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Yuvan Shankar Raja

Yuvan wanted to be a pilot when he was 15. But destiny had something else in store for him.

Yuvan Shankar Raja was born on 31st August, 1979 as the youngest son of musical maestro Ilayaraja. In spite of being born in a household with a formidable reputation for churning out music virtuosos – Ilayaraja, Gangai Amaran, Karthik Raja, to name a few – Yuvan, who used to play the guitar and keyboard, even then, thought of music as 'fun and frolic'. He never took it serious.

When he was 16, Yuvan’s mom suggested to him to take up music as a profession. But Yuvan knew that he had to live up to everyone's expectations and it was not easy. Ilayaraja was at his peak and Karthik Raja was already making a mark for himself.

But today, Yuvan lives for music. His father is his greatest hero. Yet, his treatment of music is entirely different. He loves R & B, his favourite singers are R.Kelly and Toni Braxton and he listens to a lot of western tunes. He still prefers making music on his keyboard and is not very comfortable with the thaana thana naa notation that is prevalent in the Tamil film industry. And he has not learnt Indian classical music. He is confident that he will make his mark one day, as he understands the medium of cinema better and better. A testimony to that fact is his latest creation Nandhaa in which Yuvan has come up with a haunting, soulful score. Yuvan, whose music has a youthful character to it, such as in his previous hits Poovellam Kettu Paar, Thulluvatho Ellamai and the mega hit Dheena, has metamorphosed into a mature composer and has used complex swara patterns and carnatic ragas to bring out the mood of Nandhaa.

People are already appreciating Yuvan’s appealing score, bringing reminiscences of Ilayaraja’s yesteryears. In fact, Ilayaraja has sung two of the songs in Nandhaa. Yuvan has a number of Tamil and Telugu movies lined for the next couple of years.

Yuvan says he would like to establish himself as a leading, quality composer in movies in Tamil, Telugu and other languages. He would also like to release his own music albums and probably even compose a symphony like his father. And his greatest ambition is to be appreciated by his father!

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