Anand Yankarran passes away

Anand Yankarran

Remembering Anand Yankarran by Pe­ter Ray Blood
Thu Jan 05 2017

The new year opened with sad news with the death of icon­ic chut­ney per­former Anand Yankar­ran. Hav­ing sur­vived a stroke in 2008, Yankar­ran, 51, even­tu­al­ly suc­cumbed to a stroke at Cou­va Dis­trict Health Fa­cil­i­ty. He was cre­mat­ed on Jan­u­ary 5 at the Wa­ter­loo Cre­ma­tion Site fol­low­ing a fu­ner­al ser­vice at Anand Yankar­ran Dri­ve Ex­ten­sion, Ex­change Hous­ing De­vel­op­ment, Cou­va.

Yankar­ran will be re­mem­bered for a long time, es­pe­cial­ly for many of his hits, in­clud­ing Nan­da Ba­ba, Ma­lineya, Hum­sa Bo­l­away, Lay­lo Lay­lo, Zind­abad Trin­ba­go, Gun­guroo Ba­jay, In­dra Puri Say, Soch Sama­jh Ab­hi­man, Ran­ga Dall, Bo­la Ba­ba, Kya Kar Mai and Janay Ma­ha. Nan­da Ba­ba is the hit Yankar­ran will be best re­mem­bered for, a dit­ty he per­formed in 1989. He al­so gained na­tion­al promi­nence when tele­vi­sion view­ers warmed to his ren­di­tion of Zind­abad Trinidad on a Stag com­mer­cial.

On Thurs­day, on his way to Yankar­ran’s fu­ner­al, Akash Vani pre­sen­ter and Chut­ney So­ca Monarch Rik­ki Jai said: “Anand Yankar­ran was to me a friend, a broth­er, and a men­tor in mu­sic and life. There were many cham­pi­ons in chut­ney but there was on­ly one chut­ney king and that king was Anand Yankar­ran.”

Ravi ji, for­mer head of the Hin­du Prachar Kendra, was high in praise of Yankar­ran and said: “Anand came from this il­lus­tri­ous Yankar­ran fam­i­ly. This does not just mean a fam­i­ly that knows clas­si­cal In­di­an singing but they each pos­sessed great voic­es. Voice hall­marked the Yankar­ran fam­i­ly.

“Anand was one of the youngest ones so he en­tered the scene pret­ty late and did so in an era when there were changes tak­ing place in In­do-Caribbean mu­sic. One of the sig­nal as­pects to be re­mem­bered is the song Kan­haiya. It be­came a very pop­u­lar ad­ver­tise­ment. His song and type of singing be­came main­stream and he dragged with him the wider ap­peal of the mu­sic.

“Anand al­so came at a time when our lo­cal In­do-Caribbean mu­sic be­gan get­ting op­por­tu­ni­ties out­side of Trinidad. This is the era of In­do Caribbean mu­sic that made it in­ter­na­tion­al, com­pet­ing in the Car­ni­val space, and cre­at­ing a wider ac­cep­tance across all eth­nic lines.

“Anand Yankar­ran was a trail­blaz­er and to him all cred­it is due. He wasn’t a trail­blaz­er be­cause he was singing some­thing new, but, it was his own par­tic­u­lar brand and voice that helped in­ter­na­tion­alise and broad­en the mu­sic.”

Southex CEO George Singh was ef­fu­sive in his praise of Yankar­ran. He said: “I was 25 when Anand Yankar­ran sang Nan­da Ba­ba. Then I had not even thought of the idea of the Chut­ney So­ca Monarch com­pe­ti­tion; that was still six years away from com­ing to the fore­front. When one con­sid­ers that 28 years lat­er how much of Yankar­ran’s mu­sic has shaped the land­scape of what chut­ney and chut­ney so­ca mu­sic is to­day, he can on­ly be de­scribed as ‘phe­nom­e­nal’.

“Anand Yankar­ran is the son of Isaac Yankar­ran and I don’t hes­i­tate to re­fer to his fam­i­ly as ‘the first fam­i­ly of chut­ney mu­sic’. You have their fa­ther Isaac, his broth­er Rakesh, re­ferred to as ‘the Ra­ja of chut­ney’, his sis­ter Sure­ka, and Surindra, an­oth­er broth­er. That fam­i­ly has giv­en birth to a third gen­er­a­tion of Yankar­rans and to­day you have young singers like Am­bi­ka Yankar­ran, his ne­ice, and Ruben, Sure­ka’s son, who has en­tered this year’s Chut­ney So­ca Monarch com­pe­ti­tion for the first time at the age of 23.”

Singh con­tin­ued: “When Anand per­formed on the Chut­ney So­ca Monarch stage in 2014, do­ing Pak Pak, a duet with Rik­ki Jai, it was one of the high­lights of the pro­duc­tion. He is al­so some­one who has been guid­ed in life by mu­si­col­o­gist Mun­gal Patasar and the late Mo­han Jaikaran who pro­duced a lot of his mu­sic; two men I have very great re­spect for.

“His pass­ing is a great loss to Trinidad and To­ba­go. How­ev­er to­day, our cul­ture is rich­er be­cause of men like Anand Yankar­ran. He and his mu­sic will live on for­ev­er in our hearts and on the air­waves.”

Veeran­dra Per­sad, leader of 3Veni and man­ag­er of KI and The Band, said: “Anand Yankar­ran was a leg­end and was re­spon­si­ble for the col­lab­o­ra­tions with 3Veni, now KI and The Band and JMC Ent In New York, with Mo­han Jaikaran in 1992, I had the op­por­tu­ni­ty to pro­duce an al­bum for Anand named So­ca Be­ta which was fi­nanced by JMC. And af­ter that, it was his­to­ry tour­ing North Amer­i­ca, Eu­rope and Guyana with Anand. We have had a great jour­ney to­geth­er with lots of great mo­ments. At that time KI was a kid on stage with me most times.”

Oth­er glow­ing trib­utes came for Yankar­ran from sev­er­al politi­cians, promi­nent cit­i­zens and dis­tin­guished or­gan­i­sa­tions like the Na­tion­al Coun­cil of In­di­an Cul­ture (NCIC) and the Ra­jku­mari Cen­tre for In­do-Caribbean Cul­ture (RCC) in New York City.

The son of fa­mous lo­cal In­di­an mu­si­cian Isaac Yankar­ran and broth­er of Rakesh, Yankar­ran was some­what of a child prodi­gy as at the age of ten he was al­ready leader of the Wa­ter­loo Hin­du School choir, which won a Di­vali singing com­pe­ti­tion. He stud­ied mu­sic the­o­ry with mu­si­cians Ban­sraj Ramkissoon, Mun­gal Patasar, Pradip Shankar, Sunil Ver­ma and Kavi­ta Ver­ma and was taught the har­mo­ni­um by Rakesh Yankar­ran. He al­so played the dho­lak, tabla, and sitar.

The last time Yankar­ran per­formed was at the fi­nals of the 2014 Na­tion­al Chut­ney So­ca Monarch com­pe­ti­tion.

Source:Remembering Anand Yankarran

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