Visharada Nanda Malini
Nanda Malini is easily the doyen or Queen of the female species of classical music. Born on August 23, 1943 in Kotahena, and educated at Gunananda Vidyalaya, Nanda Malini Perera, possessed a remarkable talent as a child songstress which she showcased on the children’s segment of the Ceylon Broadcasting Corporation, and at age 19 in 1962 she broke in to overnight fame as playback singer of several songs for the first local colour film, ‘Ranmuthu Duva’. It earned her several awards at the Sarasaviya Film Festival.
Among her popular songs during her early career were ‘Me Sinhala Apage Ratai’, ‘Ruwan Wala Duhulu Kadin’, ‘Baloli, Baloli’, ‘Ammawaruni’, and ‘Handahawun Hande’. Her early top award winning songs were ‘Saravita’, ‘Sadol Kandulu’, ‘Adarawanthayo’, ‘Monarathenna’, ‘Siribo Aiya’, ‘Sathara Pera Nimithi’, ‘Sivranga Sena’, ‘Sithala Gini Kandu’, ‘Gedera Budun Amma’, ‘Ambu Samiyo’, ‘Miharaka’, ‘Pera Raja Dahana’, and ‘Yasa Isuru’. With the advent of television, Nanda Malini was in the forefront of award winning fame by a vast number of songs. She also has the rare distinction of being film music directress for ‘Baba Ketu Hati’. She also revolutionized cassette music in a big way in winning public acclaim.
Nanda Malini appeared on Amaradeva's programme Madhuvanthi singing the songs "Sannaliyane" and "Ran Dahadiya Bindu Bindu." Her string of successful releases depicts realistic life situations, love, relationships, and emotions. The songs "Pipunu Male Ruwa", "Sudu Hamine", and "Kada Mandiye" attest to her effort to expose the hearts of women. Some of Nanda's popular songs, such as "Manda Nawa Karanawa", show a humorous and sensitive account of a young woman's experience of loneliness.
In 1971, Nanda broke new ground teaming up with music guru, the legendary Pandit Amaradewa in the Srawana Aradhana concert. In 1973 she started her first solo concert series, and after having 530 shows the series ended on May 22, 1979. In August 1981 she started another concert series ‘Sathyaye Geethaya’. She played 500 shows and ended in August 1984. She conducted her next solo musical concert series Pavana in June 1987 which ran for 18 months with 205 shows. After 22 years her newest solo musical concert titled ‘Shwetha Rathriya’ was held in 2010.