December 9, 2023
Antara Nandy

Antara Nandy Makes a Playback Debut in A.R. Rahman and Mani Ratnam’s Period Epic ‘Ponniyin Selvan: I’

Mumbai,  September, 2022: After charming audiences around the world with her multilingual song covers, Internet artistic sensation Antara Nandy has debuted as a playback singer with cinema auteur Mani Ratnam’s magnum opus Ponniyin Selvan. Nandy, who shot to fame during the lockdown with the Balcony Concert series on social media, is best known for being among the top 10 of A.R. Rahman’s YouTube Original show ARRived and a finalist on the iconic reality TV series Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Lil’ Champs. The song “Alaikadal” highlights Nandy’s impressive vocal range, as well as her linguistic ease as she has sung the track in our languages — Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada. With “Alaikadal,” Nandy makes an indelible impression on listeners.

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Hear Antara Nandy on the ‘Alaikadal’ track here:

Born in Assam, Nandy is a prodigious classically trained vocalist. When music maestro A.R. Rahman first discovered her on the 2018 talent show ARRived, where she was also bestowed with the honour of being the best performer of the day, the artistic legend described Nandy’s artistry as “fantastic and confident.” Four years later, Nandy found herself singing for the character Poonghuzhali in Rahman’s musical Ponniyin Selvan. “Alaikadal” is the song that introduces the character to the audience. It’s a track that expresses pain and love. The recording of this song at Rahman’s studio in Chennai was wrapped under an hour as Nandy was guided by the maestro and Ratnam during the process. Nandy counts Rahman as a mentor and guide whose music she has worshipped for a long time and notes Ratnam as one of the world’s foremost filmmakers. She describes the operation of working with these creative legends as one that brought many new learnings and unlocked new aspects of her artistry, her singing.

About ‘Alaikadal,’ Antara Nandy says, “It was a surreal and splendid experience recording ‘Alaikdal’ in Chennai. I hold A.R. Rahman sir and Mani Ratnam sir in such high regard because of their creative legacies and humanity that it is a very blessed opportunity for me to be making my playback debut with ‘Ponniyin Selvan.’ ‘Alaikadal’ is a very special song that charts the journey of a unique character in the film. I hope it inspires empathy in listeners and that this song connects with audiences worldwide. I’m beyond grateful to have sung a musically rare track such as ‘Alaikadal’.

Nothing is impossible if you dare to dream.”

One of the big reasons why Nandy could record “Alaikadal” in four languages is because both Rahman and Ratnam were guiding her with the pronunciations. Ratnam would even narrate the scenes to her so that she could grasp the essence of the vignettes. “Alaikadal” has left an unforgettable imprint on Nandy’s mind and she hopes it lives on forever through the listeners. She underlines the melodies composed by Rahman on this track as the sort of musicality that needs to be displayed more and more in the industry. Nandy is currently working on her own original music and listeners can expect new art from her to drop soon.

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