BACK IN 2001, Sasi the Don had just released his debut album, Manitha Piravi, and was invited to be the opening act for a concert headlined by two South Indian singing superstars, Anuradha Sriram and Shankar Mahadevan, in Kuala Lumpur.
Anuradha later complimented Sasi on his music – something that stayed with him through the years, even as he released more albums and worked with international artistes such as Apache Indian, Dr. Alban and Maxi Priest, and won several music awards along the way.
Some two decades later, Sasi got the chance to collaborate with his idol, Anuradha, on his comeback song, ABCD, after having taken a four-year hiatus from the music industry.
ABCD will be featured in his upcoming album, Timeless.
Sasi (full name Sasidharan Chandran) is well-known for his songs which encompass reggae, pop and world music.
He said ABCD, which will be released one month before Deepavali (which falls on Nov 6), is essentially about him going back to where it all started.
That is why he decided to name the song ABCD, because “when you go to school, you learn the basics like ABC”, adding that “no matter how far you go in life, sometimes you need to go back to basics and live your life again”.
Describing the opportunity to finally work with the singer he has long admired, Sasi said he met Anuradha again at Chennai airport in 2009 when he was there to sort out his album, Hello India.
He was surprised and thrilled that she not only remembered him, but his music as well.
They kept in touch, and when he began planning his comeback, he thought it would be perfect if he recorded the song with Anuradha.
“I made a call a month ago and told her about the song, and that I was going to record it. In the process of doing this, I knew I had to have a purpose for coming back.”
Anuradha, who was present at the press conference with Sasi, said she sees the opportunity to work with the singer as “fate”.
“I guess I always believed whatever happens, it happens for the best,” she added.
“That is what my father taught me.
“Whenever something good happens, we thank God.
“If things don't go our way, we blame God.
“We fail to realise that when something doesn't happen, it was just not good for you.
“I always believe in giving your best, and if you are worthy, people will come back to you.”
On what she saw in Sasi all those years ago, Anuradha said: “He was doing something new back then.
“Now, you see many Malaysian rappers in the Tamil industry, but he was doing that two decades ago. “
She added that she and Sasi had talked about collaborating in the past, but never acted on it.
Now with ABCD, she is also happy that the track has Sasi paying homage to her old Tamil movie hit songs.
This Indian superstar has performed all over the world, and always has regular gigs despite never having to promote herself on social media.
She is grateful that people love her work.
Having recorded over 3,000 songs in her career, she is now semi-retired, as most music directors nowadays prefer working with new singers rather than experienced ones like her.
In a way, ABCD is a comeback song not only for Sasi, but also for Anuradha.