He was born on April 26 1762 at Thiruvarur. His original name was Venkatakrishna. He hailed from a family who were performing pooja to Goddess Kamakshi. Most of his kritis are a reflection of his reverence to Goddess Kamakshi. He was initiated into music by Sangeetha Swami.
His songs are known for their laya pattern. He has composed over three hundered songs in sanskrit, Telugu & Tamil. He has handled rare ragas efficiently. His mudra was Syama Krishna.