Yuvan Shankar Raja: Wikis


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Yuvan Shankar Raja
Birth name Yuvan Shankar Raja
Also known as Yuvan, YSR, U1
Born August 31, 1979 (1979-08-31) (age 30)
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Origin Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India
Genres Film score
Occupations Film composer, music director, record producer, instrumentalist, arranger, singer, songwriter, lyricist
Instruments Guitar, keyboard/piano, vocals (playback singing)
Years active 1997–present
Website yuvanshankarraja.net

Yuvan Shankar Raja (Tamil: யுவன் சங்கர் ராஜா ; born 31 August 1979) is an Indian film score and soundtrack composer, singer and occasional lyricist. He has predominantly scored music for Tamil films of Kollywood as well as Telugu and Kannada films. In 1997, at age 16, his musical career began as he composed the film score for Aravindhan. He subsequently composed film scores for a variety of South Indian films, which include blockbusters such as Dheena, Manmadhan, Paruthiveeran, Billa and Aadavari Matalaku Ardhalu Verule as well as critically acclaimed films such as Kaadhal Kondein, 7G Rainbow Colony, Pudhupettai, Chennai 600028 and Kattradhu Thamizh. Within half a dozen years, Yuvan Shankar Raja had established himself as a leading composer of Tamil cinema.

Within a span of 13 years, Yuvan Shankar Raja has scored for over 75 films. Considered a highly versatile composer, he often strives for different, innovative and stylistic music and has explored and used elements of various genres in his compositions that range from folk to heavy metal. He is particularly known for his use of western music elements in his pieces and often credited with having introduced Hip hop to the Tamil film and music industry and having started the "era of remixes" in Tamil Nadu.[1][2] Being immensely popular among the younger generation, he is frequently called the "Youth Icon of Tamil Film Music".[2] In addition, Yuvan Shankar Raja is recognized for his background score in films that have fetched him high praise among critics.

He has won one Filmfare Award in 2004 for his score in the drama 7G Rainbow Colony at age 25, remaining the youngest winner of the award. Besides, he received two nominations for Filmfare Awards, one Tamil Nadu State Film Award in 2006 and the Cyprus International Film Festival Award in 2006 for Raam, becoming the first and only Indian composer to win it.


Early life

Born on 31 August 1979, in Chennai, India into a musically affluent Tamil family, Yuvan Shankar Raja is the third and youngest child of legendary musician and film composer Ilaiyaraaja and Jeeva. He is the younger brother of music director Karthik Raja and playback singer-cum-music director Bhavatharini. Yuvan once confessed, that his brother Karthik Raja is more talented than him, but did not get a successful break into the music business, since he didn't get a "good team to work with".[3] His father as well as his siblings have sung many songs under his direction.

Noted film director and film composer Gangai Amaran and late R. D. Bhaskar are his uncles and their sons Venkat Prabhu, Premji Amaran and Parthy Bhaskar,Vasuki Bhaskar who are working in the Tamil film industry as well, are his cousins. Moreover, Yuvan Shankar and both the sons of Gangai Amaran, do often associate with each other and have often worked together, the results of which have been very successful. Venkat Prabhu's films have had all musical score by Yuvan, while Premji had assisted him composing music for some years,[4] before becoming an independent composer aside form the fact, that both have sung several songs under the direction of Yuvan Shankar Raja.

Yuvan Shankar did his schooling at St. Bede's school in Chennai before studying at Loyola College, Chennai. He started learning music from Jacob Master,[5] attending piano classes at "Musee Musical" in Chennai, which is a branch of the prestigious Trinity College in London, UK.[6]

Yuvan Shankar Raja stated, that he always wanted to become a pilot and travel "all around the world", but as he grew up "with music around him", he eventually became a musician.[5] But he still considers himself flying high with his music.[7] He admires the work of his father and other composers such as S. D. Burman, R.D. Burman, M. S. Viswanathan and Naushad and the voices of singers Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, P. B. Sreenivas and P. Susheela.[5]


Film score and soundtracks

Early years (1997-2000)

