Seated from L-R : Hema Latha Sinnakaundan, Precilla Devi Ramanaidu, Sumitra Jayaseelan, Sujitra Jayaseelan, Subatra Jayaseelan, Alpa Devi Panalal, Chitdrakantan Subramaniam
Standing from L-R : Tinna Devi Armasamy, Thanuja Janarthana Naidu, Gunaavathy Arumugam, Gunasilan Muthusamy, Sathiabalan Selvaraju, Jayajivan Vijayalingam, Sivasunder Ramadas, Padmavathy Murugesu, Prishu Devi Gengarajoo
The sisters Sujitra, Sumitra and Subatra Jayaseelan (right to left), who are also known as Swaraa, are trained in Carnatic music by the Late Vaadhya Vidhya Visaaradha Sangeetha Kalaa Booshanam Srimathi Vijayalakshmi Kulaveerasingam, who is a prominent ‘Guru’ in Carnatic music in the country and who was also a renowned violinist. The sisters’, whose musical chronicle started at the very tender age of 2, completed their arangetram under the guidance of their revered guru in the year 2004.
The sisters are established performers in the Malaysian music circuit and are Gold Medalists of the National Thirumurai Competition in years 1993, 1994 and 1995 respectively.
The sisters were also the vocalists for the groundbreaking devotional album ‘Tulasi’ which rejuvenated the Malaysian music industry with their brand of reggae-fused Carnatic music. Tulasi’s debut album remains a bestseller to this day – racking up a sale of 180,000 units in Malaysia alone and was marketed successfully in England, Mauritius and Fiji. The sisters also produced another album called Vrnda in 2007.
In the year 2003, the sisters founded Sugam Karnatica, which is dedicated to the upliftment and development of arts and culture, especially among children and youth.
In November 2012, their album ‘Vrnda’ was awarded the ‘Best Vocal Group’ by the US Global Music Awards.
In 2013, the sisters started the year by recording a song with Padmasri Hariharan in his latest album, ‘Just In Love’.
In 2014, the sisters were invited to sing in a devotional album entitled ‘Deiveega Ragam’. The album was produced and launched in Tamil Nadu. Their latest album ‘Nadaraja Patthu’ was produced in Chennai and launched in Kuala Lumpur on March 2015.
The name “Swaraa’ symbolises the basis of carnatic music, the seed of a blossoming music tree. Being 100% Malaysian, the sisters are pleased that it coincidentally also sounds like ‘Suara’ which means Voice in Bahasa Malaysia.
Sujitra has made headlines as ‘Murid Bersuara Emas’ in a local magazine in the year 1983. Since her childhood, she has been an active student; participating in singing competitions, story telling competitions, school choirs, choral speaking and was also a school prefect throughout her secondary education. She held many important posts in clubs and societies in her school such as Director of the Interact Club and represented her University in the choir team. She has natural talent in acting and has acted in many stage dramas. She was awarded the coveted gold medal by Malaysia Hindu Sangam in the year 1993 in the National Thirumurai Singing Competition. Suji holds a BSc in Applied Chemistry from the University of Malaya, a Masters in Public Administration from University of Malaya and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Southern Queensland, Australia. She is currently heading corporate responsibility for a leading financial institution in Malaysia.
Sumitra held important positions in school among which was her appointment as the school head prefect. She was awarded the coveted gold medal by Malaysia Hindu Sangam in the year 1994 for the National Thirumurai Singing Competition. She was called to perform in Astro with Indian singer Srinivas in 2003. She has also performed in the Stars of Diwali programme in NTV7 in the year 2005. She sings regularly for Indian classical dance performances in the country. Sumitra holds a Bachelors of Engineering from the University of Malaya and is currently a Diplomatic Officer with the Government of Malaysia.
Subatra was awarded the coveted gold medal by Malaysia Hindu Sangam in the year 1995 for the National Thirumurai Singing Competition. She was handpicked by a panel of judges from thousands of applications as one of the participants for the Indian Music Training 2005 conducted by Mr. Bharadwaj, a renowned Music Director from India. Following the training, she was selected by Mr Bharadwaj himself as the head teacher for the Indian Music Training 2006. Subatra has also been trained personally by the great vidhwan Guru Madhurai G.S.Mani (Sangeetham) and Guru Unni Mannur (Western Classical) of India. Subatra is also a regular singer in local kacheris and Indian classical dance performances. She holds a Bachelors of Accounting from the Multimedia University and is currently self-employed.
Listen to our BFM interview here: