After AR Rahman brought home the statuette in 2009, Chennai has one more Oscar possibility this year - celebrated classical singer Bombay Jayashree.
The singer, who straddles multiple genres of music, has been nominated for the best original song for her lullaby in Life of Pi. The song has been written, composed and sung by Jayashree for the Canadian composer Mychael Danna, who scored the music for the film.
Given that there are only five nominees in each category, Jayashree has a minimum chance of 20 percent in winning the award. The soundtrack of Life of Pi has won considerable acclaim across the world and Jayashree’s mellifluous title track has become a sort of signature tune of the movie.
Since the Oscar nominations, this song, in which the mother puts her child to sleep while describing how precious and beautiful he is, has generated enormous buzz in social media, particularly on YouTube.
This is also the first Tamil song to be nominated for an Oscar.
Bombay Jayashree is one of the busiest classical musicians in the south, who was trained in both Carnatic and Hindustani streams from a very young age. Even while pursuing pure classical music, she experiments with different genres and also sings for films. Most of her film songs, with composers such as Rahman, Ilayaraja, Harris Jayaraj, Yuvan Shankar Raja, have been chart busters.
Her most notable songs have been with Harris Jayaraj. In fact, her first major hit vaseegara (zara zara in Hindi) was composed by him.
Jayashree was also featured in a full-length recital on film titled Margazhi Ragam. With fellow-musician TM Krishna, she also conducts an annual festival for students of music.
Mychael Danna has also been nominated for the his score for Life of Pi. The composer, who is known for his eclectic style and integration of elements of global music into movie compositions, is not new to Indian audience - he had composed the music for Dipa Mehta’s Water (with Rahman) and Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding.
His Hollywood films include Oscar winners Moneyball (Brad Pitt - 2011) and Capote (Philip Seymour Hoffman - 2005).