Welcome to the Gaana Music Festival blog! As we count down to the largest Indian music festival in North America, you can expect exclusive content here – from interviews to behind the scenes, from observations to insider tips.

April 22, 2019 // Playlist

Meet the South Indian side of the maestro, Hariharan

Many people know Hariharan as one-half of Indipop fusion duo Colonial Cousins, or from his several contributions to Bollywood. But did you know he sings in over seven languages? At Gaana Music Festival 2019, the legend has something very special – a curated set from vast South Indian repertoire, which includes frequent collaborations with AR Rahman. In fact, you might identify several of the tracks as they’ve been remade for Bollywood later!

Here’s a curation of some of his tracks from down South to catch you up to speed, as the festival draws closer!


Film: Bombay, 1995
Language: Tamil
Music director: AR Rahman

Soft. Soulful. Mesmerising. This standout track from the spectacular ‘Bombay’ OST is arguably the best collaboration between A.R.Rahman and Hariharan. If it’s hindi version ‘Tu Hi Re’ was special, the original in Tamil is truly a vocal masterclass that must not be missed. In fact, Hariharan himself often acknowledges Uyire to be the best song he has ever sung.

Listen to it on Gaana | YouTube

Telephone Manipol

Film: Indian, 1996
Language: Tamil
Music director: AR Rahman

Another superhit from the Rahman-Hariharan combo, this catchy number is definitely a deviation from the usual softer melodic songs the singer is known for. And yet, listeners enjoy it just it as much! Hariharan infuses lots of fun alongside pitch perfect melody in this track and a quick listen will convince you that he really REALLY enjoyed singing this one!

Listen to it on YouTube

Aaro Paadunnu

Film: Kadha Thudarunnu, 2010
Language: Malayalam
Music director: Ilayaraaja

When K.S Chithra and Hariharan come together to sing a romantic ballad, how can it be anything but gorgeous? This Ilaiyaraaja composition won Hariharan a number of awards including the Filmfare for Best Male Playback Singer, and was an instant fan favourite when it released. Listen to it for its sheer simplicity and ability to bring a dreamy smile to your face.

Listen to it on YouTube

Pachchai Nirame/ Pachchadanamey

Film: Alaipayuthey / Sakhi, 2000
Language: Tamil / Telugu (respectively)
Music director: AR Rahman

You might be more familiar with its Hindi version, but Hariharan’s rendition of Pachchai Nirame and Pachchadanamey (In Tamil and Telugu respectively) is pure love. Beautiful lyrics, that gorgeous composition by Rahman, and Hariharan’s silky smooth yet utterly zesty and uplifting vocals – perfection. This one has become an anthem of sorts for lovers everywhere, and it’s so easy to see why!

Listen to it on Gaana | Youtube


Film: Minsara Kanavu, 1997
Language: Tamil
Music director: AR Rahman

Quintessential Hariharan, Vennilave shows off the Maestro’s classical training and his versatility all in one song. At times smooth and easy and equally complex in parts, the vocals on this Prabhudeva-Kajol starrer should be heard with headphones on and the volume high.

Listen to it on Gaana | Youtube

There you have it! Even if you don’t understand any of these languages, it’s easy to appreciate the melody and the genius of Hariharan. Will these tracks make it to Gaana Music Festival? If not – don’t worry, the maestro has several other tracks you will love. Catch him bring his curated South Indian set to the festival this June.