Childhood & Early Life

Childhood & Early Life

Priyadarshini, born on May 7th in Chennai, India, comes from a Tamil Brahmin Iyer family. Her father, Ramachandran, is a Chemical Engineer, and her mother, Sumathi, is a former Government employee.

Priyadarshini dance performance at Kalakshetra, Chennai at the age of five

Showcasing her talents from a very young age, Priyadarshini began her Kindergarten at Kalakshetra in Chennai. At just three and a half years old, she displayed an impressive ability to identify ragas. Her father, recognizing her interest and talent, enrolled her in music and dance classes & her parents supported her learning process by providing her with essential listening materials. Priyadarshini began her Carnatic Vocal under the tutelage of Guru Smt. Sharadha Swaminathan and Bharathanatyam under the guidance of Shri. Suryanarayana Murthy, a disciple of the legendary Shri. V. P. Dhananjayan. Her grandfather, Shri. Balasubramaniam, played a significant role in taking her to her classes. Priyadarshini’s passion for music grew as she progressed, and at the age of six and a half, she astonished everyone with her ability to sing Varnams in Raga Abhogi ‘Evvari Bodana’ and Raga Mohanam ‘Ninnukori’ effortlessly.

Priyadarshini first film stage performance with full live orchestra at Tamil Sangam, Doha, Qatar at the age of eight

Following her family’s relocation to Doha, Qatar, she spent the majority of her early childhood there. Her primary education began at M.E.S Indian School. As it was an Arabian country, she faced challenges in finding the appropriate Carnatic Vocal teacher to continue her singing lessons. However, she was fortunate enough to learn Carnatic Music under her grandmother, Smt. Sarojini, who was a graded artist at the All India Radio and a disciple of Musiri Subramanya Iyer. This allowed her to continue her passion for Music despite being in a different country.

Priyadarshini’s natural talent for grasping the nuances of film songs and her passion for music were further nurtured when she was introduced to Western Music and learned to play the electronic keyboard as part of her school curriculum. This diverse musical exposure prepared her for the significant milestone in her career – singing a popular film song at Qatar Tamil Sangam‘s mega musical show.

Performing in front of a live orchestra and a large audience, Priyadarshini sang the iconic ‘Sundelikkum Sundelikkum’ from the Tamil movie ‘Kaithi Kannayiram.’ This song was originally sung by the legendary playback singer M.S. Rajeswari and composed by the esteemed K.V. Mahadevan. She learned this song from her mother, Sumathi. Her powerful performance left the audience in awe, earning her a standing ovation and a wave of appreciation.

This remarkable experience ignited a stronger interest in singing Indian film songs and fueled her dream of becoming a playback singer. Subsequently, Priyadarshini became a regular performer at monthly recitals and annual programs in Doha, continuously honing her skills and captivating audiences with her melodious voice.

Priyadarshini conferred the title ‘Nightingale’ after she won multiple championship trophies in singing competitions in Singapore

Sooner, the family moved to Singapore due to her father’s job. She continued her primary education at Boon Lay Primary School and then Northland Primary School, Singapore. Throughout her educational journey, she was passionate about music and actively participated in cultural shows and music competitions. She then became a child artist for Television shows at the Singapore Broadcasting Corporation like ‘Chinna Kanmanigal’ and pursued her singing career alongside her studies. She completed her secondary education at Yishun Secondary School where she was conferred the title ‘The Nightingale’. Her intense love for music was evident right from her childhood days on seeing her participation in numerous music competitions where she won several championship trophies in inter-school competitions making her parents and school proud. She also continued her advanced vocal training in Carnatic Music under Smt. Sharada Shankar and after her passing away, Priyadarshini continued her learning for a short duration from Guru Smt. Bhagya Murthy. She continued her Western Music under Legendary Cine Musician Shri. Radha Vijayan in Singapore who is the Lead Guitarist for many renowned Music Directors including Legend Shri. M. S. Viswanathan. She learnt Hindustani music & Ghazals under Pandit Shri. Charan for a few years at Nrityalaya, Singapore. As she visited India during her school holidays, she learnt Guitar under Legendary Cine Musician Shri. Sada Sudarsanam who is the Lead Guitarist for Maestro Ilaiyaraaja.

She admired Bollywood actor Rajesh Khanna and Ghazal singer Mehdi Hassan, which further fueled her love for music.

Priyadarshini is an exemplary individual who excels not only in her academic pursuits but also in various extracurricular activities. Her active involvement in her school’s cultural activities, leadership roles, and community service showcases her commitment to personal growth and making a positive impact on society. The training at the National Community Leadership Institute (NACLI) in Singapore has further honed her leadership skills, preparing her for future responsibilities.

Her kind-hearted nature and empathy towards underprivileged, senior citizens, and specially-abled individuals are evident through her community service efforts by visiting Sri Narayana Mission Home, Sunshine Welfare Action Mission Home etc. . Participating in events like Sembawang Beach Cleanup and fundraising activities demonstrate her responsibility as a global citizen.

In addition to her outstanding achievements in community service and leadership, Priyadarshini has also made her mark in the realm of sports and physical fitness. Her Bronze Standard in the National Physical Fitness Award Test and numerous accolades in sports meet activities reflect her dedication to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and excelling in various sports, including table tennis, where she represented her school in competitions.

Priyadarshini’s television music shows and performances gained her recognition among music enthusiasts. As she progressed, she continued to perform in various shows like ‘Ninaithale Inikkum’ on Mediacorp Vasantham Television Channel. Her high school years at Yishun Junior College marked a significant milestone in her musical journey. She emerged victorious once again in the tertiary category of Singapore Radio Oli 96.8‘s singing competition. This achievement earned her a remarkable prize – a trip to India to meet prominent personalities in the Indian film industry and the classical music field.

This incredible opportunity allowed the young girl to fulfill her dreams. She had the chance to interact with and meet renowned figures such as Music Directors Ilaiyaraaja, Deva, Vidyasagar, Karthik Raja, and Yuvan Shankar Raja. She also got to meet actors like Kamal Haasan, Ajith Kumar, Mammootty, S. Ve Shekher, Manivannan, and Karan. Additionally, Priyadarshini had the pleasure of meeting actresses Devayani, Khushbu, and playback singers K.J Yesudas, Unnikrishnan, and Nithyasree Mahadevan, among others. This experience undoubtedly enriched her musical career and provided her with invaluable knowledge and inspiration.

Priyadarshini with Maestro Ilaiyaraaja in the year 1999

Priyadarshini pursued an undergraduate degree in Electrical & Electronics Engineering at the prestigious Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. While studying engineering, she was offered a chance to sing for the Indian Film Industry. This opportunity led her to sing for the Tamil movie Kadhal Dot Com in 2004 under the music direction of Ramani Bharadwaj, marking a memorable moment in her life. She flew from Singapore to record the song “Kadhal Kadhal” with singer Hariharan.This was an unforgettable moment in Priyadarshini’s life and her childhood dream of becoming a playback singer came true. 

Over time, she received numerous offers to sing in Kannada, Telugu, and other Indian language films. Upon completing her Bachelor’s degree with a First Class, she received job offers from Multinational Companies. However, given her success in the music industry, Priyadarshini chose to make music her full-time profession. She continued to learn and grow as a musician, studying Carnatic music under the guidance of Smt. Latha Ramchand and Smt. Mangalam Shankar. Priyadarshini believes that learning is a lifelong process and has embraced this philosophy throughout her career.

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