CHENNAI: It is never easy to give up the comfort of a lucrative job and pursue a career in an art form. But for Aalaap Raju, it came as a natural choice. “July 16, 2009 — that was the day I decided to follow my heart. I switched over from my job as software professional to pursue a career in music,” says Aalaap, who is predominantly an electric bass player.
He has worked with composers like Harris Jayaraj, Mani Sarma, GV Prakash, Thaman S, Devan Ekambaram, Deepak Dev, Dr L Subramaniam and Frank Dubier among others. In over a year after he kickstarted his career in music, Aalaap Raju was already the man behind two hits — ‘Engeyum kaadhal’ and ‘Enamo aedho’ — composed by Harris Jayaraj. He is now expecting the release of a couple of films he has sung for, and also a collaborative album with Rahul Nambiar titled ‘Rahlaap’.
After his success as a singer, Aalaap is determined to give equal importance to playback singing and electric bass playing. For this ‘self-start’ musician, as he calls himself, the craft runs in his genes.
His father, JM Raju, is a singer and music composer and his mother, Latha Raju is a playback singer. His grandmother Shantha P Nair was a playback singer too. It isn’t surprising that this young musician was quick to realise his calling and follow it.
Aalaap Raju has collaborated with contemporary folk bands like ‘Oikyotaan’ and is also a part of a smooth jazz band named ‘Bluenote’. “I’m definitely thrilled about the whole experience and the immense recognition I have received. I’m grateful to Harris, who believed in me and my ability to sing.”
Alaap is currently singing choruses for Harris and is eagerly awaiting the release of his tracks for Iman and Thaman Shivakumar. Incidentally, his debut song titled ‘Kuthu kuthu’ was for ‘Ayyanaar’ (music by Thaman Shivakumar).
He has also sung the Telugu version of ‘Enamo aedho’ for ‘Ko’. In ‘Rahlaap’, there are seven fresh compositions.
“Rahul and I have been at it for a long time now. We were on the lookout for sponsors, but eventually brought it out together. It is a Hindi album, which will also be made in Tamil and Malayalam. And we’ll definitely seek sponsorship for the video version of the album,” he says. “I’ve sung and also played the bass for the album. Raqeeb Alam, one of the lyricists of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, has penned the lyrics for three songs in the album.”
“Online release of music albums will soon become the fad. It is easier not just for downloads, but for sale as well,” explains Aalap. ‘Music beyond genres’ is the punchline of ‘Rahlaap’, which is also a band in itself, comprising Aalaap Raju and Rahul Nambiar.