Rajan Chelliah, known for his unique blend of rock and R&B, is set to release “Tennis,” a new single from his upcoming album.
“I’m very excited about this new single and the unique message of hope and overcoming adversity,” Chelliah said. “It has an alt-pop and R&B palette with some harmonic minor flavor that is used a lot in eastern music. It’s an engaging song that I feel fans will love.”
Set for release in March, “Tennis” is the first of three singles to be released this year. It tells the story of someone practicing tennis by hitting tennis balls against a wall as he echoes themes of hope, karma and self love as experienced by the artist himself.
“The idea of the song came out of watching people play tennis with the wall and having different experiences with it,” Chelliah explained. “It’s also a song about resilience, perseverance and the notion of never giving up. It’s a hopeful message that is especially timely today with so much turmoil and hopelessness.”
Besides a catchy melody featuring Chelliah’s unique guitar work, “Tennis” features the sounds from an actual tennis match to add to the compelling sports theme. It’s all in keeping with the musician’s vision of the connectivity between all things, big and small to our every-day lives.
The song follows the hit single “Vaadi, Vaadi,” which was featured in the film “Chennai 2 Singapore,” from veteran filmmaker Abbas Akbar, which shows Chelliah’s ability to attract movie fans to his work.
Having grown up in the city of Chennai, in eastern India, Chelliah always had an affinity for music which was encouraged by his father who was a lawyer and his mother who was a family doctor. After getting his first electric guitar from his uncle, Chelliah would ultimately form a band while in high school and play his own songs along with cover versions of songs from his favorite bands Guns N’ Roses, Led Zeppelin, Bootsy Collins and others.
He would go on to study pre-med at Eastern University in Philadelphia in order to pursue the family tradition of becoming a doctor, but the pull of music was strong and he eventually abandoned those plans and returned home in order to pursue music. He soon began playing his own blend of rock and rhythm and blues at local clubs and bars. His music soon caught the ear of film producers who featured his music in films like “Meesaya Murukku” and most recently in “Chennai 2 Singapore.”
He ultimately moved to the U.S. where found a growing following for his English language songs like his engaging love ballad “Amy” which showcased his vocal range and his acoustic guitar stylings.
“I love the music scene in America, it’s so eclectic and has a place for almost anything you can think up,” he said. “A lot of people are open minded and hungry for new music that is exciting, compelling and speaks to them on a deep level.”
Today, Chelliah is working on his first solo album, titled “Mt. Zerzura,” which is set for release later this year through The Silk Route label.
To learn more about Rajan Chelliah, follow him on Instagram at @rajanchelliah.