Thirty journalists were invited to A.R. Rahman’s A.M. Studios for a listening session of Kochadaiiyaan’s music on Thursday morning. It was a high security affair as mobile phones had to be deposited with Sony Music ahead of the session. The label didn’t want to take any chances of a leak before the official audio launch on March 9.
Director Soundarya Rajinikanth Ashwin handpicked four songs out of the nine-song album composed by A.R. Rahman for the session. ‘Medhuvagathaan’, the first song to be played, was a romantic duet performed by S.P. Balasubrahmanyam and Sadhana Sargam, a melody likely to grow on us. Very few singers have the effect that SPB has, singing for the superstar and the association works magic yet again. This song was penned by the late lyricist Valee. “It has all the elements of a commercial song and has been picturised like one,” said Soundarya.
The second song ‘Manapennin Sathiyam’ sung by Latha Rajinikanth was a song close to the director’s heart. “It’s a song that brought tears to my eyes. It was very emotional for me because this was a wife’s promise sung by my mother for the character played by my father in my film,” said Soundarya explaining the pick. ‘Manapennin Sathiyam’ was a companion piece to the other song listed in the album called ‘Manamaganin Sathiyam’. Both these songs on wedding vows are mostly likely to be played at every wedding.
‘Karma Veeran’, sung by A.R. Rahman and A.R. Raihanah, was the most exciting of the lot. Not just because it’s performed by Rahman himself but also because this is a motivational hero-worship song — in a Rajinikanth film. One that compares him to the wind and sings praises of his courage — a song you will like almost instantly. “This is like the theme song of the film. Kochadaiiyaan begins and ends with this,” Soundarya added.
The last song for the morning ‘Maattram Onnrudhaan Maaraathadhu’ began with Rajinikanth’s voice, “Ethirikalai ozhikka yethanayo vazhigal undu. Muthal vazhi: Manippu.” (There are many ways to vanquish your enemies. The first one: Forgiveness). This song about change being the only constant, soulfully rendered by Haricharan Seshadri and ‘Jathi’ by V. Umashankar, feature the superstar’s words of wisdom for youth. “As his fans, we wanted the song to have advice for the youth since we take his words seriously,” said Soundarya.
Lyricist Vairamuthu, who spoke next, said they shortlisted these lines from over a hundred verses, keeping in mind the relevance of those words in today’s times. “Rahman was very clear that we should not copy ourselves in terms of style, structure or syntax,” the poet said, recalling his long association with the composer. Hailing the Sixties for being the golden era of music in Tamil and Hindi, the lyricist said that musicians and poets such as Viswanathan-Ramamurthy and Kannadasan of yore were able to create magic in films like Pasa Malar and Paava Manippu because directors like Bhim Singh gave them full freedom. He had enjoyed that kind of freedom in Kochadaiiyaan, he said. The poet also expressed full faith in Soundarya, having witnessed her passion and enthusiasm first hand.
“Black and white, colour, 3D and now motion capture. Superstar Rajinikanth has performed in all four. There is no greater proof that change is the only constant,” he added.
Singer Haricharan, who was visibly excited about sharing credits with the superstar himself for the ‘Maattram Onnrudhaan Maaraathadhu’ song, said that he had sung two songs in the album. “‘Maattram… was the first song I had sung for Rahman sir, years ago, even before I sang for Kadal and Mariyaan. I will always remember the day I recorded the song. There were two men in white veshtis watching me from the other side. One was Vairamuthu sir and the other I couldn’t see properly, was probably Rajini sir himself. So when I went back to sing again, I gave it my all.”