Although her full name is Mirihana Arachchige Nanda Malani Perera, she is well famous as Nanda Malini among Sri Lankan music industry. Nanda Malini was born on 23 August 1943 in Lewwanduwa in Aluthgama, Sri Lanka. Nanda Malini can be described as one of the most talented and famous Sri Lankan classical songstress and playback singers. She also one of the most honoured singers in the Sri Lankan music industry. Her songs are based on her real-life experience and social-cultural situations.
Nanda Malini’s father was a talented tailor, Vincent Perera, he was well famous for ready-made wedding coats in Aluthgama. Nanda Malini’s mother, Liyanage Emily Perera was a lovely mother and a good housewife. Emily Perera and Vincent Perera had nine children, out of that five are daughters and four are sons. Nanda Malini is the third daughter in her family. She completed her studies at Sri Gunanada Vidyalaya in Kotahena. Nanda Malini was married to Suneth Gokula in 1968 and they have two daughters.
The elder daughter is Varuni Saroja and younger daughter is Ama Saradha. Varuni Saroja was married to the son of famous lyricist Darmasena Gamage, Chaminda. However, second daughter Ama Sarada was married to another musician Sanjeewa and the couple is currently living in Australia and has two daughters and a son.
In 1956, Nanda Malini received a gold medal from the contest of ‘Padya Gayana’ contest which was held at Borella YMBA. Thereafter, she was invited by Pandith W.D.Amaradewa to take part in his ‘Budu Sadu’ song. This song was written by Asoka Colombage and music was done by D.D. Danny. In 1963, Nanda Malini was invited by W.D.Amaradewa to sing background song for the ‘Ran Muthu Duwa’ Sinhala movie.
This was the first Sinhala colour movie and the first playback movie of Nanda Malini in Sinhala Movie industry. he song was ‘Galana Gagaki Jeewithe’ and she sang it with Narada Dissanayaka. This was the first song written by the Chandrarathna Mapitigama for the Sinhala cinema. The movie was able to win all Sarasavi Awards and Nanda Malini won the Best Female Singer Sarasavi Award, this was the Nanda Malini’s first Sarasavi Award.
Thereafter, she was able to win eleven Sarasawi Awards and eight Presidential Awards for the most popular female singer. Nanda Malini left Sri Lanka in 1963 and moved to India and studied music at Bhathkande Music Institute in Lucknow. After returning to Sri Lanka she entered the university and obtained a ‘Visharada’ degree in music in 1984. Nanda Malini then worked with W.D.Amaradewa’s program ‘Maduwanthi’ across the island for over 20 years.
In 1971, ‘Sarawana Aradana Concert’ was conducted by Nanda Malini and W.D.Amaradewa. She also started her first solo musical concert series in 1973 and in 1979 the series ended after showing over 500 shows. Thereafter in 1981, she started ‘Sathyaye Geetaya’ (song of the truth) concert series and that also ended in after two yers showing more than 500 shows.
In 1987, Nanda Malini started ‘Pavana’ concert series. Pavana series was ended in the middle of 1989 after showing more than 250 concert shows. The reason to stop the Pavana series after showing 250 shows was the government interrupt as SLBC and SLRC were banned from the concert in 1989. During this time she managed to establish her own music academy in 1984 ‘ Nanda Malani Ashram’.