Skip to main content

The Song That Sent India on a Murderous Rage!

Shall I aim for a Grammy next? Actor Dhanush strikes a pose while recording for the song Why This Kolaveri, Di?



If SMSs and online status updates carry quirky messages such as ‘cow-u, cow-u, holy cow-u, I want you here now-u’, you can blame it on the actor-music director duo of Dhanush and Anirudh Ravichander, the people behind the hit song Why This Kolaveri, Di.


Bangalore: Outlandish as it may seem, you would hardly expect the singer of a chartbuster that is doing the rounds in social networking sites to completely play down the phenomenon. But, actor Dhanush - better known as the son-in-law of Superstar Rajinikanth - who is also the singer of the latest internet sensation that is Why This Kolaveri, Di (which approximates to, why this murderous rage, girl), chooses to do exactly that. "We cannot plan such things. It was an honest effort," he insists.
 
The actor says he does not know why he had to zero upon the word kolaveri as the catchphrase for the song. "We do not know why. We think the concept is new,” says Dhanush, who had recently won the best actor national award for his performance in the Tamil movie Aadukalam. He details that he was keen on using common English words, such as ‘holy cow’, which anyone can understand to enable that connect with the listener.

Unsurprisingly, the composer of the song, Anirudh Ravichander, too, is elated; in his own words, he is on Cloud number 9. "Not in my wildest dreams did I expect such a huge hit, that too with my very first song." He adds that Aishwarya Dhanush – with whom his association dates back to two years, when he used to compose music for her short films – explained that the situation demanded a song that deals with love failure. “In 10 minutes I was ready with a tune and in about 20 minutes, Dhanush with the lyrics.”

When asked whether there was any personal experience behind the song, as the lyrics are intended to convey a sense of pathos, Dhanush laughs and adds, "No, no, not at all."

Anirudh adds that he looks forward to the remainder of the album, which comprises 10 tracks. Why... has generated a lot of expectations, and I want to meet them in the album, he says. Dhanush, however, has a different view: "I am not afraid that the song will create huge expectations about my upcoming releases. It is only the song that should supplement the movie, not the other way round." His latest movie, Mayakkam Enna, got released on Friday, while the movie in which Why... features, 3, is expected to be released soon.

The actor sums up the song in a nutshell, "Raw, untrained singers are aplenty, just as songs about love failure are. Why... is one such song featuring a raw singer."

Take a bow, Dhanush, Anirudh, for being at your candid best!



An anatomy of an internet viral

Why..., it turns out, was actually a behind-the-scenes shoot for the song that also features Dhanush’s wife Aishwarya, actor Kamal Hasan’s daughter Shruti and debutant music director Anirudh Ravichander. The song’s pan-Indian appeal is startling indeed, and can be attributed to the following factors: its eclectic mix of English lyrics with a Tamil drawl, the accompanying “kuthu” beats with the hint of a piano interlude, and the matter-of-fact filming of the video.
 
A rough version of the song, says Anirudh, was leaked on to the internet. "Tracking the person who had done so is a difficult process, but we managed to.” However, the response to the song was so overwhelming that he adds he would have thanked that person instead, while knowing that the leak could have actually backfired upon them!
 
Karthikeyan R, a software engineer at an IT firm in Bangalore, says: "The simple lyrics and catchy beats in the song had me hooked to Why... I am willing to overlook the fact that the English dished out in the song was not grammatically correct."
 
Echoing Karthikeyan’s views is Aashish Solanki, founder designer of a city-based online brand strategy organisation. He concurs that he found an instant connect with the song, despite not understanding Tamil. "The tune was awesome and I was attracted to it instantly." The unconventional lyrics, he says, struck a chord in him. "The mishmash of genres in the song is reflective of the typical Indian mindset," Solanki adds. "With TV no longer being the mass-media, it is inevitable that people switch to social networking sites for advertising."
 
Enter social networking sites, and you need what is known as a "talking point", which, according to Rishabh Malhotra, founding partner of a city-based men's lifestyle website, was inherent in the song. The song had catchy tune and beats, similar to what an earlier chartbuster, Bhaag DKBose, from the movie Delhi Belly, had, he elucidates. "Such websites provide one-one and one-many connectivity, offering outreach to millions."
 
Refusing that the song became a hit because its lyrics comprised slang English, he says that there is only a limit up to which marketers can promote a song, beyond which the song needs to sell itself.

Popular posts from this blog

Tamil Nadu’s Thala-Thalapathy conundrum

Chennai’s Fourth Estate at War

Touching upon competitive spirit, the legendary writer George Orwell, in an essay dated 1945, had described sport as war minus the shooting. He could very well be referring to the ongoing veiled battle between two of India's English dailies.

When “India’s national newspaper since 1878” and the “Largest read English daily in the world” decide to slug it out over Chennai’s newspaper readership, rest assured that the battle would spill over to the TV media, as was witnessed recently. Cheeky indeed were the ads that thumbed the nose at one another; though, few were in doubt over who the target was.

To the uninitiated, the two newspapers – The Hindu and The Times of India(TOI), respectively – have modus operandi that are as identical as chalk is to cheese, or uppu (salt) is to upma, a South Indian snack. The "war" in question is the race to get hold of the average Chennaiite, and eventually the Indian, newspaper reader’s attention.

And no, this piece of opinion isn’t about the…

7am arivu: Chennai-China Medley Falls Flat

Should ever a book titled ‘The Art of Deception by Flattery’ be authored, A R Murugadoss’ 7 am arivu (the seventh sense) would probably rank atop in its index; it could even be a case study on how to crash land viewers’ expectations after building it up to a crescendo.
The movie begins with a flashback, when we are told that a Pallava princeling (Surya) migrated to China and became the Shaolin master we know today as Bodhidharma. 
Cut to the present. Subha Srinivasan (Shruti Hasan – actor Kamal Hasan’s daughter making her Tamil debut) is a student of genetic engineering whose research causes the jitters to the People’s Republic of China, forcing them to send a spy, Dong Lee (Hollywood actor Johnny Nguyen, who was also a stunt double in Spiderman and Spiderman-2) to bump her off and spread an epidemic in India. (Are we taking a cue from Hollywood, which during the Cold War era vilified then USSR?) Thrown in the conundrum is Aravind (Surya again) a circus artiste, who falls head-over-hee…