance. Yesudas once explained his perspective on maintaining a clear voice.

“Let us coexist in this world by promising humanity, without distinction of caste or creed”

He made his debut as a playback singer in 1962 singing this famous Sree Narayana Guru hymn to Kaalpadukal. What a perfect start for a singer who went on to sing over 30,000 songs. If you take a look at his 60s singing career chart, it’s impossible to pick the best. How to distinguish only the hits of the time? The veteran singer’s first success in his film career was reportedly “Adyathe Kanmani”, which he sang with P Leela from the film Bhagya Jathakam. Rest as they say belongs to history.

It’s impossible to decide which is her best song. But even if you want to try your luck and attempt such a task, we could choose some of his gems from the early 60s. This song would be “Thamasamenthe Varuvaan” written by P Bhaskaran and composed by Baburaj of Bhargavi Nilayam. It’s amazing that he was born at a time when technology was so scarce. The recording was made on a single microphone. Only the tabla and the violin surrounded the singer. The final recording was made after several rehearsals. Is there a more evocative romantic song than this in Malayalam cinema? Especially since it was sung by our most beloved and familiar ‘Gandharvasvaram’ in Malayalam.


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