Carnatic vocalist and national award winning playback singer P. Unnikrishnan was born on 9 July 1964 to K. Radhakrishnan and Dr Harini Radhakrishnan in Palakkad, Kerala.
His first guru, V.L. Sheshadri, played a major role in developing Unnikrishnan’s musical sensibilities from the age of 12. The musician started exploring the nuances of Carnatic classical music under the guidance of Dr S. Ramanathan who passed on the tutelage to his senior disciple Savithri Sathyamurthy, a strict disciplinarian, who moulded Unnikrishnan into a performing artist. A six month training workshop on Veenai Dhannamal Bani conducted at Sampradhaya, Mylapore by T.Brinda and T.Vishwanathan led him to a deeper understanding of the aesthetics in Carnatic music.
He worked as an executive in Parry’s Confectionery Ltd. from 1987 to 1994 and quit his job to become a professional musician.
Unnikrishnan was the first singer to bag the Best Male singer National award for a Tamil song for his debut film song ‘Ennavale Adi Ennavale’ in 1994, composed by A. R. Rahman. Since then he has given numerous memorable songs in films. A top grade artiste of All India Radio, he is the recipient of many honours and awards which include Kalaimamani from the Government of Tamilnadu, Best Raaga award from Music Academy, Yuvakala Bharati from Bharat Kalachar.
Unnikrishnan has also received critical appreciation for his experimental work. In 2008, he presented a novel jazz concert in Trivandrum with the Eli Yamin Jazz Quartet and pianist Anil Srinivasan.