Big Stage Tamil is a talent show that premiered on Astro Vinmeen HD (CH 202) on March 12, before culminating in the grand finale on May 1.

We spoke to the champion, Arulini Arumugam, first runner-up Roshini Balachandran, and finalists Harieharan C Gangkathran, Sasitharan Rajendran and Thanushan Jayakumar about their respective experiences participating in the show, and this is what they said:

Please share with us how you got started on singing and developing your talent.

Arulini: I was an autistic child and could not speak until I was seven. Music healed me. I used to hum along to a song's melody and that's what got me started with singing. I started singing on the stage when I was eight.

Roshini: I started singing when I was four and I was encouraged by my family members, who were also singers, musicians, and dancers. I picked up technical aspects of vocals from them when I was nine.

How has Big Stage Tamil helped in your journey as an aspiring singer?

Arulini: I feel very grateful and blessed beyond measure because Big Stage Tamil has taught me how to be a versatile singer by balancing singing and showmanship. I gained singing knowledge from my fellow contestants while comments from judges helped improve my singing. I will always cherish this experience.

Roshini: Big Stage Tamil shaped me into a better singer and performer. I have always wanted to be a singer, but after participating in Big Stage Tamil, I also look forward to performing, and hope to nail both singing and performing.

How do you feel winning this singing competition?

Arulini: I felt blessed and motivated after my victory. One thing for sure, this is just the beginning.

Roshini: I felt happy and most importantly, this victory has motivated me to achieve more success.

Which would you consider your personal best performance on Big Stage Tamil?

Arulini: My performance during the fourth round is my favorite because I showcased folkish style performance and I deeply enjoyed it.

Roshini: My final performance, where I sang the song ‘Chandralekha’ was my favourite and I was very satisfied with it.

Who do you idolize as singer(s)?

Arulini: My idol is A.R. Rahman. His songs taught me that music is a soulful investment, and it doesn't come from what we play on our fingertips or singing by opening up our vocal cords.

Roshini: My idols are Shreya Ghoshal, Siti Nurhaliza, Andrea, Beyoncé and more.

What are some of your plans in pursuing your singing journey?

Arulini: I’m looking forward to producing my own singles and albums. Also, I would love to help autistic children through music.

Roshini: I wish to do more originals while pursuing my Masters degree. Besides gaining experience, I think music knowledge is also vital to be a well acclaimed singer.

Please share a message for your supporters.

Arulini: Everyone is unique in their own way. Learn to embrace it, instead of comparing who is better. Because at the end of the day, you define who you are.

Roshini: Thank you to each and every one of you for not giving up on me. Some really pushed me through every obstacle. Words can’t describe how grateful am I to these amazing people. I will work hard to give my best.

Harieharan C Gangkathran, Sasitharan Rajendran & Thanushan Jayakumar, Finalists:

Please share some background on how you began singing.

Harieharan: My ‘Thevaram’ (devotional song) guru inspired me to sing, and ‘Thevaram’ was my foundation before I started to sing cinema songs.

Sasitharan: I began my singing journey when I was in primary school and it was inspired by the legendary late Indian playback singer S. P. Balasubrahmanyam sir and I utilise social media platforms to showcase my talent.

Thanushan: My aunt Suguna inspired me to sing since I was a child when I witnessed her stage performances. My family has been a great pillar of support in pursuing my singing journey as they introduced me to social platforms to showcase my talent via cover songs.

How has Big Stage Tamil helped you in your journey as an aspiring singer?

Harieharan: Big Stage Tamil taught me the importance of showmanship, song selection and more about being a great performer, and not just a singer, to reach more fans. Big Stage Tamil also helped me sharpen my self-confidence while having healthy competition with my fellow contestants.

Sasitharan: Big Stage Tamil was a turning point in my life and I’m thankful to Astro for the great opportunity, shaping me into a better performer. If I turn out to be a star in the future, the credit will go to the lovely Astro team.

Thanushan: Big Stage Tamil played an important role in my life, and I’m honoured to be a participant of this singing competition. It taught me the importance of balancing both singing and performing, to be a versatile performer apart from helping me enhance my self-expression, creativity, and overcoming my stage fright. Comments from the judges also enabled me to improve my talent. Last but not least, thank you Big Stage Tamil.

You can catch up on Big Stage Tamil on Astro Go and On Demand.