In 1996, following his mother's suggestion to take up music as a profession, Yuvan Shankar Raja started composing tunes for a private album.[8] It was then that T. Siva, the producer of the Tamil language film Aravindhan, after hearing some of the tunes, asked to compose a trailer music. As the producer was so much impressed of which, he gave Yuvan Shankar the assignment to compose the entire film score including a soundtrack for that film.[8] After consulting and getting consent from his parents, he accepted the offer; his music career started. His entry into the Tamil film and music industry had happened at age 16, thus becoming one of the most youngest composers ever in the industry, which, he says, was "purely accidental".[9]

However, both the soundtrack album as well as the film itself failed to attract audiences and to do well and Yuvan Shankar Raja's following projects Velai (1998) and Kalyana Galatta (1998) weren't successful either; his compositions for these films didn't receive good reviews or responses.[10] This eventually caused that he hardly got any film projects and assignments. During this time of struggling, he was approached and assigned by director Vasanth to compose the music for his film Poovellam Kettuppar (1999). The soundtrack, described as fresh and different, immediately became a chartbuster album, particularly songs like "Irava Pagala" and "Chudithar Aninthu", gaining him first time notice, especially among young people and children.[10] The album would make possible his first breakthrough in the industry and proved to be a major turning point in his career. After working for two Sundar C. films, Unakkaga Ellam Unakkaga (1999) and Rishi (2000), which both fared averagely at the box office, he got to work with A. R. Murugadoss in 2000 for his directorial debut, the action flick Dheena starring Ajith Kumar, which went on to become a blockbuster and Yuvan Shankar Raja's first major successful film. Yuvan Shankar's songs were equally successful,[11][12] which are considered to have played a major role for the film's great success.[13] whilst his background score in the film was also well appreciated.

Subsequently he broke into the Kollywood music scene by composing film scores and soundtracks for Kasthuri Raja and Selvaraghavan's Thulluvadho Ilamai and Bala's Nandha, which were lauded, got immensely popular and proved his talent and versatility.[10] He produced music scores for Manmadhan, Kaadhal Kondein, 7G Rainbow Colony, and Kanda Naal Mudhal. His soundtracks for the films Yaaradi Nee Mohini, Billa, Satham Podathey, Manmadhan and Vallavan established him as a leading composer. Soundtracks of films like Pudhupettai, which featured a traditional orchestral score played by Chapraya Symphony Orchestra in Bangkok,[14] or Kattradhu Thamizh were critically acclaimed.[15] Yuvan Shankar Raja’s collaborations with directors such as Selvaraghavan, Ameer Sultan, Vishnuvardhan, Silambarasan, Venkat Prabhu and Vasanth have resulted in highly successful soundtracks. By 2003, in a career spanning less than a decade and at the age of merely 24 years, Yuvan Shankar Raja established himself as one of the leading and most sought after music directors in the Tamil film industry, without scoring for any high-budget films or any leading actors as Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan .[16] Also he remains the youngest Tamil Filmfare Award winning music composer, which he received at the age of 25 for his highly praised score of 7G Rainbow Colony.

He has been heralded as one of the top music composers in Chennai. His album with Sony is an eagerly expected one and other than this, he has a long list of 16 other films for which he is the composer. He is also well known for his re-recording/background music in his films like Pudhupettai, 7/G Rainbow Colony, Raam, Kadhal kondaen,etc. He is also the only music director in the Tamil film industry to win the best music composer award for the film 'Raam' in the Cyprus International film festival. Also his "Theme music" tracks have won much acclaim, particularly the music pieces of Kaadhal Kondein, 7G Rainbow Colony and Billa.

Besides Tamil films, he has also scored music for films in other South Indian languages. Around 25 of the Tamil films, for which he had composed music, were afterwards dubbed into Telugu, Kannada or Malayalam languages as were the respective soundtracks. Apart from these ones, he also worked "straightly" on Telugu projects such as Seshu, Malli Malli Chudali, Happy, Raam, Raju Bhai and Aadavari Matalaku Ardhalu Verule, making him a well-known composer in Andhra Pradesh, too. His latest Telugu album Oy! has become a grand success as it topped the charts for several weeks.

