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How the indie music scene in Malayalam fared in 2021

As the leisure business went on restoration mode in 2021 after a pandemic-hit 2020, the indie music scene in Malayalam noticed productions with distinct soundscapes. The early a part of the yr had rap and hip-hop music holding sway. There have been experimental tasks as nicely, similar to mixing of Carnatic music and symphonic orchestra, medley and rap, EDM and regional people….. Some songs went viral due to catchy lyrics and presentation.

Rap and roll

Like 2020, rappers have been on a roll this yr too. Kochi Music Foundation (KMF) organised ‘Para’ (Say), a digital hip-hop music competition that featured MC Cooper, Vedan, Street Academics, Fejo, Blesslee, Aditi Nair (Rap Kid), Marthyan, Irfana Hameed, Manushyar, Neeraj Madhav (NJ), A.B.I, Indulekha Warrier and Vaishnavi Avees (Vivzy).

‘One Under the Sun’, one among the first releases of the yr, had a mix of melody and rap in the voices of James Thakara, founding father of the band Thakara, and Vedan (Hirandas Murali), who shot to fame together with his music, ‘Voice of Voiceless’. Written and composed by Akhil Ramachandran, the music rooted for equality and questions the prejudices in the society.

The fashion rubbed off on composer Bijibal in addition to he and lyricist BK Harinarayanan composed ‘Vithu’, a music devoted to farmers protesting in opposition to the Centre’s farmers’ invoice.

Notable notes

The yr noticed many standout tasks. Renuka Arun introduced collectively Carnatic music and symphonic orchestra for her manufacturing ‘Maruthai’ that spoke in opposition to abuse of girls and kids. For the music video starring Mitra Visvesh, the singer-composer labored with Fames Macedonian Symphonic Orchestra.

Renuka Arun’s album ‘Maruthai’

Varkey’s (Arun Varghese) ‘Chiri Paatu’, revolving round friendship, blended EDM and regional people. The music video was directed by Goutham Soorya.

Varkey (Arun Varghese)

The feel-good vibes was spot on in the musical, ‘Made in Heaven – Kanmani’ from the Shaan Rahman-Benny Dayal combo. Made like a brief movie by actor Noble B Thomas, it instructed the story of a lady who takes her boyfriend dwelling to fulfill her dad and mom.

It was a chocolate cake that took centrestage in the music video, ‘Thonnal’, that includes and directed by Ahaana Krishna. The melody was composed by Govind Vasantha and sung by Haniya Nafisa, who grew to become a sensation with a number of cowl variations being posted on social media. Experimentation too was on show; case in level being Once Upon a Blue Moon by Pina Colada Blues a.ok.a Kevin Shaji.

Ahaana Krishna in the music video ‘Thonnal’, which she directed as well

Ahaana Krishna in the music video ‘Thonnal’, which she directed as nicely
| Photo Credit: Special association

On the indie observe

Several singers got here up with indie productions. Sooraj Santhosh launched ‘Harinamakeerthanam’ from his impartial album, The Gypsy Sun. He rendered verses from Harinamakeerthanam, a philosophical textual content in Malayalam by Thunchath Ramanujan Ezhuthachan, the father of recent Malayalam literature. Sithara Krishnakumar had two main releases — ‘Arutharuthu’, a manufacturing of her band Project Malabaricus, and ‘Tharuni’, a dance musical composed by Mithun Jayaraj. While ‘Arutharuthu’ is a name for conserving the atmosphere, ‘Tharuni’, is for girls. It noticed Sithara return to her days as a classical dancer.

Gowry Lekshmi

Gowri Lekshmi launched Carnatic music collection Rathnamala, an EP with 4 songs that consisted of each classical and semi-classical songs. The singer-composer additionally created historical past by turning into the first Malayali musician to get on board the NFT platform, in which she launched a few songs.

While Jyotsna launched ‘Senorita’, a melody written and sung by her, playback singer KS Harishankar sang in just a few indie productions, together with ‘Oblivion’ for Ashwin Renju, ‘Kanmoodi Paarthal’ (Sam Simon George), ‘Dhoore’ (Mithun Mohan) and ‘Vaarkadal’ (The Non Violinist Project).

Surprise hits

Ashwin Bhaskar (right) and KP Naisal. Ashwin brought out a 'dialogue with beats' video, ‘Perfect OK’ with dialogues by Naisal

Ashwin Bhaskar (proper) and KP Naisal. Ashwin introduced out a ‘dialogue with beats’ video, ‘Perfect OK’ with dialogues by Naisal
| Photo Credit: Special association

Unusual content material grabbed consideration this yr. Like the ‘dialogue-with-beat’ video by Ashwin Bhaskar, an audio engineer, composer and music producer. His ‘Perfect Ok’ ‘song’ had beats combined with dialogues from a video by KP Naisal, an autorickshaw driver, and garnered over 13 million views. Another musician who went viral was Karthik Krishnan a.ok.a The Humble Musician, a vlogger-cum-musician whose music ‘Aanayaal karayalle pennayaal kuniyalle’ questioned gender roles.

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