Never in his wildest dreams did Rajesh, a backload worker from Nooranad in Kerala, think that his ability to enchant people with his melodious voice would make him an overnight sensation and have renowned singers and music directors searching for him.
A video featuring the 30-year-old singing ‘Unnai Kaanadhu Naan’ from Kamal Haasan’s movie, Vishwaroopam, went viral with over 3 lakh views and millions of shares after his friend, Shameer, posted it online almost a week ago.
The video ended up being noticed by famous singer-musician, Shankar Mahadevan, who had originally sung the Tamil song.
Mahadevan is currently in London as part of a project. After viewing the video, he began his attempts to reach out to Rakesh, and after finally getting through to him, he not only appreciated his voice but has also requested him to move to Chennai for collaborative opportunities once he returns to India.
So how did it all begin?
“A week ago, we were taking rest after loading rubber woods onto a truck when the driver, Shameer Pazhakulam, asked us to sing a song. I was first not interested as I was a bit shy to sing in front of others. However, my friends, who have heard me sing, started to force me. Thus, I sang my favourite song by my favourite actor. Shameer made the video and posted on social media. His sister shared it first, and later, Pandalam Balan sir also shared it on Facebook. Thus the song went viral,” said Rakesh, who is also known as Unni, to The Times of India.
Rakesh has received several calls from around the world, and has even been contacted by eminent music directors like Gopi Sundar, Balabhaskar, and Pandalam Balan, who have offered Rakesh singing opportunities in their upcoming movies!
However, Rakesh’s most thrilling moment must have undoubtedly been the phone call from none other than ‘Ulaganayagan’ Kamal Haasan’s private secretary, who conveyed the actor’s appreciation and also added that Haasan would call up Rajesh soon.
An untrained singer, Rakesh had taken up wood loading and offloading work after dropping out of school after completing Class 10 to shoulder the financial burdens of his family.
However, no talent can remain hidden for a very long time, and the overnight fame that has come knocking on Rajesh’s door is the testimony to this, and also speaks volumes about the reach of social media.
We hope Rajesh can clinch greater opportunities and captivate the world with his melodious voice!
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)