Sai Vignesh Wiki, Age, Family, Biography & More

Sai Vignesh is an Indian playback singer, musician, Carnatic vocalist, music teacher, and content creator who primarily lends his voice to Tamil and Telugu language songs. In September 2022, he shot to fame for rendering his voice to the song “Varaha Roopam” from the Kannada film Kantara.

Wiki/Biography

R. Sai Vignesh [1], or Sai Vignesh Ramakrishnan [2], was born on Thursday, 20 November 1996 (age 26 years; as of 2022) in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. Sai attended Smt Ramkuwar Devi Fomra Vivekananda Vidyalaya (2001-2011) and Sri Ahobila Math Oriental Higher Secondary School (2012) in Chennai. In 2014, he pursued a Bachelor of Commerce degree at Loyola College, Chennai. Sai enrolled himself at the University of Madras, where he earned a Master of Music in Vocal Performance. [3]

Physical Appearance

Height (approx.): 5′ 5″

Weight (approx.): 65 kg

Hair Colour: Black

Eye Colour: Black

Family

Parents & Siblings

Sai’s father, Ramakrishnan Venkatachalam, is a keyboard player. His mother’s name is Vijayalakhmi Ramakrishnan.

Sai Vignesh with his father, Ramakrishnan Venkatachalam (left)

Sai Vignesh with his mother, Vijayalakhmi Ramakrishnan

Wife 

Sai Vignesh is unmarried.

Other Relatives

Sai’s grandmother’s name is V. Vijaylakshami.

Sai Vignesh with his grandparents

Religion/Religious Views

Since childhood, Sai and his family were devotees of Sathya Sai Baba, and he used to perform devotional songs at the Sathya Sai organizations on several occasions. [4]

Sai Vignesh, seeking blessing from Sathya Sai Baba

Career

During his childhood days, Sai used to accompany and sing along with his grandmother, V. Vijaylakshamim, in her stage singing performances. When Sai was six, his father noticed his talent and enrolled him in music classes, and he started classical music training from the musician Lakshmi Ananthakrishnan. In 2010, Sai participated in the singing reality show School Singer in which school kids competed against each other to win the title. In 2013, Sai gained recognition after he participated as a contestant in the Tamil singing reality television show Airtel Super Singer Season 4 on Star Vijay, and he was among the top 7 contestants.

Sai Vignesh in a still from the Tamil singing reality television show Airtel Super Singer Season 4 on Star Vijay

In 2018, Sai made his singing debut as a playback singer with the song ‘Oora Nenjila’ from the Tamil film Eghantham. In the same year, he lent his voice to the song ‘Kaalai Theme’ from the Tamil film Kadaikutty Singam.  In 2022, he made his playback debut in the Telugu language with the song ‘Anuragam Ashai’ from the film Darunam. Sai rose to fame in the Kannada film industry with his debut Kannada song ‘Varaha Roopam’ from the film Kantara (2022). As of 2023, the song crossed over 62M views on YouTube.

#VarahaRoopam – 𝐓𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠 #𝟏 𝐨𝐧 @YouTubeIndia ❤️‍🔥
– https://t.co/KC8vw1ZSsR#DivineBlockbusterKantara#Kantara @shetty_rishab @VKiragandur @hombalefilms @gowda_sapthami @HombaleGroup @AJANEESHB #ArvindKashyap @actorkishore @KantaraFilm pic.twitter.com/a0lSUre1rB

— Hombale Films (@hombalefilms) October 21, 2022

In the same year, his song ‘Kurumugil’ from the Telugu film Sita Ramam was well-received by the audience.

Awards

  • 2013: Second Runner-Up Award at the Times of India Thyagaraja Awards

    Sai Vignesh while recieving his Second Runner-Up Award at the Times of India Thyagaraja Awards

  • 2017: Top Voices for the Future 2017​ Award from TAG Carnatic Music Forum
  • 2018: Best Vocal​ Artist Award from The Music Academy at the Spirit of Youth Festival 2018
  • 2019: Best Concert Award from The Music Academy for his HCL series concert
  • 2019: Received Sri Shanmukhananda Bharat Ratna Dr M. S. Subbulakshmi Fellowship Award in Carnatic Music

    Sai Vignesh posing with his Sri Shanmukhananda Bharat Ratna Dr M. S. Subbulakshmi Fellowship Award in Carnatic Music

