'Manna Maamanna', a song about rebellion and liberation

The song marks the first collaboration of A.R. Rahman with Arivu


The lyrical video 'Manna Maamanna', from the Kollywood movie Maamannan, released on Tuesday, has the fans excited as it brings together for the first time the legendary music composer A.R. Rahman and rapper-lyricist Arivu. Rahman has composed the song, written and sung by the rapper, for Maamannan, directed by Mari Selvaraj and starring Udhayanidhi Stalin, Vadivelu, Fahadh Faasil and Keerthy Suresh in the lead.

The lyrical video features black-and-white visuals of Arivu recording the song with a few glimpses of Udhayanidhi Stalin and Vadivelu from what appear to be the sets of the movie. The visuals had Vadivelu and Udhayanidhi Stalin getting suited up and posing with much swag. 

The initial lines of the song suggest the emergence of a character's rebellion and his eventual liberation from his troubled past. The lyrics focus on the word ‘oosa’, which means voice—the voice that comes from within; the voice of race, of place, of everything that people use to discriminate against others. The lyrics further speak about heeding to the voice from within and how this voice prompts one to let go of the past.

The title of the song, 'Manna Maamanna' is introduced quite late in the track, but when it finally arrives, it dominates the entire composition, making the track quite memorable.

'Manna Maamanna' also marks the first collaboration between Rahman and Mari Selvaraj.

Ever since the movie was announced, Maamannan, touted to be a political thriller, has been garnering much interest as it is the third movie from Mari Selvaraj, after the hard-hitting Pariyerum Perumal and Karnan, both of which denounced caste oppression that continues to persist in Tamil Nadu. There are expectations that Maamannan will also be in a similar vein.

Maamannan will have Vadivelu essaying a serious character, of a father and politician—a never-before-seen avatar for the actor who has mostly been limited to playing comedic roles. During the audio launch of the film recently, the director revealed that he drew inspiration for Vadivelu's character in Maamannan from the role the actor played in Kamal Haasan's Thevar Magan, Esaki, and re-imagined Esaki as the hero. 

The first single from the movie, 'Raasa Kannu', sung by Vadivelu, was released on May 19. The impromptu jamming session of Vadivelu and Rahman during the audio launch of the movie on June 2 was the highlight of the event, attended by celebrities like Kamal Haasan, Vetrimaaran, Pa Ranjith, A.R. Murugadoss, H. Vinoth, Mysskin, Pandiraj, Vignesh Shivan, and S.J. Suryah among others.

Produced by Udhayanidhi Stalin under the banner of Red Giant Movies, Maamannan is scheduled to hit cinemas in June. Maamannan will be the last time Udayanidhi Stalin playing the lead in a movie as the actor wants to take a break from films to fully focus on his role as a minister and on his political career.

About Arivu

Arivu hit headlines with the indie hit song, 'Enjoy Enjaami' that clocked almost 19 million views in just over a week of its release on YouTube – a phenomenal achievement for independent Tamil music. 

Hailing from a middle-class family, Arivarasu Kalainesan aka Arivu was exposed to traditional folklore as he had no access to TV and radio during his childhood. During his school days, he used to write poems about caste oppression and poverty. His lyrics became all the more political when he entered college.

Arivu met director Pa. Ranjith when he was doing his MBA. The director gave him a much-required break in Rajinikanth-starrer Kaala (2018), and the lyrics ‘Urimayai meetpom’ catapulted the youngster to fame. Later, he joined Ranjith's band, The Casteless Collective.

Over the years, he released several independent songs and also composed music for a number of Tamil films. One of his notable collaborations was with music producer OfRo, for the studio album Therukural (Voice of the street). He teamed up with Dhee and Santhosh Narayanan under the music label Maajja, an independent platform launched by Rahman, to come up with the sensational 'Enjoy Enjaami' in March 2021. As of June 2023, the song has over 469 million views on YouTube. 

Other notable films of Arivu include Jai Bhim, Master, Soorarai Pottru and Annaatthe.