Obituary
He was 69 years old and reportedly undergoing treatment for cancer.
Screenshot/YouTube/EastCoast

Music director S Balakrishnan passed away in Chennai on Thursday. Reports say that Balakrishnan had been undergoing cancer treatment for a year. He was 69 years old.

The music director, who worked mainly in Malayalam cinema, was known for composing the tunes for blockbusters like Ramji Rao Speaking, Godfather, In Harihar Nagar, Vietnam Colony, Kilukampetty and others. His association with directors Siddique-Lal brought out the best in him.

Ramji Rao Speaking was the first film for which he composed the music. He went on to do four films in all with Siddique-Lal. His last film was Mohabbath in 2011. Balakrishnan also taught at the KM Music Conservatory, a music institution established by AR Rahman.

In an interview with The Hindu, Balakrishnan had opened up about his career fizzling out despite delivering memorable music, especially the background score in Ramji Rao Speaking which still has a high recall value. The music composer spoke about why his association with Siddique-Lal had come to an end: “I really don’t know. Like most successful movies, all the four cannot be imagined without its music. There were a lot of promises but nothing materialised. I remember A.R. Rahman telling me during a recording that Siddique-Lal had approached him for their new film, which he could not accept. He said he was surprised that I was not taken on board after all the hit songs in the four films. I replied that perhaps they were opting for a new composer, for new sounds. I feel that must have been the reason and have no ill-will against them, who were responsible for my place in the industry.”

Balakrishnan is survived by his wife and two sons.