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My top 20 South Indian film songs of 2015 – BBC’S Ashanti Omkar

My top 20 South Indian film songs of 2015 – BBC’S Ashanti Omkar

December 30 2015

by Ashanti Omkar ashantiomkar1lead

Hi (www.asianculturevulture.com readers) hope you have all had a great Christmas, and are looking forward to the New Year. I certainly am!

However, before we all leap into 2016, I’ve been reflecting on the year gone by… as one does…

I listen to a lot of South Indian film music as part of the preparation I do for my show on the BBC Asian Network, and people are always asking about my opinion on music, especially film music, which is at the essentially at heart of almost all new music released in India, and makes the iTunes charts.

I thought it would be good to be put down some of my thoughts on paper and see whether you agree or not…

Some things to remember before you go looking to see what number your own favourite track of 2015 is on my list…

The choices below are made on what is available in the UK in terms of films released at the cinema, mostly on general release, some with very limited releases. We do get a lot of Tamil and Malayalam language releases (subtitled in English, incidentally) here, but not so much in Kannada or Telugu. As a consequence, my list is skewed towards Tamil and Malayalam cinema music, as www.asianculturevulture.com wanted music from films that had UK cinematic distribution.
My show is from 2-4pm on a Sunday afternoon, do I do favour songs that have a smooth, melodious vibe to them, and that are on the ambient music spectrum.
As a classically trained musician in Carnatic (South Indian) music I tend to favour tunes with with Raagas (modes), and melody (the system of music is based on melody, as opposed to harmony – South Indian film music combines both aspects).

With all that of the way, let’s go to my choices…

Top 20 South Indian film songs, from UK cinematic releases

1. Jointly, two songs from the film, “O Kadhal Kanmani
Tamil (Composer AR Rahman)
Song: ‘Mental Manadhil’
Singers – AR Rahman & Jonita Gandhi

Song: ‘Naane Varugiren’
Singers – Shashaa Tirupati & Sathya Prakash

Topping my list for 2015, are two songs from the outstanding, chart topping soundtrack of the mega hit film “OK Kanmani“, which stayed in UK cinemas for five weeks, with many watching it multiple times, especially young couples.
This film, and the soundtrack by double Oscar and double Grammy winner, AR Rahman, who came back together with director Mani Ratnam, following back to back hit scores for films like “Roja“, “Bombay“, “Dil Se“, “Kanatthil Muthamittal“, “Guru“, “Kadal“, and all, delivered on all its promises.
From the EDM (electronic dance music) vibes of the opening credits, to classical sounds – as one of the key characters played a Carnatic classical singer – it all fitted the narrative like a glove.
AR Rahman performed a sold out greatest hits show at The O2 in 2015, and both these songs had a tremendous response. “Mental Manadhil“, was one of the closing medley numbers, alongside “Jai Ho“, and its infectious rhythm, and vocals by AR Rahman himself, and Canadian talent, Jonita Gandhi (who also sang a female version of the song, in the soundtrack), makes it a song that was catchy. The lyrics also have one special mention, for “Mental Manadhil“, as one stanza covers an entire life story, in couplets of sorts, from meeting, to marriage, to kids.
Naane Varugiran” presents two new voices to cinema, with the Hindustani Classical Raag (mode) Dhaarbari Kaanada, sung with aplomb. This song is exquisitely produced, with stupendous instrumentation, and had to tie, for me, with the energy of “Mental Manadhil“. Both were also huge hits on my BBC Asian Network radio show!

2. ‘Uttama Villain
Tamil (Composer M Ghibran)
Song: ‘Kadhalaam Kadavul Mun

Singer – Padmalatha

3. ‘Baahubali‘- limited UK release in Telugu, broad release in Tamil
Tamil and Telugu (Composer MM Keeravani)
Song: ‘Pacha Bottasi’

Singers – Karthik, Damini

4. ‘Premam
Malayalam (Composer Rajesh Murugesan)
Song: ‘Malare’

Singer – Vijay Yesudas

5. ‘Puli
Tamil (Composer Devi Sri Prasad)
Song: ‘Yaendi Yaendi’

Singers – Vijay & Shruti Haasan

6. ‘I
Tamil, with a limited Hindi release in UK
Tamil (Composer AR Rahman)
Song: ‘Pookkalae Sattru Oyivedungal’

Singers – Haricharan & Shreya Ghoshal

7. ‘Naanum Rowdy Dhaan
Tamil (Composer Anirudh Ravichander)
Song: ‘Yennai Maatrum Kadhale’

Singer – Sid Sriram

8. ‘Thani Oruvan
Tamil (Composer Hiphop Thamiza)
Song: ‘Kannala Kannala’

Singers Kaushik Krish & Padmalatha

9. ‘Kaaka Muttai
Tamil (Composer GV Prakash Kumar)
Song: ‘Sel Sel’

Singer – Sathya Prakash

10. 100 Days Of Love
Malayalam (Composer Govind Menon)
Song: ‘Arike Pozhiyum’

Singer – Govind Menon

11. ‘Paapanasam
Tamil (Composer M Ghibran)
Song: ‘Yeya En Kottikkaaraa’

Singers – Sundar Narayana Rao, Malavika Anilkumar

12. ‘Ennakul Oruvan
Tamil (Composer Santhosh Narayanan)
Song: ‘Poo Avizhum’

Singer – Pradeep Kumar

13. ‘Paayum Puli
Tamil (Composer D Imman)
Song: ‘Silukku Marame’

Singers – Divya Kumar, Shashaa Tirupati

14. ‘Ennu Ninte Moideen
Malayalam (Composer M Jayachandran)
Song: ‘Kannondu Chollanu’

Singers – Vijay Yesudas, Shreya Ghoshal

15. ‘Romeo Juliet
Tamil (Composer D Imman)
Song: ‘Thoovanam’

Singers – Vishal Dadlani & Sunitha Sarathy

16. ‘Nannbenda’
Tamil (Composer Harris Jeyaraj)
Song: ‘Oorellaam Unnai Kandu’

Singers – P Unnikrishnan, Bombay Jayashri

17. ‘Yennai Arindhaal
Tamil (Composer Harris Jayaraj)
Song: ‘Unakkenna Venum Sollu’

Singers – Benny Dayal & Mahathi

18. ‘Thangamagan‘ (very limited UK release)
Tamil (Composer Anirudh Ravichander)
Song: ‘Enna Solla’

Singer – Shweta Mohan

19. ‘Kendasampige‘ (very limited UK release)
Kannada (Composer V Harikrishna)
Song: ‘Kanasali Nadesu’

Singer – Shweta Mohan

20. ‘Masss’
Tamil (ComposerYuvanshankar Raja)
Song: ‘Naan Aval Illai’

Singers – Karthik, Chinmayi

Reviews of Mani Ratnam’s films during #BFILove coming, inlcuding ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’

What do you think? Agree, you can comment on our FACEBOOK page post on this article

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