Suddala Ashok Teja, the National Award Winner for the best lyricist, for the song "Nenu Saitam" from the film Tagore (2003) was born in the village Suddala, in the Nalgonda district of Andhra Pradesh on 16 May 1954. He was born to a well-known Telugu poet, Suddala Hanmanthu and Janakamma. Hanmanthu was a Padmashali poet of Telangana Saayudha Porata Yodhudu and the Telangana Rebellion. Ashok Teja has three siblings, Suddala Prabhakar Teja, Suddala Sudhakar Teja and Racha Bharathi. Young Ashok had a knack of composing lyrics since his childhood. At the beginning of his career, he was a Teacher in Bandalingapoor in the Karimnagar district. But he was positively able to improve his talent and pursue it with some help.
His nephew in the Telugu Film industry, Uttej is a popular celebrity and has helped him make his breakthrough in the lyrics writing career. He became quite famous after writing the lyrics for the films 'Ninne Pelladutha' and 'Osey Ramulamma' during the years spanning 1996–1997. Ashok Teja wrote six songs for the movie 'Osey Ramulamma' in 1997 and the song in 'Okato Number Kurraadu' – "Nemali Kannodaa" was acclaimed greatly. In 2003, he won the National Film Award for Best Lyricist for his song "Nenu Saitham". The film Tagore is about a professor forming an organisation to fight corruption and is based on Sri Sri's "Nenu Saitham" from 'Mahaprasthanam'.
After Sri Sri won the National Award for his "Telugu Veera Levaraa" in the film 'Alluri Sitaramaraju', and the second was won by Veturi’ who got for "Raalipoye Puvva Neeku Ragaalenduke" in '
', he became the third writer to win this award. He wrote over 2000 songs for films amounting to as much as 1000 till the year 2014, and some of his works include "Bangaaru Kalla Buchamma" in 'Murari'; "Aha Allari" in 'Khadgam'; "Regumullole" in Kante Koothurne Kanu Chandamama; "Nuvu Yadikelthe Aadikastha Suvarna" in the movie '6Teens'; then in the film ‘Pandurungaadu "Matrudevo bhava anna maaata". "Korameenu" sung by
, "Lothe Teliyanide" and "Sommunu" sung by Ranjith, and "Neekosam Pilla" sung by Suchitra Karthik Kumar and
in 'Raju Bhai'.
His most recent works include the song "Homam Yuddham" sung by
, the songs "Ye Pagale", and "Yey Mister Ninne" sung by Akhila and Anwar Sadath, "Katti Naaku Gucchadammo", "Magaallu Mee Maatalo", "Pedavikidem Kasiro", from the movie Homam by J. D. Chakravarthy. The song "Agnigundam" in the movie 'Dhee Ante Dhee'; "Nelaku Jarene Chandamama" and "Oorori Mavayyo" from the film Dongala Bandi; the songs "Oo Mara Manishi" and "Inumulo Oo Hrudayam Molichene" from Robo(Telugu) and the song "Nijamena" from Jai Bolo Telangana. Ashok Teja got married to Nirmala and has two sons and a daughter together. His eldest daughter, Swapna, is a homemaker and has two kids. Jwala Chaitanya, his middle son, is a software engineer by profession, working in the USA and is a father of two kids. His youngest son, Arjun Teja, has got recently married. Ashok Teja is currently living in Hyderabad with his wife Nirmala.