Known for creating a string of hit songs like ‘Let’s Nacho’, ‘Badtameez Dil’ and ‘Punjabi Wedding Song’ singer Benny Dayal says he owes his flourishing career to India’s music maestro AR. Rahman. It was Rahman who noticed Benny and took an audition. The two have created hits like ‘Kaise Mujhe Tum Mil Gayi’, ‘Tu Hi To Meri Dost Hain’ and ‘Nazrein Milana Nazrein Churana’.

Asked if he credits his career to Rahman, Benny told IANS: “Of course, I credit it to Rahman sir. I sang for his music and his music has elevated my career this far.”

How it all started

The Rising Star, the latest find of Rahman is the voice to watch out for in the music business.

Most of the songs that he has sung seem to reflect his personality to the Tee fun, confident and passionate. Twenty three-year-old Benny Dayal has had the dream start in the music industry that many dream of. His debut was with A.R. Rahman and from then on he has gone on to wield the microphone for the likes of Harris Jayaraj, Vidyasagar and G.V. Prakash.

His first song to hit the airwaves was Maduraikku Pogadhedi, from the film ‘Azhagiya Thamizh Magan’ in which he has also sung Nee Marylin Monroe Cloninga, both of which can get you to shake a leg or two. But it wasn’t just luck, there’s a lot of practice and exposure that earned him the call from Rahman’s studio.

Based in the Gulf, Benny came to Chennai to earn a graduation degree from MCC. That’s when he participated in SS Music channel’s talent hunt contest and became a part of the then-famous S5 band. A few years later, he was also spotted in Vijay TV’s ‘Paadum Office’, a singing competition between professionals working in corporate offices and is a part of a Rock and Roll band called “Rainbow Bridge”.

He has also sung a few ad jingles. And all this with the Tamil he had picked up while in Chennai, and that’s really good going by his songs.”I don’t know how but somehow I must have got noticed and that’s how I got a call from A.R. Rahman’s studio to sing in the chorus”, confesses the singer. From a chorus singer for the song Balleilakka in ‘Sivaji’, he was chosen to lend his voice for his first solo song.

As a newcomer, it must have been quite an experience to sing for A.R.Rahman. “Yes. It was great. He is very sweet and very chilled out. He does not loose his temper and sees work as fun. He makes things easier for the singer as well so that it is a win-win situation for both”, he comments. “In the song Maduraikku Pogadhedi, the female chorus singers accidentally laughed during the recording and Rahman thought that sounded nice and used it instead of a line in the song”, recounts Benny reflecting on Rahman’s adaptable and spontaneous working style.

Love of music

You needn’t be a psycho-analyst to find out how passionate Benny is about music and singing when he says “I have no expectations. I just want to be recognized and make people happy with my songs. Music to me is the food of life. I live to sing”. He has been learning Carnatic music for 14 years and is also learning Hindustani now. “I try to be versatile and am always ready for the worst. For instance, if they want me to sing like a person who can’t sing then I have to know how to do just that. “On stage, he is his usual fun-self. “I enjoy singing and that’s shown on the stage as well. When we perform on stage we need to be more interactive”, he feels.

Benny is making a splash in Bollywood as well with his songs Pappu cant dance and Nazrein Milana from the film ‘Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na’. He attributes his success to his parents, brother and his friends – Akhil, Arindam, Eben, Sandeep and Christopher. But success hasn’t changed him one bit, he assures. “I don’t let success get into my head. So when I don’t change, people around me don’t change as well.” Rest assured.

Quick bites:

Favorite song: All the songs from ‘Kandukondein Kandukondein’

Favorite Artist: Shankar Mahadevan, Kishore Kumar, S. Janaki, Asha Bhonsle, Chitra, Chinmayi, Shreya Goshal.