HYDERABAD: Sans starry airs and humility-personified, Dhanunjay, the singer who gave hits such as You are my MLA from Sarrainodu, Bhaje Bhaaje from Gopala Gopala for which he received a ‘Best Male Singer’ GAMA award, shares his story in a freewheeling chat with Shyam Yadagiri
Could you tell us about your background?
I was born in Belamam village of Srikakulam district in 1986. Since the time I was a child, I had taken part in singing competitions and always stood first. I had also participated in numerous talent shows including ‘Paaduta Teeyaga’. I had won the Radio City’s Super Singer contest in 2010 and started working as a track singer. Music director Anup Rubens observed my talent and roped me for Soodu Soodu song for Loukyam in 2014. The rest, as they say, is history.
Was there a song that made an impression on you early on?
Yamaha Nagari from Choodalani Undi. I just used to hum this song on and on, and dreamed of becoming a singer.
Are you planning to do non-film albums?
I had done a remix of Pachandaname song, which was well-received. I’m open to do non-film albums as well, if something along those lines materialises.
What is your upcoming project?
A song from Om Namo Venkatesaya. The audio releases on January 8.
How do you handle
I listen patiently and see if there is something to be improved. I take criticism in a positive way.
What attribute do you have that makes you stand out from the crowd?
I have a natural ability to modulate my voice as needed. And I can sing in any kind of tone, be it for a melody, a ‘mass’ song, and more.
How do you manage to
balance your personal life?
My parents, and my wife Priyanka, a software professional, provide me unstinted support. There are times when I have to go abroad for shows. I would make it up when I reach back home.
Playing guitar and piano
What would you have been if not a singer?
Talent alone is not enough. Hard work and persistence is crucial
How many songs have you sung thus far, and which one is your favourite?
Over 100 songs till date, and I like ‘You are my MLA’ the most, composed by S S Thaman
Shankar Mahadevan. He is a singer, composer, actor, coach, all rolled into one