Facts/Trivia

  • Sai took professional singing training from the musician T. R. Vasudevan, who belonged to Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu.
  • In June 2014, Sai won the “Sing with Shankar Mahadevan Contest 2014” organized by Shankar Mahadevan Academy, and additionally, he got an opportunity to perform live with him in Bangalore.
  • Sai was a “B” high-grade artist of All India Radio (AIR). There are four grades i.e. B, B-High, A, and Top, which are awarded by a Committee of music experts to the artists based on the quality standards of their performances.
  • In an interview, Sai stated that Gautham Menon is one of his favourite directors.
  • Since childhood, Sai considered Dr S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, a playback singer and music composer, as his inspiration.
  • In an interview, Sai talked about how he developed an interest in music at such a young age and said,

    My grandmother used to sing, and also hear Carnatic music on the radio, every morning and noon. I used to listen to them regularly. My father is a keyboard player and my aunts sing bhajans at home. So, my love for music started at home itself.” [5]

  • Sai performed in more than 1000 live shows in India as well as in other countries like the United States, Canada, London, Singapore, Australia, Germany, and many more. He had shared the stage with a few leading music artists like Ilaiyaraaja, S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Shankar Mahadevan, K. S. Chithra, and D. Imman.
  • Sai provides music training to aspiring musicians through online and offline workshops.
  • Sai, when he was in eighth standard, sang his first jingle for the film soundtrack composer Vishal Chandrashekar.
  • Sai describes himself as a Carnatic musician as he received training in Carnatic music for 18 years.
  • On 7 May 2017, Sai performed for the first time at a live concert in London for Britain’s 18th Saiva Conference.
  • In 2019, Sai was appointed as an empanelled artist of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), Government of India.
  • In 2020, Sai, along with dancer Kavya Muralidharan, and music producer Navin Shankar, founded an Indo Classical Contemporary Fusion band, Gandiva, in Chennai. Their first video, Shiva Tandava, which was uploaded on the channel on 1 January 2021, garnered more than 1 million views on YouTube.
  • In an interview, despite not knowing the Kannada language well, Sai talked about his experience of recording the super hit song from the film Kantara and said,

    I have sung the climax song in the film, titled Varaha Roopam. It is a very intense number. While Kurumugil was a romantic melody, this song was special because I’ve been learning Carnatic music for 18 years and have always wanted to sing a classical number with a contemporary touch. I am very thankful to composer Ajaneesh Loknath for calling me to sing this one. Even here, I was originally asked to sing the track version. But it was a good experience to learn the lyrics and sing in Kannada, a language that I’m not familiar with.” [6]

  • Sai’s hobbies include travelling, driving, photography, and watching films.
  • On 30 September 2022, the Kannada film Kantara, starring Rishab Shetty, was released in theatres in India. One of the film’s songs, Varaha Roopam, sung by Sai Vignesh, stocked controversy after Thaikkudam Bridge, a Kerala-based multi-genre music band alleged that the song was purposedly copied from one of their songs Navarasam, which was released in 2015. On 24 October 2022, the band shared an Instagram post in which they accused the makers of the film of plagiarising their song without their permission and announced that they will file a lawsuit against them. On 27 October, the Thaikkudam Bridge band approached the Kozhikode District Court and on 28 October the court passed an interim injunction in favour of the Thaikkudam Bridge band and ordered to remove the song from various online streaming platforms including theatres, streaming platforms, and social media. Another petition was filed at the Palakkad Court in Kerala by the Mathrubhumi Printing and Publishing Company Ltd, which held the copyright of the Navarasam song. However, the makers of the film denied the allegations, but obeyed the court order and removed the song from all the streaming platforms. On 3 December the Palakkad district court lifted the ban, citing a lack of jurisdiction and the song was available again on all platforms. In an interview, Sai talked about the ongoing legal dispute between the film-makers and the Thaikkudam Bridge band and said,

    I cannot speak on behalf of the music composer or the film’s team. I had not listened to ‘Navarasam’ before we recorded the track. In my opinion, the mood of both the tracks are different. ‘Navarasam’ depicts nine bhavas (emotions), whereas ‘Varaha Roopam’ concentrates on the Bhoota Kola culture and is more about divinity. ‘Varaha Roopam’ is not based on the same set of Ragas as ‘Navarasam’.”[7]

  • In 2022, Sai Vignesh was invited to judge the second season of an online Tamil singing competition, Kuralosai 916 on Youtube. In the show, contestants competed against each other by recording and sending a two-minute video of any Tamil song based on the music genre assigned.
  • Sai Vignesh has a self-titled YouTube channel, where he posts videos of his singles; the channel has more than 10000 subscribers. On 9 December 2022, he uploaded the unplugged version of his Kannada song Varaha Roopam, which garnered views of over 250K within 3 days.
  • As of 2023, Sai had lent his voice to more than 500 recordings and worked with many renowned music directors like Ilaiyaraaja, Yuvan Shankar Raja, A. R. Rahman, and Harris Jayaraj [8]