It used to be common for most Tamil films to have at least five to six songs in them. But in the last two years, that number has come down significantly to two or three. With a lot of the songs being composed as background score , a younger lot of actors too have taken to not lip syncing to songs.
Recently, it became big news when Shankar announced that his next magnum opus, Rajinikanth’s 2.0, will have just two tracks in it. Even Jayam Ravi’s Tik Tik Tik, despite having music by hit composer D Imman, has just two songs. A prominent director, who is now making a film without any songs says, “I started out as an assistant to a big director, who used to tell me that if songs in a film are chartbusters, the film too would click in the box-office. He would advise us to first make a hero introduction song and then proceed with the script. Now I see people smirking when characters suddenly break into a song . You cannot do away with songs in Tamil films, but I feel it should be used only for promotions or as background music. Did Aruvi have any songs? It was the narration and background music that gripped the viewers.”
An integral part
The younger audience today uses song sequences as an excuse to start using their mobile phones or to get out for a snack. Songs have also been cut down to trim running time of films towards the 120 to 135 minutes mark.
Even viral sensations such as ‘Jimikki Kammal’ from Mohanlal’s Velipadinte Pusthakam and ‘Kala Chashma’ from Baar Baar Dekho, failed to contribute to the films’ box office performance.
However, music has remained an integral part of big hero movies in Tamil. Recently, the songs that helped the films generate an opening were ‘Surviva’ from Vivegam, ‘Aalaporaan Thamizhan’ from Mersal and ‘Sodakku’ from Thaanaa Serndha Koottam.
Bollywood films release all songs on digital platforms and television, as part of promotion, before the film hits the theatres. In Kollywood, audio companies instead choose to release a ‘lyric video’, where stills from the film are shown in a video format with lyrics of the song. Music videos are usually released only once the film disappears from theatres. The argument given by producers is that the audience would stay away from theatres if the songs are shown before release.
One thing unique about Tamil music is that music platforms–television, radio (FM) and streaming apps prefer Kollywood music to private albums and non film music. Compare this to Hindi, where the craze for non film private albums (mostly Punjabi) has created an all new market. However in the South, Anirudh’s vertical video Bewajah, did not live up to expectations.
But audio companies are betting big on fresh talent and private albums in Tamil are expected to rock in 2018. Global music giant Sony Music and Chennai-based post-production facility Knack Studios have collaboratively announced the launch of The Madras Gig, a platform for indie talent across South India.
Collaborations and more
Last week, Gautham Menon and his Ondraga Originals launched Koova, the first single to promote independent music. The buzz is that music composer D Imman, who has just completed 100 films, is tying up with an audio major for a private album. Hip Hop Aadhi, one of the pioneers in independent music, is also planning something big. Swaroop Reddy of Think Music says: “Good music will always find its audiences. And there is so much of talent out there, which has to be promoted and encouraged. Now our Sagaa songs written and composed by independent music artist Shabir is touching nine million views, the film is yet to be released.”
The reality is hitting the audio companies, that nobody is buying CDs or downloading digital albums any longer and they need to reinvent to keep the music flowing. Today there is a proliferation of streaming apps such as Saavn, Gaana, Apple Music, Wynk and a host of others due to wider smartphone coverage and with mobile data getting cheaper.
Wtih the most preferred music streaming service in the world, Spotify, expected to become available officially in India, the streaming era will surely change Tamil music and its dependence on Kollywood. A new breed of singers and music composers are looking to change Tamil music in the digital era. The Indian music industry is expected to grow to ₹2,540 crore by 2021 from an estimated ₹1,220 crore in 2016 as per the FICCI-KPMG Media and Entertainment Industry Report 2017.
Все было сделано как положено. «Тогда откуда же пришла команда на ручное отключение?» - рассердилась. Недовольно поморщившись, Сьюзан закрыла окно экранного замка, но в ту долю секунды, когда оно исчезало с экрана, она заметила нечто необычное.
Снова открыв окно, Сьюзан изучила содержащуюся в нем информацию. Какая-то бессмыслица.