Tamil Features

Weekend Playlist – Chinmayi

The #MeToo campaign has reached a tipping point, and one name that cannot be separated from the movement, at least as far as the South Indian music industry is concerned, is that of singer Chinmayi Sripaada. It was only after the singer came out with tales of her ordeal at the hands of poet and lyricist Vairamuthu that the allegations against him finally gained traction.


Over the years, the singer has managed to carve a space for herself as a voiceover artiste too. Her voice takes on a different tonal quality for every song, and it gets hard to slot the ‘Chinmayi voice’. Here’s a list of some popular songs sung by her.

Tere Bina – Guru (2007)

After her breakout song ‘Oru Deivam Thantha Poove’ from Kannathil Muthamittal in 2002, followed closely by ‘Sandhippoama’ from Enakku 20 Unakku 18, came this song that she sang with AR Rahman, who also composed it. Though the song is largely dominated by Rahman’s voice, Chinmayi makes her presence felt even in the first interlude that comes towards the middle of the song.

Vaarayo Vaarayo – Aadhvan (2009)

Harris Jeyaraj, who has given Chinmayi songs such as ‘Enadhuyirae’ from Bheema and ‘Oyaayiye Yaayiye’ from Ayan, collaborates with the singer once again and ropes in Unnikrishnan for company. With a guitar and a basic beat for accompaniment, Chinmayi and Unnikrishnan’s rendition brings a ‘haunting’ feeling to this romantic melody despite the uninspired picturisation.

Anbil Avan – Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya (2010)

This is a song that got the least recognition in the album, probably because it was overshadowed by the success of both the movie and the overall soundtrack. Chinmayi collaborates with AR Rahman yet again, works wonders with a voice that turns husky and stands tall in an instrument-heavy song.

Zehnaseeb – Hasee Toh Phasee (2014)

Penned by Amitabh Bhattacharya and set to tune by Vishal Shekhar, the song marked Chinmayi’s third consecutive hit in Bollywood after ‘Titli’ from Chennai Express and ‘Main Rang Sharbaton Ka’ from Phata Poster Nikla Hero – both which released the previous year. Chinmayi succeeds in bringing a certain contrast to the vocals that features Shekhar Ravjiani’s mild voice.

Idhayathai Yedho Ondru – Yennai Arindhaal (2015)

This album saw director Gautham Vasudev Menon reunite with his long-time collaborator Harris Jeyaraj after 2008’s Vaaranam Aayiram. Though the song has separate male and female versions, both of which were featured in the movie, Chinmayi’s version stands out despite Benny Dayal’s version having better visuals. This is primarily because of the use of minimal background instrumentation.