Filmmakers and music directors are cashing in on clips of film songs featuring celebrity singers and stars to promote their movies,

Shreya Ghosal’s video clip of her recording the song ‘Nilave nilave…’ from Chattakkari got two lakh hits in a week after it was posted on YouTube. Remya Nambhessan singing ‘Andelonde…’ from Ivan Megharoopan, which was shot in the studio and on the streets of Kochi, went viral on the net and had 16 lakh downloads within a month.

Mohanlal crooning the number ‘Aattumanal…’ from Run Baby Run is all over the Internet and its music director claims it has overtaken the cult ‘Why this Kolaveri di…’! The clips on YouTube and television screens promote the films featuring these songs even before the movie releases in theatres.

Looks like the film music industry has found a new marketing strategy, with the number of downloads and hits deciding the fate of a song. The trend has been to cash in on the presence of a celebrity singer, as is the case with Mohanlal singing in Run Baby Run and Kavya Madhavan (as singer-composer-lyricist) in her debut album, ‘Kavyadalangal’. However, when MetroPlus caught up with a few of the trendsetters, they explained that promotion of the film was not their only aim.

Deepak Dev is a pioneer of sorts in this trend, having experimented with it first in Puthiya Mugham and later in Urumi and Padmasri Bharat Dr Saroj Kumar. “But in each case, the reason was different. I suggested the idea in Puthiya Mugham because Prithviraj was singing for the first time [he sang the title track] and so it had news value. It was way ahead of the time then. In Urumi [Prithvi singing ‘Vadakku vadakku…’], we came up with a video clip of the studio recording because Prithvi was the producer of the movie as well. But in Padmasri Bharat… [‘Mozhigalum…’ sung by Haricharan], the idea was to show the audience the making of a song, as the video featured the singer and the accompanying artistes,” Deepak explains.

Shyamaprasad says he opted to shoot Mamta Mohandas recording the song ‘Oru poo viriyum…’ in Arike because it was in tune with his own concept of film music. “I’ve never followed the conventional pattern. The whole format of filmmaking is getting demystified and deconstructed. Playback singing is no more a sacrosanct thing, since non-trained artistes are also turning playback singers. The industry is experimenting with song presentations, something which I did in Akale. If possible, I’d make all my actors sing their own songs. In Arike, I insisted on showing Mamta so that viewers could relate to her character. She has a strong base in music and we made use of that,” he says.

For future generations

Video clips of M.Jayachandran’s songs in Chattakkari (‘Nilave nilave…’ and ‘Oh my Julie…’) includes studio recordings of the songs. He says he is documenting it for posterity. “We all wish we could watch the recording sessions of yesteryear, involving greats such as Das sir [K.J.Yesudas], Devarajan master and Vayalar, don’t we?,” he says, adding: “I always tape my music recording sessions on my mobile. In the case of ‘Nilave nilave…’, when we were recording it in Mumbai, the studio engineer Aravind, also a cameraman, shot it on his camera. When I showed it to Suresh [G.Suresh Kumar, producer of Chattakkari remake], he was so impressed that he wanted the whole world to see it. It was uploaded by incorporating certain scenes. When that became a hit, we shot the recording of ‘Oh my Julie…’ featuring Rajesh Krishnan and Sangeetha Srikant as well.”

Prakash Bare, actor and producer of Ivan Megharoopan, calls it the “best promotional option available with music CDs giving little profit these days.” Producers are forced to go for such strategies, he says. In the case of ‘Andelonde…’, the identity of the singer came as a surprise for the whole crew. “When music director revealed that the singer was Remya, we looked for a visual possibility. V.K.Prakash, being a man full of ideas, and I decided upon a road show and incorporated it with the studio recording. It was a great shoot, especially with crazy ideas like using an oxygen mask,” Prakash recalls.

Mohanlal’s outing as a singer has brought in loads of appreciation, says composer Ratheesh Vega. “Joshiy sir didn’t want to air the picturisation of Lal sir’s song before the film’s release. So, we chose to go with the studio recording and it gave us tremendous mileage,” says Ratheesh.

As the entertainment industry faces new challenges, it is bound to go in for new experiments to score high. Watch this space!