Recently he has also made his Bollywood debut by composing one song ("Haq Se") for the soundtrack of the film Striker that stars his close friend Siddharth, who happens to be the album producer. The song has been receiving thoroughly positive reviews. His latest soundtracks, which got popular among the masses, include Goa, Paiyaa, Vaamanan, Sarvam and Siva Manasula Sakthi. Currently he has around 15 projects on hand, including Susindran's Naan Mahaan Alla, Thillalangadi, Bala's Avan Ivan, Silambarasan's Valiban and a dozen other small-budget films.

He has also scored music for Indian Acting Legends, Megastars, Mammootty and Mohanlal for the films Junior Senior and Pop Carn respectively.

Other work

Non-cinematic output

Besides scoring film music and soundtracks, he also produces personal music albums from time to time. In his very early years, in 1999, when he was not familiar to most people yet, he made the Tamil pop album The Blast, that contained 12 tracks, featuring vocals by Kamal Haasan, Unnikrishnan and Nithyashree Mahadevan.[17] However, the album went downright unnoticed. Currently he is working on his second album, the rights of which have been acquired by Sony BMG and is yet to be titled.[18][19][20] It is reportedly a bilingual album produced in both Tamil and Hindi and is due to release.

In 2010, he joined hands with former President of India A. P. J. Abdul Kalam for a grand music video album titled "Song of Youth".[21] The popular song of the same title, based on which the album is made, was written by Kalam and is set to tunes by Yuvan Shankar Raja, who, along with Kalam and many other prominent celebrities from the field of sports and entertainment, will feature in the video as well.[22] The album is a trilingual, produced in the three languages Tamil, Hindi and English and will be released shortly.[21][23]


In January 2009, Yuvan had announced his first live performance, which was planned to be held at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Canada on 25 April 2009. According to Yuvan, the show, titled Yuvan - Live in Concert, would have featured around 30 songs, sung by well-known singers and his father Ilaiyaraaja, as well as some stage dances in between by actresses Sana Khan and Meenakshi.[24][25][26] However, in April 2009, it was reported, that the concert has been postponed, with Yuvan Shankar stating, that he was working on novel ideas to make the show memorable and hence, postponed the concert.[27]

In October 2009 then, he announced that a world tour, titled "Oru Naalil", is planned with a three-hour mega stage show to be held in various cities all over the world.[28] The tour began with a show on 1 December 2009 at the Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium in Dubai, United Arab Emirates,[29][30] which will be followed by shows in Canada, the U. S. and South Africa.[28] The shows would feature performances by singers like Shankar Mahadevan, Hariharan, Karthik, Harish Raghavendra and Silambarasan and professional dancers from Mumbai.[28] Also it is planned to conduct the shows in Muscat, Oman and Kuwait.[28][30]

Personal life

Yuvan Shankar Raja married his longtime girlfriend Sujaya Chandran on 21 March 2005, at Mayor Sri Ramanathan Chettiyar Hall in Chennai, India.[31][32] He met Chandran, who was a "fan" of him, in 2002 at a music cultural program in London and both fell in love later.[33] Chandran was a London-based singer and the daughter of Dr. C. R. Velayutham and Dr. Sarojini Chandran.[34] They had a secret registered marriage in September 2003 in London, before the formal public wedding was held in 2005 with the consent of their parents.[33]

In August 2007, they filed for divorce with mutual consent, which was granted in February 2008, after 6 months.[33][35] The reason for the divorce was said to be "irrevocable differences".[35]


