Profile of Padmalatha

You may not recognise Padmalatha when you get to see her somewhere. But you would have sure listened to her songs, even if you are an average listener of film or classical music.
In other words, her voice is more familiar than her face. One of the important reasons behind the success of many movie songs (including ‘Vatta vatta nilavukku…’ in ‘Thennavan’), Padmalatha spoke to on a sunny evening earlier this week.
“In a sense, I am indebted to Lakshman Sruthi. It was my aunt’s marriage reception and I was a five-year-old girl then. When members from Lakshman Sruthi troupe were performing a concert at the reception, I went near the stage and pestered them that I would sing a song. Without discouraging, they gave me the mike and I sang few lines from Ninukkori varanum…. even as my mother was holding me. That was my first stage show,” the singer recalls.
Saying that she then concentrated on studies till completing class ten, Padmalatha adds only after that she started learning music from gurus (one of them was Usha Prasad, wife of mridangam exponent K V Prasad).

 What followed was a steady growth and Padmalatha became a popular face on music stages and television shows (Her videos are so popular on You Tube now and she is in fact the online music guru for Tamils all over the world). One fine morning, the opportunity to sing in a movie knocked at her doors.

“My first film song was for Kuruvamma, composed by Sahithya. From then on, I have crooned over 150 numbers in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada for many music directors, including Yuvanshankar Raja, Karthik Raja, Devisri Prasad, Srikanth Deva and Koti,” she says. 
When we were about to leave, we wanted to know as to how Padmalatha gathered guts to sing in a marriage reception, that too at the age of five. “My father was a musician and my parents too were interested in music,” replied the wife of an electronic engineer. There we found the answer!

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