Vijay Prakash (Kannada: ವಿಜಯ್ ಪ್ರಕಾಶ್) is an Indian Playback Singer and film composer from Mysore who moved to Mumbai in 1996. He has sung in Hindi films such as Blue, Yuvvraaj, Swades, Kaal, Lakshya, Matrubhoomi, Tere Naam, Cheeni Kum, Raavan and Force. He has also performed in Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam movies. He has also hosted the Kannada reality show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa on Zee Kannada and has also performed shows with Ustad Zakir Hussain.
He is also one of four singers credited for the song, "Jai Ho", which won the 2008 Academy Award for Best Original Song. Specifically, he sang the portion with the words "Jai Ho" that takes an extended high pitch at numerous junctures of the song. The song also won a Grammy Award in the category "Best Song Written For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media. .
Prakash was born in Mysore, India to Carnatic singers L. Ramasesha and Lopa Mudra Prakash, and is himself trained in Carnatic music. He attended Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering (SJCE) in Mysore.
After moving to Mumbai in 1996, he became a student of Suresh Wadkar. Prakash was a participant in the program Sa Re Ga Ma on Zee TV, hosted by Sonu Nigam. He made it to the mega-finals in 1999. Later he compered Sa Re Ga Ma Pa on Zee Kannada. He got his first break in Hindi cinema with Karisma Kapoor starrer Baaz in 2002, and his first song for A. R. Rahman was in Ashutosh Gowariker's Swades followed by the same composer's Tamil title track for the movie New. His song "Kavite" in Kannada movie Gaalipata too became famous.
He has sung for about 25 foreign films including a Chinese film with music by Surender Sodhi. He has recorded for ads like "Kabhi chatpataa" for Knorr Soups and "Na sar jhuka hain kabhi" for HDFC Life Insurance. In 2008 he sang the "Condom a capella" ringtone composed by Rupert Fernandes and produced by the BBC World Service Trust for an Indian safe sex campaign. In 2009, his song, "Jai Ho", won the 2008 Academy Award for Best Original Song.
He was one of the Judges in Confident Star Singer 2 (Kannada), aired on Asianet Suvarna in 2009.
He has sung "Om Sivoham", a Sanskrit song penned by Vaali and composed by Ilaiyaraaja which was the main theme song of 2009 Tamil film Naan Kadavul.
In 2010, he became a regular singer under composer A. R. Rahman, as he performed several of his numbers such as "Hosanna" (Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya, Ye Maaya Chesave), "Beera Beera, Veera Veera (in Tamil & Telugu Versions)" (Raavan & Raavanan), "Powerstar" (Komaram Puli) and "Kadhal Anukkal" (Enthiran).
Prakash has debuted as a music composer for the 2013 Kannada film Andar Bahar starring Shivrajkumar.
He also won the Vijay Music Awards for the Best Male Playback for the song "Hosanna" from Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa.
In 2013, he appeared as one of the singers in Coke Studio @ MTV performing with Clinton Cerejo and other artists. The song Baina (for which Vijay Prakash collaborated with Clinton Cerejo) from the same series was very well received.
Though he has many hit songs in Kannada, in 2013, his song 'Khaali Quater' written by the top director, lyricist of Kannada films Yograj Bhat became a blockbuster hit song topping all the music chart list. The song went viral becoming a chart buster in a very short span of time for its catchy lyrics and music.
The song 'Hoge' that he has sung for the film 'Nam Life Story' in Kannada is going viral and has already been considered a hit. Its different lyrics and appealing tune has had the fans go crazy about the song.