Nanda Malini (Sinhala:නන්දා මාලනී) is a famous Sri Lankan singer. Her choice of lyrics depicts many real life situations, and most intricate human relationships and emotions that stem out of those. She has been credited as starting a new chapter in Sri Lankan classical music. She has won eleven Sarasaviya Awards and eight Presidential Awards for Best Singer.
Malini was born to a rural family of nine in Lewanduwa in Aluthgama, Sri Lanka. She moved to Kotahena in Colombo as an adolescent and was admitted to Sri Gunananda Vidyalaya where she came under the tutelage of T. N. Margaret Perera. After winning a poetry contest, Malini was invited to Radio Ceylon by W. D. Amaradeva and sang the song “Budu Sadu” on Karunaratne Abeysekera’s popular program Lama Mandapaya.
Malini continued her training after achieving fame, learning under B. Victor Perera. She studyied for a year at Heywood and moving on to Bhatkhande Music Institute in Lucknow, India in 1963. She would later return to the University to obtain a Visharada degree in 1984. Upon her return to Sri Lanka, Malini appeared on Amaradeva’s programme Madhuvanthi singing the songs “Sannaliyane” and “Ran Dahadiya Bindu Bindu.” Malini has had a string of successful releases. Her lyrics depict 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 collaborated with 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 of 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 of 1987 which ran for 18 months with 205 shows. After 22 years her newest solo musical concert titled ‘Shwetha Rathriya’ was held with the collaboration of Sirasa FM in 2010.
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