This is not very common with Raja’s work.
This is a staple Raja toolset and he has used it in few of his compositions. I will provide some samples from his 3 plus decades career. With male voices, it is mostly lyrics repeated by the chorus group and not just ‘thana thananaa’ type singing as it happens with female voices.
Chitira Sevvanam from Kaatrinile Varum Geetham (Tamil 1978). This is set as a fishermen song. The ‘thaiyara thaiyara’ was very popular in the 70s. The prelude starts off with the male chorus. The pallavi has the chorus singing between the lines of PJ. The last pallavi has slightly different chorus lines compared to the first and the second.
Let's hear Chithira Chevvanam...
Aatama Therottama from Captain Prabhakaran (Tamil 1991). The choral backing for this track is entirely male. The prelude of this track starts off with a solo male voice singing. The pallavi has a few lines by the male chorus singing some lines. (Rambha Sambha….)
Pudhu Rootula thaan from Meera (Tamil 1992). The prelude starts off with two sets of folk chorus overlapping each other. One group sings ‘Hoyya hoyyarra’ and the other group sings ‘hoy hoyya’ and switches to a humming. Very creative. Throughout the pallavi, the chorus is converted into a single syllable ‘hoyya’ that is nicely arranged with the track. The charanams have the chorus very cleverly arranged, first as a single syllable, then as a double syllable. Listen carefully to the double syllable chorus line carefully – the phrase is exactly the same, but the note is different., the first one being lower and the second higher. The last 4 bars have single syllable chorus backing Yesudas. Outstanding arrangement perfectly synchronizing with the background rhythm.
Next, let’s analyze the charanam arrangement of chorus backing Yesudas. For the first 4 bars, the chorus goes alternating between ‘hoyya’ and ‘hoyya hoyya’ exactly filling in the interval and also synchronizing with the rhythm. The next 4 bars have no chorus backing Das. The last 4 bars are arranged as though it is a C & R between Yesudas and the chorus.
Let's hear Pudhu Rootula...
After Raja, no other music composer wants to sweat it out this way; perhaps, to them it is sweat and it is very natural for the genius!