Kalamandalam HyderaliHyderali’s name is synonymous with Kadhakali music. Hyderali is credited with single handedly making Kadhakali music a popular independent art form in Kerala and rest of the world.

Hyderali was born in 1946. Even though he hailed from a poor Muslim family he showed an extraordinary talent and a drive towards classical music. He took his initial training in music under Kalamandalam Neelakandan Nambeesan, Sivaraman Nair and Gangadharan Nair in the premier performing arts institute called the Kerala Kalamandalam. He became famous because of his improvisation of singing, along with the exponents in this field Kalamandalam Sankaran Empranthiri and Venmani Haridas. Their attempts were what made Kadhakali music a popular form of entertainment that reached out to the masses irrespective of social differences. He was the first non-Hindu artist to make a mark in the centuries old Kadhakali history.

Hyderali at Kadhakali performanceHyderali was blessed with a rich, soulful and sonorous voice, which traversed effortlessly over every note of Carnatic Music. The highlight of Hyderali’s vocalizing was his perfect diction, clarity in sound and complete adherence to the tune. His greatest contribution to Kadhakali music is his conception of a unique and novel classical based system of singing in their respective scales and different ragas at the same time. What made him unique was that he refused to be tied down by any kind of conventional rule and measures in Kadhakali music and believed in being innovative and trying out his own new styles. His style of pronunciation was unmatched and he believed that words, if pronounced properly with the correct feel could be very powerful. The great legend in the world of Kadhakali music passed away on 5th January 2006, leaving behind heartbroken fans but a rich legacy of Kadhakali music.