Nature’s symphony

Dhee, singer

Dhee | Nirmal Vedhachalam Dhee | Nirmal Vedhachalam

It is hardly a surprise that the Tamil song ‘Enjoy Enjaami’ has clocked in more than 25 million views since its release last week. It is the independent single of Dhee, the singer who was behind the ‘billion big’ ‘Rowdy Baby’ from 2019. Colombo-born Dhee, who currently lives in Chennai, is the first core artist to release a song under A.R. Rahman’s new-age label, maajja. Shot in collaboration with rapper and lyricist Arivu, known for his deeply political work, ‘Enjoy Enjaami’ pays homage to our ancestors. Pegged for big things, the 22-year-old talks to THE WEEK.

Q\ How did ‘Enjoy Enjaami’ happen? Who came up with the idea?

A\ Maajja asked if I’d be interested in doing a song for YAALL festival prior to my album that maajja was also producing. I was super excited about the idea, and thought it would be amazing to do my first independent song in Tamil. Meanwhile, Arivu and I had spoken about collaborating and this felt like the perfect opportunity for us to work on a song together along with Santhosh appa (Santhosh Narayanan, film composer). We discussed with Manikandan sir (director), who inspired the song immensely. This song has a piece of all three of us. We wanted the song to celebrate nature, our roots, ancestors and all life forms, not just humans.

Q\ How do you feel about the state of Tamil independent music? Who are the artistes you are excited to work with?

A\ There is an abundance of talent here. It is true that it is not big at the moment, but the potential is huge. The hope is that a platform like majjaa can start transforming the scene and, we also hope, create opportunities for artistes and producers. Right now, I am particularly excited by ofRo’s work; he is a music producer based out of Chennai. Aditya Ravindran’s an amazing musician. I have always loved and admired [playback singer and music director] Pradeep Kumar’s work. I think his albums Yodhakaa and Poorvaa are monumental in world music.

Q\ How do you look back on the success of ‘Rowdy Baby’? Did you have any inkling when you recorded the song of what was in store for it?

A\ I did not have any expectations! It is amazing and surreal. It was a catchy song, but I did not expect it to be a billion big. I am always surprised when I see how much children adore the song. Again, I just feel really lucky and grateful to be a small part of ‘Rowdy Baby’.