The multilingual singer talks about his journey and finding his space in the industry
Yazin Nizar is on a high as he was able to sing under AR Rahman’s baton after all these years. He has sung for the composer in Galatta Kalyanam, the Tamil dubbed version of Atrangi Re, starring Dhanush, Sara Ali Khan and Akshay Kumar. He has sung a melody number, ‘Kaadhalai solla mudiyaadha’, with Shashaa Tirupati.
The film, directed by Aanand L Rai, releases on Disney+ Hotstar on December 24.
“I had sung in the background score of some of Rahman sir’s projects. But this is my first release and I am thrilled,” says the Chennai-based singer. “I had come down to my home in Kollam, Kerala when I got a message late at night to reach Rahman sir’s studio in Chennai. It was a call I had been waiting for. So I took the first flight the next morning.”
Yazin is also excited about being part of the much-awaited, big-budget Telugu period drama, SR Rajamouli’s RRR, starring Ram Charan and Junior NTR, which has music by MM Keeravani. The film is releasing on January 7, 2022, in Tamil, Kannada, Hindi and Malayalam.
Yazin is among the five singers featured in the film’s track ‘Dosti’, which has been released as a music video. He has sung the Kannada version of the song. The other singers are Amit Trivedi (Hindi), Anirudh Ravichander (Tamil), Vijay Yesudas (Malayalam) and Hemachandra (Telugu). Besides the singers, the video features Keeravani and the lead actors.
“The song is about friendship and it was a memorable experience shooting it with such big names. We were treated like actors during the shoot! Rajamouli sir was there on the set with his family,” he adds. He has also sung a dance number in the film — in Tamil and Malayalam [‘Naathu koothu’/ ‘Karinthol’].
The singer is fresh from the success of the Tamil music video, ‘Yaathi Yaathi’, starring Ashwin Kumar and Harshadaa Vijay. The video, which also has voices of Anuradha Sriram and Abhishek CS, has clocked nearly 20 million views on YouTube since it released in October. His latest film projects in Tamil are Maara and Oh Manapenne!.
With a career spanning all the South Indian languages and Hindi, Yazin has over 500 songs to his credit. But he did not have a dream start to his career. Although he debuted in 2003 with the Malayalam film Punarjani, it took another 10 years or so for him to get noticed. Winner of many music reality shows, Yazin made steady progress after 2012 with songs in multiple languages.
- He debuted in Tamil in 2013 with Paradesi for composer G V Prakash Kumar. Among his notable tracks in Tamil are ‘Cheeni chillale’ (Sketch), ‘Pookalai killi vanthu’ (Pasanga 2), ‘Yavanna’ (Satya), ‘Yaro ival’ (Thirumamam enum nikah), ‘Jayalakshmi’ (Saithan), ‘Jananam’ (Goli Soda), ‘Nee illa agayam’ (Rangoon) and ‘Sarithana’ (Amarakaaviyam) and ‘Injaadhe’ (Nedunchaalai).
- His Telugu hits include ‘O Manasa cheruvaga’ (Oka Manasu), ‘Apple beauty’ (Janata Garage), ‘Nalo chipi kala’ (Lover), ‘Charusheela’ (Srimanthudu), ‘Seetakalam’ (Son of Sathyamurthy), ‘Meghalu lekunna’ (Kumari 21F). Last year, he worked with Amit Trivedi in the thriller, V.
- He got a break in Malayalam with ‘Ayyoayyo’ from Spanish Masala. Cousins, 101 Weddings, Thattathin Marayathu, Ozhimuri, Vikramadityan, Edakkad Battalion 06, Thakkol and Mamangam are among his major releases.
- Yazin’s biggest success in indie music is ‘Neeye’, a trilingual music video that went viral. He sung the duet, composed by Phani Kalyan, in Tamil, Kannada and Telugu.
“I kept trying for a break and it took sometime for everything to fall into place,” he says. While he has sung more songs for Ghibran in Tamil, he has a successful track record with Devi Sri Prasad in Telugu, the latest being Uppena. “It has been an honour to have sung for musicians from the same family… for instance, Ilaiyaraaja sir and son Yuvan Sankar Raja, and Mani Sharma and Mahati Swara Sagar.”
Comparing his experience in different languages, Yazin says that the focus is on pronouncing the words correctly. Having sung songs in multiple genres, he adds: “It is important to get my voice registered in the minds of listeners, irrespective of the genre. I make a conscious effort to do that.”
Success brings with it several challenges, especially with plenty of talented singers in the industry. “Hard work should never stop if you want to find a space,” he adds.
Among his upcoming releases is the Malayalam film, Arattu, starring Mohanlal. “I started my career with Punarjani in which his son, Pranav, was a child actor,” he says.
The musician is happy that he is living his father, Nizar A’s dream. “I lost him five months ago. He has been my guiding force. These days, I am listening to the evergreen songs that he loved. That is my way of connecting with him,” Yazin signs off.