Film scores and soundtracks

Released films/ soundtracks

Year Tamil Telugu Other Languages
1997 Aravindhan
1998 Velai
Kalyana Galatta
1999 Poovellam Kettuppar Deal (2007)
Unakkaga Ellam Unakkaga
2000 Rishi
Dheena Dada (2007)
2001 Thulluvadho Ilamai #
Manadhai Thirudivittai Manasuna Manasai (2005)
Nandha Aakrosham (2006)
Pratheekaram (2009)
2002 Seshu
(4 out of 8 songs)
Malli Malli Chudali
Junior Senior Super (2009) (Malayalam)
Kadhal Samrajyam
April Maadhathil Vaallidharu (2004)
Mounam Pesiyadhe Aadanthe Ado Type (2003) ♦
Kanchu (2006)
Punnagai Poove
Pop Carn Popcarn (2007) (Malayalam)
2003 Winner
Kaadhal Kondein
Pudhiya Geethai #
Pudhukottaiyilirundhu Saravanan Sowrya (2006)
Five by Four #2 (English) •
2004 Ullam
Aethiree Bottle Mani
Perazhagan Sundarangadu
7G Rainbow Colony 7G Brindhavan Colony Gilli (2009) (Kannada) ♦
Manmadhan Manmadha Madana (2006) (Kannada) ♦
Bose Rakshana (2005)
Adhu #2
2005 Raam
Arinthum Ariyamalum Kalisunte
Thotti Jaya
(1 song; special thanks)
Oru Kalluriyin Kathai College Days (2008)
Kanda Naal Mudhal
Sandakozhi Pandhem Kodi (2006)
Kalvanin Kadhali Chilipi
Pudhupettai Dhoolpeta (2006)
2006 Happy Happy (Malayalam)
Pattiyal Gayam
Azhagai Irukkirai Bayamai Irukkirathu Maha Andamga Vunnavani Bhayam
Vallavan Vallabha
Kedi Jadoo
Thimiru Pogaru (2007) Minchu (2008) (Kannada) ♦
Paruthiveeran Palnati Veerudu (2010)
Thaamirabharani Bharani (2007)
2007 Deepavali
Chennai 600028 # Kodithe Kottali Raa
Yaaradi Nee Mohini (2008) ♦ Aadavari Matalaku Ardhalu Verule Anthu Inthu Preethi Banthu (2008) (Kannada) ♦
(4 out of 7 songs)
Parattai Engira Azhagu Sundaram
(1 song; special thanks)
Raju Bhai
Satham Podathey Kelkaatha Shabdam (Malayalam)
Thottal Poo Malarum
Kannamoochi Yenada
Kattradhu Thamizh
Vel Deva
Machakaaran Dheera (2009)
2008 Vaazhthugal
Saroja Saroja
Aegan Mallika I Love You (2009)
Silambattam Maa Vaadu (2009)
2009 Kunguma Poovum Konjum Puravum
Siva Manasula Sakthi
Sarvam Sarvam (2010)
Paiyaa Awara (2010)
Theeradha Vilaiyattu Pillai Khiladi (2010)
2010 Goa
Striker Striker (Hindi) •
(1 song)
#Only soundtrack, film score composed by another composer
#2Only film score, no soundtrack released
  • The year next to the title of the affected films indicates the release year of the either dubbed or remade version in the named language later than the original version.
  • • indicates original language release. Indicates simultaneous makes, if featuring in more languages
  • ♦ indicates a remade version, the remaining ones being dubbed versions

Forthcoming soundtracks


Released albums

Forthcoming albums

  • 2010 - Untitled Sony Music album
  • 2010 - Song of Youth - A Trilingual video album targeted at Youngsters which has lyrics written by Dr. Abdul Kalam.


  • Ananda Vikatan Award for Best Composer of the Year (2007) [37]
  • Ananda Vikatan Award for Best Male Playback Singer of the Year for "Neethane" (Sarvam) (2009)[38]
  • Cinema Rasigargal Sangam Best Music Director Award for Billa (2007) [39]
  • CJA Cine Critics' Best Music Director Award for Kattradhu Thamizh (2007)[40][41]
  • GV South Indian Cinematographers Association (SICA) Best Music Director Award (2007) [42]
  • Isaiyaruvi Tamil Music Awards [43][44]
    • Isaiyaruvi Album of the Year - Paruthiveeran (2008)
    • Isaiyaruvi Best Folk Song of the Year - "Oororam Puliyamaram" (Paruthiveeran) (2008)
    • Miranda Crazy Song of the Year - "Saroja Saamaan Nikalo" (Chennai 600028) (2008)
    • Isaiyaruvi Sensational Youth Album - Silambattam (2009)
    • Crazy Song of the Year - "Where Is The Party" (Silambattam) (2009)
    • Isaiyaruvi Best Remix Song of the Year - "Vechikkava" (Silambattam) (2009)
  • Jayam Charitable Trust Film Music Awards [45][46]
    • Best Sensational Musician (2007)
    • Best Singer of the Year Special Award for "Arabu Naade" (Thottal Poo Malarum) (shared with Haricharan) (2007)
  • Medimix-Dinakaran Best Music Director Award for Manmadhan (2004) [47]
  • Spell Bound Best Music Director Award for Vallavan (2006) [48][49]



