Ilayaraaja live in concert: ‘Raaja’ of music spreads magic in Hyderabad’s air

Ilayaraaja set the stage for legendary singers like Mano, Sunitha, SPB Charan, Karthik, Vibhavari Apte and others to sing his compositions


HYDERABAD: “Before I compose a melody, it's in the air, after I sing it too, it gets mixed in the air. What adds magic to the music to connect it to souls into is God,” said the living God of music Maestro Ilayaraaja, while filling the air of Hyderabad with soulful notes and leaving the audience hooked to their seats and vibing to his music till almost midnight on Sunday.

One always sees the artists saying ‘turn on your flashlights to record a beautiful video’, but the magic of Raaja was such that when his classic composition ‘Maate Mantramu’ was being sung, the entire Gachibowli Stadium was lit up with the audience automatically turning on torch lights from mobile phones. Ilayaraaja himself was amazed with the love that Hyderabadis showered on him.

The Stadium was filled with almost 10,000 people, of all ages and backgrounds, coming together to experience a night of pure soulful music. ‘The man for every emotion’ truly took everyone on an emotional rollercoaster with different genres of music. Some went on a nostalgic trip back to their days of youth and some were swayed away with the energy that was filled in the concert.

Starting the concert by singing Janani Sivagamini, Ilayaraaja set the stage for legendary singers like Mano, Sunitha, SPB Charan, Karthik, Vibhavari Apte and others to sing his compositions. The tunes of songs like ‘Jallantha Tullintha’, ‘Abba Nee Teeyani Debba’, ‘Hello Guru’, ‘Takita Thadimi’, ‘Yamaho Ni Yama Yama’ or ‘Botany Matter’ made audiences dance on their seats while other songs like ‘Mounamelanoyi’, ‘Lali Lali, ‘Enno Ratrulostayi' made audience sit back, close their eyes and feel the beauty of these retro Telugu songs. The night was filled with 35 songs, sung by classic singers including Ilayaraaja and backed by an outstanding Ilayaraaja orchestra.

Music composer Devi Sri Prasad, who was called onto the stage from the audience by the King of music Ilayaraaja himself, said that he was one of the biggest admirers of Ilayaraaja. “Ilayaraaja is the only man in this whole world, who has no barriers of regions, cities, countries or anything. Because music has no language and Raaja sir’s music touches all. He is truly the man for every emotion. Thank you is a very small and worthless word to present to him because he has blessed us with his music. We can never praise you enough Ilayaraaja garu,” DSP said. He also said that Ilayaraaja was an inspiration to not just other music composers, but also to singers, music directors, film writers, lyricists, and everyone who called himself an artist.

Devi Sri Prasad, Lakshmi Manchu, Anchor Suma, Actress Varsha Bollamma and many other celebrities were part of the audience.

The Ilayaraaja concert also included a tribute to Indian Film Director K Vishwanath who passed away in February 2023. Ilayaraaja, being the legend that he is, also broke down the orchestra for the song ‘O Priya Priya’ and showed the audience how music is just bits and pieces of melodies mixed together to form wonders.

The concert, which went on till almost midnight, left everyone wanting for more. However, even the audience understood that putting together and ‘summing up’ all songs of someone like Ilayaraaja would be impossible. ‘The night when Ilayaraaja performed in Hyderabad’ would be left as one of the best nights of everybody’s lives.

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