Deshani Vithanage, singer and musician | Sunday Observer

Deshani Vithanage, singer and musician

7 February, 2021

The audience is spellbound. A magical enchanting voice heard on the stage hypnotizes the audience where the thundering noise of the acclaimed round of applause is heard even from a far distant corner of the packed audience whose intense love for the mesmerizing voice would ever grow.

The blessed owner of this gifted magical voice which gives pleasure to the auditory sense of enthusiastic listeners is a young singer who carries an array of talents where singing and the composition of lyrics take centre stage.

Deshani Vithanage, an award winning and a versatile young singer who has come to the limelight of the Sri Lankan musical arena is our protagonist. Deshani, a product of Princess of Wales College, Moratuwa, and Visakha Vidyalaya, Colombo 4, graduated with a BSc in Business Administration from the University of Sri Jayawardanapura.

Deshani’s journey in music started as she was a toddler of barely three years when her parents took her to the musical abode of Visharada Nanda Malani from whom she learnt the initials of music.

Deshani’s intense desire and passion for music uplifted by methodical and scholarly guidance, advice and education have paved the way for her to carry the prestigious title of “Visharada”, following her successful completion of the exams.

She fondly and respectfully recalls the valuable guidance given by Sanjaya Hemal, during the run up to her Visharada exam in 2018, while she was at the “Kalabumi” of Dr. Rohana Weerasinghe. In retrospect, she says that while schooling at Visakha, she played the Serpina for the school orchestra.

Albeit, Deshani is an auditor by profession, working in the public sector, she notes “music has been my passion and it keeps me going. The lightheartedness which singing gives you is a pleasure.”

Thirty songs sung by her, have been recorded so far. Her talent is not only bonded with singing. She is also skilled in composing lyrics for Sinhala and Hindi songs alike. She speaks fluent Hindi and studied the Hindi language at the Indian Cultural Centre in Colombo. She is also a Hindi language translator at the Official Languages Department.

Hindi language

Her ability to compose lyrics for Hindi songs is rather notable. “yeh dooriyan”, a Hindi song composed by Deshani is sung by an Indian singer under the music composition of Chamath Sangeeth, whereas “baahon mein teri” being the other song composed by her, is sung by Ravindu Sathsara under the music direction of Roshan De Silva.

Deshani with her wealth of knowledge and experience in the Hindi language as well as her ability to sing Hindi songs brought out a rather interesting and valuable comment on the aspect of singing Hindi songs by a singer whose mother tongue is not Hindi and who does not have the due concern on the accurate pronunciation of the Hindi language. She opined “as you sing Hindi songs, you got to be thoroughly concerned with its pronunciation. If you don’t follow the correct accent, it badly affects the singing and the feel of the song in particular.”

Deshani fondly recalled taking part om several singing competitions and musical events while being an undergraduate. “Himidiriya” was a singing competition at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura where her won awards in 2007, 2008 and 2009 consecutively.

She said that “Nada and Gee Padura” are also two popular musical events where she sang at the campus. ‘Gee Padura’ introduced by veteran composer Dr. Sunil Ariyaratne has opened the door for upcoming undergraduate singers bringing out the hidden potential with vast opportunities.

Deshani’s fascinating voice bagged the first place on three consecutive years 2014, 2015 and 2016 at the ‘Dahadiya Siththam’, a singing competition, held among the employees of the government, semi-government and private sector organizations.

In the year 2013, with her charming and sensational voice, Deshani was fortunate enough to be nominated for the best upcoming singer at the stage music awards ceremony. In the 2014, she received the all island third place in singing at the youth awards conducted by the National Youth Council

She was adjudicated the best singer in a competition where the best Buddhist songs were sung which is popularly known as ‘Buddhabi Vandana’. Deshani has presented herself and won in both singing and essay competitions at the Indian Cultural Centre with the patronage of the Indian High Commission in Colombo in view of the Indian Republic Day.


Also in the year 2013, she was selected as the best singer in a Hindi Day competition at the Indian Cultural Centre in Colombo. Deshani has also been selected as an ‘A’ grade singer at the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC).

She further noted that she has sung in several musical programs at Independent Television Network (ITN) and Rupavahini. At the same time, she expresses her interest in playback singing and she has two songs for two teledramas.

Deshani has been skilled, talented and blessed enough to have sung eight duets with the veteran musicians and singers. She proudly reminisces the legends of the Sri Lankan music arena with whom she sang duets including Dr. Victor Rathnayake, Edward Jayakody, Keerthi Pasquel and Rajiv Sebastian.

Mithra Kapuge and Hemal Wahalathanthri are also two other musicians with whom Deshani has sung duets. She further noted that the duet “Hada Viaman” sung with Hemal Wahalathanthri has gone viral in the social media.

She loves listening to old melodies while getting adjusted with music style of any calibre; classical or western. She has also sung to the melodies of Sarath Dasanayake, Stanley Peiris and Sunil Dayananda Konara.

She was privileged enough to have sung the songs composed by Ajantha Ranasinghe, Lushan Bulathsinhala, Saman Chandranath and Melroy Dharmaratne. Deshani’s motto, vision and the objective is to be a versatile singer in whom the love of singing enthusiasts would never fade out.

**Deshani is ever grateful to her committed and supportive parents and the family while being indebted to Nanda Malani, Priyadarshani Keerthisinghe, Manjula Senevirathna, Sanjaya Hemal, Melroy Dharmaratne, Neela Wickramasinghe, Dev Shyaman, Ramesh Uwais, Gayan Sooriyaarachchi, Prasad Samarathunga, Shantha Kumara Vithana, Mawo Lakshitha and Chandana Welikala**.

Pix: Thilak Perera