Minmini is a South Indian film playback singer. She is remembered especially for the song "Chinna Chinna Aasai" from Roja, the debut work of film composer A. R. Rahman. Though she is from Kerala, most of her memorable songs are in Tamil, most of them composed by Ilaiyaraaja and A. R. Rahman. Her hit Malayalam songs include "Souparnikamritha" from Kizhakkunarum Pakshi, "Oonjal Urangi", and "Neelaraavi" from Kudumbasametham. She has lent her voice to hit songs from films including Enga Thambi (1993), Karuththamma (1994), and Thevar Magan (1992). She made a comeback in 2015 with the song "Kanmaniye" from Mili.
Minmini was born on 12 August 1970, as the fourth daughter of P. A. Joseph and Treeza. Minmini was known as P. J. Rosily in school. She was also fondly called Mini. Her father, P. A. Joseph, was crazy about art and artistes. Starting her career at the age of 5 with the Kalabhavan orchestra, she became a professional singer at 10. Treeza was a singer, though not a professional. Mini's elder sisters sang in the choir in their village church. Emulating them, Mini also began to sing. Her father taught her to sing in rhythm and pitch. The sisters participated in competitions while they were studying in St Francis Girl's High School, Aluva. One of the sisters, Jancy, sang in Kalabhavan's ganamela troupe.
She won numerous prizes in singing competitions right from her childhood, including the first prize in light music in the 1986 state youth festival and the 1987 university youth festival. She had become a regular singer at Cochin Arts and Communication (CAC) by then. After pre-degree, Mini decided to study music. She was admitted to RLV Music Academy in Thrippunithura. However, she could not concentrate on studies as she had many stage programmes and recordings.
Mini had her film debut with Swagatham (1988), directed by Venu Nagavalli. She sang three songs in it, composed by Rajamani. She was introduced to Tamil film industry by Ilayaraja through Meera (1991). Ilayaraja christened her Minmini, making her name more appealing to the Tamilians.Minmini's first Telugu movie is "Aathmabandham" music by Maragathamani (Keeravani).
Her big break came in 1992 when she sang "Chinna Chinna Aasai" for the film Roja. It took Minmini to international fame, along with A.R. Rahman. The song which set a new trend in the music world was remade in Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi and Minmini sang them too.
Minmini has sung few Kannada film songs in 1995 for the movies Putnanja and Betegara. Rangero holi a famous duet song with Mano from the movie Putnanja for Hamsalekha. In the same film she rendered pathetic humming in the patho song Putamalli puttamalli with Mano and Shyamala G. Bhave. She went on to work with Sadhu Kokila for the movie Betegara where she sang the song Mididiralu saviganasugalu with Mano.
Minmini has sung around 2,000 film songs in seven different languages: Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Kannada, Oriya and Badaga. In Malayalam she became the favourite of music directors like Johnson, Raveendran, S. P. Venkatesh, Bombay Ravi and Mohan Sithara. Many of her songs turned into hits, including "Souparnikamritha" (Kizhakkunarum Pakshi), "Oonjal Urangi", "Neelaraavil" (Kudumbasametham), "Kakka Poocha" (Pappayude Swantham Apoos), "Paathiraavayi" (Vietnam Colony), "Swayam Varamai" (Paithrukam), "Vellithinkal" (Meleparambil Aanveedu), "Aarunee Jinmakale Peru Cholamo" (Ghazal), and many others.
Gopi Sundar bought her back to the industry with the song "Kanmaniye" for the film Mili in 2015. "Nilakudame" from the film 'chirakodinja kinaakkal' became a hit song in 2015