Anirudh Ravichander, who has been something of a trend-setter, has recently come out with ‘India’s first vertical pop music video’, Bewajah, which has already accumulated close to 8 million views on YouTube. He says the idea was to create something rich and innovative.
“When we came up with Kolaveri Di, we didn’t think it would go viral. Since then, people have wanted something creative. Sony music and I decided to work on this concept of vertical video. We believe it tells a richer visual story,” he adds.
Anirudh says he’s got some great feedback since the song’s release 10 days ago. “You don’t have to turn your phone around to watch the video. This concept has worked quite well,” he says. “I also sought to create a new sound for my Indie music. I hope I have lived up to my expectations. Fans constantly look for a change.”
He thanks the dedicated team that helped fulfill his vision. “All my band members have been with me from my school days. They share the same vision. Having such like-minded people around me makes work easier.”
The composer has got two big films — Thaana Serndha Kootam (TSK) and Velaikkaran — lined up. He says both are special on account of the great rapport he shares with Vignesh Shivn, Suriya, and Sivakarthikeyan. “TSK is my first film with Suriya, while Velaikkaran is my fifth with Sivakarthikeyan. Vignesh and I go back a long way.
I’m glad that the singles from both films have been received well.” His songs have turned out to be hits, even if the films (like Irandaam Ulagam and Rum) belong to haven’t always done well. He smiles, “I sincerely do what is given to me. I am grateful for all the love and support of my fans.” He’s a popular name in Tamil cinema, and he now hopes to replicate this success in Telugu cinema too.
“I am doing Pawan Kalyan’s 25th project, and am looking forward to working with Trivikram. He’s a chilled out guy. I also have another film with him, which has Junior NTR in the lead. I can’t wait to hear from Telugu people about my music.”
With all this work — singles, his upcoming Bollywood debut, Telugu films, Tamil films — he says he hardly has any free time. “I need to do justice to projects I choose. I’ve always tried to make sure that my work for different films don’t sound too similar,” he says, explaining why he has had to be choosy about his projects. He’s also a big connoisseur of music.
“There is something to learn from each song. At the end of the day, it is all about soul. Every song of mine, for instance, has a bit of my soul in it.” It’s hard to say from his songs, but Anirudh has learned Carnatic music. He laughs, “I can’t let it influence my work all the time.”
Anirudh’s a celebrity in his own right, but he still plays tunes to his friends and family before finalising them. “They’re my biggest critics!” Most of his work happens during the night, and he says he’s thankful for what the internet has done to composers like him. “It motivates me to experiment with my music. Thanks to the internet and all the music applications, the reach and visibility for songs is a lot better these days.”
He’s also made a name singing for other composers. “It’s not about the money,” he says. “I am just happy that I’m being approached by other composers.” While on teamwork, he reveals the big news — of the long-awaited return of the Dhanush-Anirudh collaboration. “Yes, we’re planning to come up with a single next year,” he says.
It’s been years since he took a break. “Music is life. A break from life is really not the best thing,” he laughs.