Pillay, who died on Tuesday after a heart attack, was a well-known face in the entertainment industry in the 1950s, when he sang alongside music legends such as Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba and Dorothy Masuka.
Pillay’s niece, Professor Suria Govender, described her uncle as an interesting person.
“He was enigmatic. He was very unusual and very interesting. My uncle was extremely cultured. His father was a violinist and his mother spoke to him in Tamil.
“He developed his love for jazz at an early age and his talent was recognised,” she said.