Dhee, the Tamil film singer, and Casteless Collective rapper and songwriter Arivu’s new single Enjoy Enjaami was launched on Saturday.
The independent single was launched by music director AR Rahman’s Maajja, a platform that encourages and elevates South Asian musicians who work in the independent music sphere.
Enjoy Enjaami is Maajja’s first release. Arivu, who wrote the lyrics, said that it is based on the lives and the struggles of labourers from Tamil Nadu who were taken to work in Sri Lanka tea estates and later deported by their government and left to fend for themselves in Tamil Nadu. It speaks about their relationship with the world around them, their roots and nature through their lens.
The song has been produced by music director Santhosh Narayanan. The music video premiered on Sunday.
Directors Sudha Kongara, P Ranjith, Mari Selvaraj, Nalan Kumaraswamy, and Karthik Subbaraj attended the event. Music composer Deva, who worked on movies such as Baasha and Kadhal Kottai, also attended the event.
Speaking about the song, Arivu said: “The Sri Lankan government asked the labourers to go back because they said that their population had risen. The labourers who had lived in Sri Lanka for at least two or three generations only knew how to pick tea leaves. When they landed in Tamil Nadu, they migrated to areas like Ooty, Valparai, and Gudalur hoping to get work. Many worked very hard to come up. These are my roots too. My grandmother was one such migrant,” he said.
The rapper said that his grandmother, Valliamma who features in the video, is his inspiration.
“I do not know what rap or hip hop is. I find hip hop in my grandmother’s stories… I used to say that she is the best rapper in the world,” he said and added that the video was shot in his village near Arakkonam.
He said that platforms like Maajja helped independent musicians find their roots and took their songs to larger audiences. This independent single is expected to throw the doors open for other such artists to also showcase their talent, he said.
Dhee said that she would love for this platform to be extended to several other independent artists.
“Arivu is one of the best artists in the world right now. Santhosh Narayanan is my favourite person and favourite artist. I consider myself really lucky to be working with him and see him work,” she said.
Santhosh announced that he has was touring villages to scout for these artists. He apologised to them for not recognising the expanse of their work earlier.
“When a well-established artist like Arivu himself had emotional tears for getting recognised today, just imagine, there are more than one lakh independent artists, who are waiting for recognition,” the Karnan composer said.
Echoing his sentiments, director P Ranjith said, “This isn’t just about pioneering with something unique, but a great means of bringing forth the talented independent artists under the spotlight. Santhosh has been very much religious about promoting this type of musical culture. Dhee isn’t just a playback singer, but she is quite emotional about the lyrical part. Arivu has done an excellent job. Digital platforms have been bridging the gap between music and its accessibility to groups from various social strata. I am sure, this is the beginning and there will be more independent music artists getting acknowledged in the near future.”
Enjoy Enjaami is available on the music streaming platform Spotify.