her voice is familiar to Tamils thanks to songs like
'Annanoda Paattu...' (Chandramukhi) and 'Naaka Mukka...'
(Kadhalil Vizhundhen), Chinnaponnu's face became
familiar only after the theme song of World
Classical Tamil Conference was aired non-stop on
The theme song of the conference has brought
together some of the best playback singers, Carnatic
musicians and folk artistes too and Chinna Ponnu too
is one of them.
Says the folk singer, "I was born at a small village
in Sivagangai district. My father and mother used to
sing folk songs related to agriculture and got
appreciation from the village people. This I
developed passion for music."
On her journey, she says, "I was introduced to
Kottaisamy by Alagarsamy, a dedicated folk artiste.
Kottaisamy developed my skills in singing and made
me to sing many songs, which became popular. Later I
was introduced to a researcher in folk songs of
Tamilnadu, K A Gunasekaran who helped me turn into
one of the recognised folk singers."
On her entering films, Chinna Ponnu says, "I got an
opportunity through poet Arumathi in 2004. My first
song was Annanoda Paatu.... in the film Chandramukhi.
Then I sang many songs in the Tamil films. I was
fully recognised by the song Nakku Mukka... for
which I was awarded Golden and Edition Award. In
2010, I got another award for singing the super- hit
song Theeka Theeka... in the movie Suriyan Satta
Kalluri. My husband Kumar who is also a folk artiste
provide me great support."
On bagging an offer to sing the 'Semmozhiaana
Thamizhmozhaiaam...' song, she says, 'I felt greatly
honoured that I could make my contribution too to
the World Classical Tamil Conference. Then we got a
chance at the second day of the conference where
there was a cultural event."
What should be done to make folk arts get equal
importance and prominence? To this question, she
says, "First of all I request the media to give
importance to it like the other arts. Folk arts too
have certain set of syntax. So the researchers
should focus on that. Foreigners can recognise us by
giving opportunity to stage a programme in their
countries. I request the audience to enjoy this art
form with an eye on its subtle nuances."
She adds: "I feel that folk artistes can contribute
to educational institutions. Initially, those folk
artistes who received 'Kalaimamani' award can be a
given an opportunity to teach in the Universities
which have folklore departments."