Taking on the online avatar of American record producer Nate ‘Danja’ Hills, a person with a flair for Tamil film music has been offering collaboration offers to the Tamil film industry’s best.
The identity of the imposter is yet to be ascertained beyond doubt.
Those who fell into the trap, believing they were ‘collaborating for a Justin Timberlake album,’ include ace director Gautham Vasudev Menon, lyricist Madhan Karky and singer Chinmayi.
All of them had been in talks with the fake Danja, who constantly drops big names. They had the nagging suspicion the record producer, who is famous for his collaborations with international stars such as Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Madonna and Whitney Houston, would have such an in-depth understanding of local in-fighting among Ilaiyaraja and A.R. Rahman fans.
Mr. Menon said he met ‘Danja’ online and has been talking, on and off, with him for nearly two years. “I obviously did not take it (his offers) too seriously but I never dismissed it as a hoax,” he said. “Such collaborations are what we dream of, and he was really pushing it smartly.”
Mr. Karky, who forwarded the emails he exchanged with ‘Danja’ to this correspondent, even received some tunes via Dropbox. ‘I can’t reveal much but it is for Justin Timberlake,’ ‘Danja’ wrote.
Singer Chinmayi received the tunes from ‘Danja’ three months ago. “I wondered why an international producer would get in touch with me. But then some in the industry said that is how things worked,” she said.
It was Mr. Karky who smelled a rat when he asked ‘Danja’ to call him on his mobile phone and not just keep the conversations online. When ‘Danja’ called from a Canadian number, Mr. Karky ran it through a telephone directory mobile app — TrueCaller — which listed the number against one ‘Raman’ from Mississauga, Canada.
In his last email communication, Mr. Karky wrote: “I have concluded that you are not Nate ‘Danja’ Hills but you are faking his profile to many celebrities. I will be lodging a complaint with the Indian Cyber Crime Cell.”
Until that mail, Karky and others would get responses within five minutes of mailing. But ‘Danja’ has gone silent now. “Maybe he wanted to cut an album with celebrities at zero cost. I just wanted to highlight this, so nobody else gets cheated,” said Mr. Karky