|Name M. S. Baburaj|
Role Film actor
Also known as Baburaj, Babukka
Spouse Vani Viswanath (m. 2002)
|Genres Film score|
Upcoming movie Turning Point
Years active 1957–1978
Born 9 March 1929, Kozhikode, Kerala, India (1921-03-09)
Died 7 October 1978 , (1978-10-07) (aged 49)
Occupation(s) Composer, singer, instrumentalist,
Children Archa Jacob, Akshay Jacob, Adhri Jacob, Abay Jacob
Parents T.I.Karmali Thottungal, P.J.Jacob Oleekkal
Movies Manushyamrugam, Honey Bee, Salt N' Pepper, Peruchazhi, Tamaar Padaar
Similar Vani Viswanath, Dileesh Pothan, Shammi Thilakan
Birth name Mohammad Sabir Baburaj
Mohammad Sabir Baburaj (Malayalam: എം.എസ്. ബാബുരാജ്), also known as M. S. Baburaj, was a Malayalam music composer. He is often credited for the renaissance of Malayalam film music. Baburaj has rendered music to many evergreen Malayalam film songs.
Baburaj was born on 9 March 1929 in Kozhikode, then known as Calicut. His early childhood was spent in destitution and poverty. His father, Jan Muhammed Khan, who was a Hindustani musician from Bengal who frequently held concerts in Kerala, deserted his Malayali mother when he was very young, and returned to his native Kolkata. Baburaj thus became fatherless, often singing songs in trains to make a living. But as luck would have it, a policeman, Kunjahammed (he was called Kunjahammed ka), an enthusiast of music from his native town of Kozhikode, noticing the boy's vocal talents, decided to virtually adopt him.
One of his greatest achievements was the introduction of Hindustani strains into Malayalam popular music. He successfully composed melodies based on Hindustani Ragas and blended Malayalam lyrics into them. Most of the lyrics were written by eminent Malayalam poets like P. Bhaskaran and Vayalar.
Baburaj learned basic lessons of Hindustani music from his father from a very young age, but he could not learn it for long due to his father's demise. In search of pure music, young Baburaj visited West Bengal, Mumbai and Sri Lanka. He learned to play the Harmonium during this period.
He came back to Kerala to a precarious existence. He sang on the streets of Kozhikode to earn his livelihood. Police constable Kunju Muhammed, who was a fan of Baburaj's father, adopted him and brought him up.
Later he started composing music for the Malayalam dramas in the Malabar region and thus slowly entered the field of music direction. In 1957, he composed music for the Malayalam film Minnaminungu, by Ramu Kariat, thus entering the Malayalam film industry. Then he worked with director P. Venu and composed classic songs like "Anuragaganam Pole", "Ezhuthiyatharanu Sujatha", and "Kalichirimaaratha Penne" for the film Udhyogastha (1967).
Baburaj was also an accomplished singer and harmonium player.
Baburaj died an early death, on 7 October 1978 at the age of 49. He was survived by his wife and children.
The Baburaj-P. Bhaskaran-Yesudas combination produced many of the most memorable Malayalam tunes of the 1960s and 1970s. Most of his classic duets were sung by K. J. Yesudas and S. Janaki, each recording solo Baburaj compositions as well.
Many of Baburaj's songs remain very popular in Kerala, with songs like "Oru Pushpam Maatram" frequently rendered on stage at various events.
The Manorama Music company chanced upon an old audio cassette of Baburaj rendering some of his own compositions towards the end 1960s, when most of his greatest hits were composed. The cassette was re-mixed and became an instant hit. The tracks gave Kerala a rejuvenated taste of Baburaj's music.
Though a successful composer, Baburaj was never interested in "getting ahead", but kept his focus on his art. Today, various clubs and musical organisations conduct stage programs in honour of Baburaj ("Babukka" to his friends and acquaintances), and give the proceeds to his family. During his time, money was not easy to by come for artists, and Baburaj never managed to earn much, dying in poverty. "Thrikkakkare theerthakkare" in the 1978 film Yagaswam, directed by Hariharan, was his last recorded song.
The following is an incomplete list of movies that Baburaj had composed songs for. All the films are in Malayalam.