Of tunes and being tuned with Kaber Vasuki
As one of the pioneers of Tamil indie music, Kaber spills his thoughts on the current status of the industry.
As it goes with anything in this world, an artist too must evolve. After a brief hiatus, Kaber Vasuki—an unmissable name in the Tamil independent music space—is back in the spotlight and is ready to evolve. Speaking to us over the phone from Canada, Kaber reveals to us why he chose the music video of his recent single Poi to be his first directorial. “I was going through a bit of a plateau in my music career and I wanted to kick things up a notch. This is the first time I am directing anything and also the first time I’ve acted in anything.” On appearing in front of the camera, Kaber reveals his initial apprehension. He says, “I don’t consider myself attractive and I can’t sing and dance in front of the camera. However, I do know storytelling so I took that as my weapon.”
The music video for Poi, which was released on November 11 on YouTube, has a self-contained story that follows a down-on-his-luck hotel employee, who gets addicted to a reality-bending drug that helps him live his wildest fantasies through vivid dreams. Kaber’s Poi is layered with philosophical musings, societal concerns, and psychological dissections, all set to a beat that makes you hop. Talking about the themes behind the song, Kaber takes us to the very seed of the idea.
He says, “I wanted to show how an innocent, naive person gets manipulated, both by people and by the society as a whole, through addiction. We wanted to portray how the duality of good and evil is present in all of us and how we are manipulated on a psychological level.” He then adds, “Take social media apps for example. They are very addictive and are designed to work on a subconscious level. And before you know it, you end up doom-scrolling. A toxic relationship that you still choose to stay in, is also a form of addiction.” The musician then goes on to quote Hungarian-Canadian physician, Gabor Mate.“‘Addiction is a disease.’ The quote stuck with me. The music video is also structured around the seven stages of addiction.”
As one of the pioneers of Tamil indie music, Kaber spills his thoughts on the current status of the industry. “In the last 3 to 4 years, there has been a significant increase in the number of ticketed events in Chennai. Cinema used to be the ultimate goal for people who chose creative endeavors but that is thankfully not the case anymore. Films are just one of the many entertainment media and it is great to see an increase in collaborations between indie musicians and the film industry, says Kaber, who has previously worked on films like Aelay (2021) and Rocky (2021).
He reunited with director Arun Matheshwaran for his upcoming film with Dhanush. “I’ve written a song in Captain Miller. I like working with Arun (Matheshwaran) and GV Prakash. They are both very inspiring to work with and I cannot wait for the song to come out,” signs off Kaber Vasuki, with palpable excitement.