Paliyath Jayachandran, popularly known as P. Jayachandran (Malayalam: പി.ജയചന്ദ്ര൯), (Tamil: பி.ஜெயசந்திரன்) is a South Indian playback singer from Kerala. Jayachandran was born in 'Bhadralayam', Ravipuram, Ernakulam, and later his family moved to Irinjalakkuda. His father Ravivarma Kochaniyan Thampuran of the Cochin Royal Family was a learned musician, though not a professional singer. His mother Subhadra Kunjamma Paliyam Swarupam was also a great music lover who encouraged Jayachandran to learn the notes of Mridangam at a very young age and with her support he could attain dexterity with the Mridangam. He began to sing devotional songs in churches at the age of 8.
Jayachandran graduated from Christ College, Irinjalakuda. He was a student of the Irinjalakuda National School from where he received many prestigious prizes for playing the Mridangam and light music in the State School Youth Festival Jayachandran met Yesudas in 1958 when he participated in the state youth festival. Yesudas won the Best Classical Singer award and Jayachandran got the best Mridamgist award in the same year. He has won one National Award, four Kerala State Awards and four Tamil Nadu State Awards. He has recorded songs in Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu and Hindi languages. Jayachandran is also affectionately called the Bhava Gayakan.
Jayachandran got his first state award in 1972 for the song Neelagiriyude ('Suprabhaatham')... for the film Panitheeratha Veedu. Its music was done by M. S. Viswanathan. The year 1978 brought him another state award. The song was Ragam Sreeragam for the film Bandhanam and the music director was M. B. Sreenivasan. He received a prestigious national award in 1985 for Sivasankara Sarva Saranya Vibho..., a Gurusthuthi song for the film Sree Narayana Guru music by G. Devarajan . The song Prayam Nammil.. from the film Niram brought him a third state award in 1998. In 1975, he sang for the Malayalam movie Penpada (with music by R. K. Shekhar)a song Velli then Kinnam Pol, regarded as the first composition of 9 year old Dileep Shekhar, now known as A. R. Rahman Legendary Music Composer.
Jayachandran has to be mentioned as one of the important person enriched by the music Maestro Ilayaraja. He sang a lots of tamil hits for him. His famous and ultimate songs are "raasaathi unna" "kaathirundhu kaathirundhu" from Vaidhegi kaathirundhaal, "mayanginen solla thayanginen" from Naaney raaja naaney mandhiri, "vaalkaiye vesham" from Aarilirundhu arubathu varai, "poova eduthu oru" from Amman kovil kizhakaaley, "Thaalaattudhey vaanam" from Kadal Meengal... and much more... He got the first Asianet award and the Arabian award for the same song in the same year. Its music was done by Sree Vidyasagar. In 1994, he received the Tamil Nadu state Government award for the best singer for the song, Kathazham Kattuvazhi... for the film KizhakkuCheemayile. A. R. Rahman composed the music. As a recognition for his contribution to Tamil film music, he was honoured with the Kalaimamani award of the Tamil Nadu Government.
Despite his popularity, he was later sidelined by the music composers for reasons not known to the public.He was as important a singer in the 70s and 80s in the Kannada, Tamil and the Malayala films as S.P.Balasubramaniam and K.J.Yesudas. Jayachandran was honoured with the Swaralaya Kairali Yesudas award at the beginning of 2001, which he was the first person to receive. The motive behind this award is to choose the best from the singers and lyricists within a span of 30 years. He has sung nearly 1000 songs for Malayalam movies over the years according to the MSI information database. Jayachandran, for the first time, sang in Hindi in 2008, for the movie ADA...A Way of Life along with Alka Yagnik, music scored by A. R. Rahman.
Kannada music lovers still do humming his numbers like "Jeevana Sanjeevana" "Olavina Udugore" 'Chanda Chanda".Etc. he was adored by great director Puttanna Kanagal, thus many of his kannada melodies can found in his movies. obviously, they were composed by tune master Vijayabaskar.