SPB has spent the last 50 years delighting people with his voice, but he doesnâ€™t take his audience for granted.
For the uninitiated, Sripathi Panditaradhyula Balasubrahmanyam has been in the cinema business for half a century and has recorded over 40,000 songs in various Indian languages including Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Hindi.
Though a man of few words, the legendary singer agreed to a brief interview with The News Minute on the sidelines of a promotional event in Hyderabad, where he shared his love for music as well his future plans.
SPB, as the singer is more famously known as, was the chief guest at the launch of a startup app called 'Jilmore', which aims to be a platform where various artists and performers can showcase their talent.
When asked if he thought if things would work out like this when he made his debut as a playback singer in 1966, he smiles and says "Half of me was confident but half of me was still skeptic, However, here I am and I think i'll still last another four to five years in the industry. I'm still very really happy about it."
Besides holding the Guinness World Record for the most number of songs recorded by an artist, SPB also holds the record for the most number of songs in a single day when he recorded 21 Kannada songs in a single day in Bangalore in 1981 with speed that was unheard of.
"What can I say? People gave me an opportunity and I had the strength to work for it, and I did work for it," he humbly remarks.
The veteran singer has also always been multi-lingual and has worked with the greats including Ilayaraja and AR Rahman. When asked which music director is his favourite, he tactfully says "I like my father for educating me and I like my mother for feeding me. Similarly, I love different music directors for very different things. Each has their own way of composing songs, and as long as I enjoy the song, I will sing for them."
A lot also has been said and written on the singer's 'return' to Bollywood after almost 15 years with Chennai Express in 2013. "That wasn't exactly a return. They asked me to sing one song and I sang it. I don't have any Mumbai assignments at all. In fact, nobody calls me from there," he says with a smirk.
When asked to choose a film industry he enjoyed working in the most, he said "Wherever I get a good song, that is my favorite arena."
When asked about his plans for the future, SPB in a confident voice remarks "Sing, Sing and Sing."
When asked if he had any plans to retire, he quips "If I don't sing properly, you people will only retire me."