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  21. ^ a b "Music video on Dr. Kalam's Song of Youth". chennaionline.com. 2010-01-07. http://www.chennaionline.com/City360/CityFeature/20102007012012/Music-video-on-Dr-Kalams-Song-of-Youth.col. Retrieved 2010-01-15. 
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  23. ^ "How Kalam inspired the 'national anthem for youth'". Rediff. 2010-01-14. http://news.rediff.com/report/2010/jan/14/kalams-song-of-youth-now-a-music-video.htm. Retrieved 2010-01-15. 
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External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Life’s been quite a journey. My career has been slow, yet steady. I like it that way. I never wished for overnight success.

Yuvan Shankar Raja (born 31 August 1979) is an Indian Tamil film music composer and singer.


Yuvan Unplugged (2009)

"Yuvan Unplugged", by T. Krithika Reddy in The Hindu (24 October 2009)
  • Life’s been quite a journey. My career has been slow, yet steady. I like it that way. I never wished for overnight success. Neither did I want to rush through my career and suffer a burn-out.
  • I was never interested in studies. And honestly, I never felt I had it in me to make good music. I guess, the environment in which I grew up — dad neck-deep in music, my sister Bavatharini on the piano all the time and brother Karthik Raja constantly hooked on the latest music technology — just stirred me to take the first step. ‘Thuluvatho Ilamai’ and ‘Poovellam Kaettupaar’ proved to be turning points.
  • I see every director as a different brand. That way, it’s easy for me to compartmentalise my work. So I can easily switch from one film to the other and refresh myself when I hit a mental block. I don’t want my music to sound like a pastiche of other works. So I stop listening to my songs once the audio for a film is released. When I unwind, it’s usually with jazz.
  • Dad used to say it’s [live recording] the backbone for any musical endeavour. And I’ve realised that with time. So most often, my re-recordings are live. Technology does enhance music, but the warmth of a live orchestra is incomparable. Fans wrote to me after ‘Oru Devadai…’ (“Vaamanan”) saying the score had a divine quality. That’s because it was done live. Besides, I’m also conscious of the employment problem that technology-driven music creates.
  • My mind’s buzzing with scripts. I want to do something really different. A long-term goal is to open an orphanage for kids. I’ve envisioned something of huge proportions. But first let me make the money for it.
  • Dad is a man of few words. He rarely discusses my compositions. But I hear him humming my numbers to my nephew. The recent one is a hit from the Telugu flick “Oy”. A musical genius in the family is both a huge advantage and a disadvantage. I’ve absorbed so much from my father. But, at the same time, fans keep writing to me saying they expect more from me — because of my lineage!
  • Karthik Raja is immensely talented. It’s unfortunate he hasn’t got the right break. Be it technology, manuscript or knowledge of genres, he is thorough. I’m sure he will make it ASAP.
  • I’ve no regrets in my personal and professional life. Being a spiritual person, I believe whatever happens, happens for the good. I simply follow what dad says, ‘With music, you can reach out and spread happiness.’
  • I’m camera shy. But I had to do a portfolio for my world tour. So Karthik of Dreamcast and I worked in tandem and conceptualised the shoot. I wanted a rock star look. Possibly, with just a bit of the face showing. Since the show is full of surprises, I wanted the promo photos too to kindle curiosity.

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