Tamil film industry is the most powerful in south Indian regional cinema world. In fact, when the concept of movies and music in India started, Chennai along with Mumbai and Kolkata was the major entertainment centre. Other regional film industries took their inspiration from Tamil entertainment industry. Like Tamil films, Tamil film songs also have a rich history.
In fact, if we go back to history books, Carnatic music that is one of the two major classical music in India, originated in the state of Tamil Nadu. Carnatic music is still in existence and quite popular too. Tamil film songs also found their seeds in the carnatic music. Many popular Tamil film songs are inspired from ragas of Carnatic music.
Tamil people have always loved music in all its forms. With the changing times, the taste of people has also changed. New genres of music like pop, rock, western, country etc have spread their wings. People of Tamil Nadu have fond association with popular film music and that explains record number of album sales registered in the state every year. Tamil music industry has given us several renowned talents.
The musical wizard, A R Rehman is a product of Tamil music only. Before making it big in India and on world stage, he learned the ropes of music in Chennai. Other prominent composer Ilaiyaraaja who is also a recipient of several Film Fare and National awards is from Tamil Nadu only. Apart from these two, other prominent composers of the state are, Yuvan Shankar Raja, Harris Jayaraj, Karthik Raja and Vidyasagar who have kept giving us melodious and soul-stirring music.
Tamil film music is very innovative in nature. The musical blend of different genres like western and carnatic makes music of Tamil films very appealing. As far as range of music is concerned, melodic and rhythmic patterns rule the roost here. Use of latest electronic instruments has also contributed a lot in popularising Tamil film songs among the youths. Some of the recent released film music albums like Paiyaa, Naan Avan Illai, Aval Peyar Thamizharasi, Renigunta, Siddu plus two first attempt etc have proved to be major hits. Famous Tamil film singers are, SP Balasubramanium, Hariharan, Jayachandran, KK, Karthik, Sreenivas, Mano, KJ Yesudas and Madhu Balakrishnan etc..