'The song got more popular than it should have'

Published: Nov 24, 2011, 07:58 IST | prachi.sibal |

... says actor turned singer Dhanush who is partly responsible for setting off an entire phenomenon called Kolaveri Di

... says actor turned singer Dhanush who is partly responsible for setting off an entire phenomenon called Kolaveri Di

It all began on an unassuming Thursday morning when we caught the first glimpse of this soon-to-be rage. Soon after that,  phrases like 'soup song,' 'seriya vaasi' and 'Kaila Glass'su' weren't sounding strange anymore.

Anirudh and Aishwaria

The internet and social networking sites were abuzz with discussions on and links to the song. Kolaveri di (barbaric rage)is the new song by newbie music director Anirudh Ravichander and actor/singer Dhanush that has taken the country by storm.
The simplicity and matter-of-fact style is the first thing that hits you about the song. And it's one of those numbers that refuses to get off your head.

The song was an impromptu act by Dhanush while director of 3, the film the song is a part of, Aishwarya Rajnikanth and actor Shruti Hassan looked on.

The recorded version of the studio session was leaked on Youtube. After repeated attempts of trying to trace the source, the track was released publicly on November 17.

Talking about the lyrics, Dhanush in a telephonic interview from Chennai, says, "There is no history to the word 'Kolaveri.' It was the first word that came to my mind when I heard the composition."

The lyrics that follow that word are in English with a Tanglicised accent and a smattering of Tamil. What's incredible is  the viral popularity of the song and the video within a matter of days.


Dhanush says, "We all knew this song would click but never knew it was going to make it this big. It is just a song that got more popular than it should have." When asked what makes the song a sensation that the nation can't stop humming, he says, "Three things make this song work: it's simple, silly and funny."

Basking in the newfound glory of a singer, Dhanush admits it doesn't change things too much for him and that he will continue his routine as an actor despite the fan following the song has brought him.

MiD DAY also got chatty with Anirudh who can't seem to fathom the fame that has hit him over the past few days.

How did 3 happen?
It was during college after my band Zynx had won a reality show being judged by AR Rahman that I realised that I had to begin taking music seriously. It was at that time that Aishwarya, who I had known previously, started shooting short films prior to her directing 3. I did the background score and a song or two each for 12 such films. It was then that 3 came my way.

Tell us how the composition happened.
It was quite simple. The director gave me a situation and the rest came easily to me. When I first played the composition to Aishwarya, she liked it and made Dhanush listen to it. Dhanush took the mic and started singing the first line. All of it happened in a span of 20 minutes. It came from the heart and when we heard it, we went berserk.

Any plans of composing a female version of the song?
It is a total guy's song, so we are not planning anything of the sort yet though I have received a lot of requests to make Kolaveri da.

What sort of response did you expect to the track?
It was fun making it. We knew it would do well, but didn't expect in our wildest dreams that it would become so popular. It was track that we thought would work with the youth, but it has gone much farther than that.

What did you wake up to on the morning of November 17?
The link was uploaded on Wednesday night and it went live on Thursday morning. I was sent the link by Sony Music and saw it had 301 views. When I checked an hour later, I saw that 83,000 people had viewed the track. This was followed by one a half million views in four days' time. I was bombarded with calls. I was flying in the air and tried to stay rooted.

What is the nicest reaction you have received for Kolaveri di so far?
I got a comment all the way from London from a man who said he had heard the track 2,000 times. He said he couldn't understand a thing but the song gives him solace.

What do we expect from the rest of the album and what are your plans for the future?
The popularity of this song has raised expectations from the rest of the album. I have tried to make every song unique. You will hear everything from a Western classical number to heavy rock and even a duet that will take you back to the black and white era where the actors sang their own duets. Dhanush and Shruti will be doing one. I have also received a lot of offers but haven't signed on the dotted line for any. The plan is to give this film my  all and continue making songs from my soul. The truth remains, you can never make a song, it has to come to you.

What is your ultimate musical dream?
I would like to score music for an Aamir Khan and a Rajnikanth films. Rajini sir is my idol and above everything else for me.

Celeb tweets

Neha Dhupia

Have shown tremendous restraint by not listening to Kolaveri even once all morning.

Amitabh Bachchan
Just heard Kolaveri after much talk on it ... it's so original and catchy ..congrats Dhanush and Aishwarya(Rajni's daughter) .. love

Gaurav Kapur
Mama, u should change your name from Dhanush to Teer. Bullseye I zay :)

Konkona Sensharma
Just heard Kolaveri Di. Head bobbing uncontrollably on loop. Kola .... Veri Cool-ah

Mahesh Dattani
The song that's taking the country by storm. I remember seeing Dhanush many many years ago in the move Kaldal.

Bruce Lee Mani, Thermal And A Quarter
I haven't heard the song yet but I am glad it has completely trumped the three-month long Ra.One campaign. I have heard about its lyrics and the peppy tune, I am waiting to listen to it.

DJ Anoop
I was one of the first few people to have passed it around the net after it released. I was totally amazed at how it was so simple and still made it big. There is an infectious madness to it even though there is nothing great about the orchestra or the song. It is the concept that makes it great.

Gurupriya Shrinivasen, Singer
I did find it hilarious on the first listen. What is making it such a viral phenomenon is the fact that the lyrics are so relatable and in youthful colloquial terms. Every youngster relates with what Dhanush is saying and the way he sings it is probably how every guy sounds in his head when he is thinking about a girl/ a relationship.

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