It was while watching the screening of the Mani Ratnam film Roja in 1992 that the singer was introduced to the musical talent of AR Rahman, and the two have shared a special relationship since. “Being an ardent Ilaiyaraja fan, I was blown away by the sheer talent of Rahman when I first heard the songs of Roja, and thought then itself that this man could emerge as a worthy competitor to the maestro,” he recalls with pride.
“My first song composed by Rahman was Mel Isaiye… for the Prabhu Deva-starrer Mr Romeo, and he has been my pillar of strength for the last eighteen years. Rahman gives an artist complete freedom to explore his range, and is responsible for my growth as a playback singer in this film industry,” the Minsara Poove… singer says admiringly.
A recipient of several awards, a couple of awards are of special significance for Srinivas. “Winning the Tamil Nadu State Award for Minsara Poove… is the most special, more so because the great MS Vishwanathan was the chairman of the Awards committee when I was considered for the award. Winning his approval is bigger than winning a National Award in my book,” Srinivas says. Srinivas talks about winning the Kerala State Award for his song Baansuri… in the same breath. “Being a Tamilian, it was heartwarming to receive a Kerala State Award for a Malayalam song that I’d done. It was a special composition by Ramesh Narayan, and felt extremely rewarding,” he admits.