Vijay Prakash is undoubtedly the number one male singer in Sandalwood today. Indeed, he is the only member of the You Tube 1 crore views club!. Vedanth has more on this hit singer of Sandalwood.
The Mysuru lad has made a name for himself in music field of Sandalwood, where once upon a time, only Bollywood singers were ruling the roost. Today he has three songs, which have more than 1 crore views in Youtube.These three songs are "Belegeddu" from "Kirik Party", "AlladsuAlladsu" from "Chowka" and "Bombe Heluthaithe" from "Raajakumara". Co-incidentally, these are the only three songs from Kannada films, which have more than 1 crore views on Youtube. This indicates his popularity.
Vijay was born into a musical family. He wanted to achieve something in the music field and decided to move to Mumbai. After moving to Mumbai in 1996, he became a student of Suresh Wadkar. Prakash was a participant in the program “Sa Re Ga Ma” on Zee TV, hosted by Sonu Nigam. He made it to the mega-finals in 1999. He got his first break in Hindi cinema with the film "Baaz" in 2002. When he was in Mumbai, he lent his voice and his creativityto many advertisement jingles.
A R Rahman
The man who saw potential in Vijay Prakash was none other than music maestro A R Rahman, who made him sing a song in "Swadesh". He also later sang in Tamil films under music direction of A R Rahman. His most popular song with A R Rahman is "Jai Ho", from the film "Slumdog Millionaire", which won the 2008 Academy Award for Best Original Song. Vijay had sung the chorus for the song. His other popular numbers with A R Rahman are "Hosanna" fro, "VinnaithaandiVaruvaaya", "BeeraBeera from "Raavan", "Powerstar" from "Komaram Puli" and "KadhalAnukkal" from "Enthiran".
Even though Vijay was a Kannadiga, he had to wait until 2008 to make his debut in Sandalwood. His first song was "Kavithe" from the blockbuster film "Gaalipata". V Harikrihsna had composed the music for the film. The song became a rage after the film released in theatres. The Golden Voice of Sandalwood had finally arrived.
Journey towards number one singer in Sandalwood
When he made his Sandalwood debut, Kannada music industry had seen a change. After the success of "Mungaaru Male", most of the songs were sung by Bollywood singers like Sonu Nigam, Shaan and KunalGanjawala. But Vijay Prakash survived the initial; struggle. He became voice of KicchaSudeepa. They first collaborated for "TharaThara" from "Kempegowda". KicchaSudeepa was so impressed with Vijay's voice that he sang for almost all KicchaSudeepa's film. Another turning point of his career was "Khali Bottle" from "Victory". The song became an anthem for drunkards. He has sung more than 100 songs. He has also won the very prestigious Filmfare Award for Best Male Playback Artist - Kannada for the song "GatiyaIlidu" from the Kannada film "UlidavaruKandante".
2017 Best Year
The year 2017 can be called his best. Three of his songs crossed 1 crore views this year. He also sang for songs in "Hebbulli", "Raaj Vishnu" and "Beautiful Manasugalu" this year. "The year 2017 has been lukcy. I have been extremely choosy with songs now. I think due to this, three of my songs have touched the magical 1 crore views onYouTube. I am thankful to my music directors V Harikrishna, AjaneeshLoknath and ArjuiJanya. I am attached to all my songs. However I consider "Bombe Heluthaita" a close to my heart, as the song has a Dr Rajkumar connection," he opines.
Vijay Prakash made his debut as a singer in the TV show "Sa Re Ga Ma Pa” – He was a contestant. He later judged many Kannada singing reality shows. He is currently judging "Sa Re Ga Ma Pa" in Kannada along with music director Arjun Janya and singer Rajesh Krishna. Speaking about this, he said, "TV has been very close to me. I made my debut with television. I am really enjoying my stint as judge for reality shows now. Many young talents are coming out from these shows. I feel proud that I am part of these shows, which will give feed great talents to the Indian music industry. People recognize me more now, thanks to TV. The small screen has a very big reach."
Indian Carnatic Music
Vijay Prakash has made a name for himself in short span of time. But his real love lies in Indian Carnatic music. He wants to promote the genre. "I love Indian Carnatic music. Therefore you will see me performing more live shows with theme of Indian Carnatic music. I want to promote this form of music and make it popular worldwide," he said.
Even though Vijay Prakash has made a great name as singer, he has not enjoyed the same success with music direction. He was a guest composer for "AidondlaAidu". He made his debut as a music director for Kannada film "AndharBahar". But the songs did not become popular as expected. He decided to stick to what he does best,singing. He has however expressed his wish to compose music for films in future.
Vijay Prakash has big plans in future. He wants to sing songs in all languages. He also recently made a single video song in Kannada and wants to continue doing many single songs. He also wants to encourage youngsters in the music field. He will be performing live in many countries all over the world over the next two years and wants to promote Indian music worldwide.