M J Shriram, a veteran singer-actor for 35 years, has conducted more than 5,000 concerts. Also, he has been conducting a Tamil resto karaoke concert titled ‘Mind Body Soul’ at the Black and White resto bar at The Residency on GN Chetti Road for the past 12 years. The show has completed 600 weeks as on 24 June and the 601st episode is all set to be held on 1 July.
Talking about the concert, Shriram said that it materialised during a casual talk with the General Manager of The Residency 12 years ago on 10 September 2009.
“I pitched him with the idea of doing a Tamil karaoke concert in the resto bar. Though he hesitated initially, he agreed to go ahead with the idea and we commenced the next week itself. Already concerts were conducted on Wednesday and Friday. I was usually busy on weekends, and so we chose Thursday for our concert. From then on, it is held from 8 pm to 12 am every Thursday,” he said.
Even during lockdown we conducted the concert on Facebook and the 601st week event will also be held on Facebook, he added.
Shriram said that the concert is going to complete 12 years on 17 September.
He added: ‘Mind Body Soul’ was the first full Tamil Retro night to have started in Chennai and the speciality of this concert is that it focuses only on songs of Ilaiyaraja and SPB.
“The concert begins with ‘Idhu Oru Ponmazhai Pozhudhu’ and proceeds with the requests made by the audience. Our show has several repeat celebrity audiences,” he said.
During every milestone week, we made it a point to invite SPB and honour the musicians who were part of Ilayaraja’s troupe, Shriram added.
“Several chief guests including MSV, Gangai Amaran, Vidyasagar have graced the milestone weeks of the concert. Gangai Amaran, SPB Charan and Ramesh Vinayagam were the chief guests for the 600th week,” he said.
Fans hope that if maestro Ilayaraja could grace the 700th or the 750th week of the show, it would get fulfilment.
Shriram said that SPB was very fond of this Retro Night and often complimented him. “I will always follow his footsteps and he will always be my guru,” he said.
“I would like to express my gratitude to my sound engineer Sekhar, my co-singer Akhila and the hotel management for their continued support all these years. I am also thankful to the audience who have extended their unconditional support to us for the past 12 years,” he added.