‘Kabali’ on song – Neruppu Da’ – Arunraja Kamaraj

‘Kabali’ on song – Neruppu Da’ – Arunraja Kamaraj

Neruppu Da’ – Arunraja Kamaraj, Lyricist-Singer

Neruppu Da’ - Arunraja Kamaraj - kabaliorgin

Arunraja Kamaraj has written and sung for films like Pizza, Jigarthanda, and Theri, but it’s ‘Neruppu Da’ that has completely transformed his career. “A Rajini sir film elevates everybody associated with it.”

It all came about when his long-time friend Santhosh Narayanan invited him to his studio at midnight. Arunraja figured he’d been called for help with Iraivi or Manithan. When he entered the studio, he was surprised to see director Pa. Ranjith in conversation with Santhosh about ‘Maya Nadhi’. He knew, of course, that they were working on Kabali.

It was when Santhosh played the ‘Neruppu Da’ track without vocals that Arunraja realised he was to write a song for Kabali. “I was asked to write about the character, keeping in mind the Superstar’s image.” Any other lyricist might have asked for a day or two, but Arunraja knew that such opportunities come by rarely. “They continued discussing the album, while I sat down and got myself into the mood by watching Thalapathi, Annamalai and Baasha.” Subsequently, this song, which has now been watched 60 lakh times on YouTube, was written in all of 20 minutes, and only two words were eventually changed. He’s as comfortable with Santhosh Narayanan as he is by himself, so the lack of privacy didn’t really hamper his creativity.

And then something unexpected happened. “Come, let’s record it,” said Santhosh. Arunraja agreed immediately. As he prepared to sing, he recalled Santhosh’s advice when they worked on hit Telugu song ‘Gangs of Ditchpally’, in Billa Ranga. “Kevalamaa paadu. Koral kodooramaa irukkanum (Sing horribly. Your voice should sound unpleasant).”

About his guttural laugh in the song, he says, “I was a huge fan of Will Smith’s songs when growing up in my village. I’d often sing them and laugh in between like he does. People in my village thought I was quite odd.” The teachers of the government school in this village – Kulithalai, in Karur – created in him a love for Tamil. “They saw us not as ATM machines, but as students.” Arunraja is disgusted by how education today is so focussed on grades. “Students pick French and Sanskrit in high school, only so they can get more marks.”

Arunraja is an untrained singer, and so, isn’t really keen to accept all the invitations to sing. “If some composer tells me, “Madhyathla paadunga”, I’d have no idea what to do. I’d rather not waste their time and mine.” He denies that Santhosh and gang are out to create a revolution with colloquial lyrics and untrained voices. “We just aim to contribute whatever is suitable for the film. But I guess we are avoiding some clichés.”

He almost believes that invisible forces have conspired to make these things happen. “How else can you explain that even in the first song I wrote (‘Rathiriyai’ for Pizza), some Rajini sir lines were used? And now, his dialogues are part of my track again.” Arunraja doesn’t yet know how his song will be used in the film. “I heard from a Ranjith interview that Rajini sir likes the song.” But he wants to hear it first-hand from the man himself. “It’d be enough if he looked at me and said, ‘Magizhchi’.”

Source : http://www.thehindu.com

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