For young Karthik, it was a dream come true – to sing for superstar Rajnikant in his film Baba, that too for A R Rehman.

It is not too often that a youngster gets opportunities like that. Karthik had sung a few songs earlier for Ilayaraja and also in 'Star' for Rahman. However, for Rajni and that too in the much-hyped film Baba was like reaching Mount Everest in your teens.

Earlier, he was not too sure whether to sing or pursue an academic career. For a couple of years, thanks to his singer-friend Srinivas, he got an opportunity to meet Rehman and sing 'harmony' (which is more commonly known as chorus) for several songs.

That was actually a good break and a good experience for him, says Karthik, since it prepared him for the serious world of music.

He learnt Hindustani music and prepared himself for an extensive career in music.

One day, he was surprised when Rehman called him and asked him to try out a couple of songs by singing the track for Baba. But Rehman did not give him false hopes. Rajni might have to agree. Rehman was in London and sent the song outline through the Internet. Karthik sang the track portion, and Rehman received it in London. Apparently, he liked it. Rehman later keyed in the music.

Rehman recommended to Rajni that Karthik's voice be used. Karthik kept his fingers crossed. Rajni heard the song and liked the voice. “Let us give the youngster a boost”, Rajni seems to have said. He backed Karthik and gave the nod. Karthik was thrilled to hear that Rajni had okayed it and that he would sing two songs for the film.

The success of 'Maya, Maya' and 'Sakthi Kodu' in Baba catapulted Karthik to fame. He is now a regular singer for the leading music directors including Rehman, Ilayaraja, Vidyasagar, Bharathwaj, Deva, Harris Jayaraj and so on. The list of hits is growing by the day. It is true to say that he is probably among the busiest male singers in the South today.

Karthik Raja was the one who actually introduced him to Ilayaraja. It was a great experience for the young singer. However, he managed to impress the maestro. One of his best numbers for Ilayaraja was the hit, 'Oliyile Therivathu Deivathaiya' for 'Azhagi'.

Karthik is among the few singers in the Tamil film industry whose mother-tongue is Tamil and can write the lyrics in Tamil. Among his other hit songs are 'Naenthukitten' in Star, 'Manjaikattu Maina', 'Aval Ulaga Azhagiye' in Lesa Lesa, and 'Maro Maro' and 'Girl Friend' for 'Boys'.

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