Happy Birthday Anirudh Ravichander: Beyond Kolaveri Di and Arabic Kuthu; Learn more about the “Jawan” musician

I know what you’re thinking. Why introduce someone like Anirudh Ravichander up north when the music composer is known around the world for his breakout song Why This Kolaveri? But do you know that Dhanush and Anirudh Ravichander don’t like being called the Kolaveri Boys (Dhanush once said he’s not that proud of the song anymore)? There’s more to Anirudh Ravichander than Kolaveri and Arabic Kuthu. On his birthday, let’s look at some of Anirudh’s unique selling points that have made him the most sought-after composer in the Tamil industry to break into Bollywood with Shah Rukh Khan’s Jawan.

The master of hooks

In the age of roles and stories, people no longer have time for “slow poison”. Gone are the days of giving songs time to grow on us. Now the tracks have to get into your head the second or third time, otherwise they won’t make our Spotify or YouTube playlists. The need to be good right away only worked in Anirudh’s favor, whose expertise at inventing a jingle or chorus or even some gibberish that instantly etches itself in our minds is almost masterful. You might not even like the whole song, but the hook will live rent-free in your head.


unpopular

One of the predominant genres of song you’ll find in the South is the folk numbers – as a significant number of the films are set in villages here. A Tamil musician’s market is also determined by his mastery of this genre. AR Rahman might have brought new sounds to the industry, but he also had to prove his folk mastery with Kizhakku Chemmayile (1993) and Uzhavan (1993). Much like Rahman, Anirudh brought his own unique twist to the folk genre of Tamil cinema. I’m particularly amused by the way Anirudh uses singer Anthony Dasan for his songs. It’s easy to use your rooted voice for true blue folk songs, but how will you place Dippam Dappam (Kaathuvaakula Rendu Kaadhal) or Kattikida (Kaaki Sattai) or Aaha Kalyanam (Petta)? You can’t be sure if they’re folk numbers or not, but you can be sure they’re great.


Tryst with Bollywood

Jawan is not the Hindi debut of Anirudh as is believed. The music composer previously composed the underrated song “Yun Hi Re” for bilingual Tamil-Hindi David. Looking through the song’s comments section would have you wondering why it took Bollywood so long to record Anirudh. Also, Anirudh has sung both the Tamil and Hindi versions of the song.

recognition long overdue


Anirudh’s critics have taken issue with its booming sounds and frenzied tempos of its songs. But the musician rarely gets by for some of his minimalist melodies. Melody isn’t something that comes to mind when talking about Anirudh. However, upon hearing Neeyum Naanum (Naanum Rowdy Thaan), Megham Karukatha (Thiruchitrambalam) and Po Nee Po (3), one cannot help but wonder why that seems to be the case.



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