Over the years, I’ve grown bored of being at a club or party and having to dance to English songs as my affinity with gaana is so deep that I find it difficult to have a good time without it.
That doesn’t automatically mean that I enjoy every Tamil event I go to. On the contrary, I’ve come out of many a Tamil club night feeling disappointed, even offended, by the lack of good Tamil music on the set.
Worse still are those family parties where someone’s middle-aged family friend has been called in to DJ out of courtesy. Said DJ usually tries to please all ages so you end up with a horrific mix of black-and-whites, obscure ‘rap-style’ Tamil songs and Usher.
Sometimes the limited knowledge/playlist of Tamil DJs makes me want to cry. My tales of request woes are endless but to recall a few – my mum once requested the legendary Adi Ennadi Rakkamma and the guy played that stupid Rakkamma song from Siruthai, which he had already played twice that night – WHY WOULD YOU THINK MY MOTHER IN HER MID 40S WOULD REQUEST THIS?! Another party I was at had a young DJ, whose playlists were hopeless in English and Tamil (he played Beyonce when asked for Bashment). We tried so hard to scan his whole music library for something dance-worthy, and at last I found the album Bombay. This was a case of false hope however to alarming levels. Our DJ who was hoping to make it big on the Tamil party scene, did not have Arabic Kadaloram (Hamma Hamma) as I had hoped: instead, he was able to offer me that popular and upbeat party favourite – Kannalane.
So as my attempt to stand up for good gaana, access to which I believe is a universal right, I would like to point out the songs which I consider the worst offenders, in the hope that one day Tamil DJ’s will get the hint and stop playing them!
Some of these songs might be considered ‘okay’… but my point is, if you’ve only put aside half an hour of your set to play Tamil music (why?! Even worse when they’ve spent half the night playing Bhangra), then please don’t waste my time playing these!!
This, along with most Vijay songs, needs to be annihilated from all playlists of all Tamil people. This song isn’t even gaana, and if you think Vaada Mappiley has a good beat then I beg of you to treat your ignorant ears to some real Baila music. Appadi podu comes under this category too – it was cool when it came out, but seriously, it’s been 8 years, get over it. Also under this category: KURUVI songs, and to a lesser extent Azhagiya Thamizh Magan. No-one likes them. Why are they played?!
Okay, so before you all cry sacrilege, I know this song is AMAZING and EVERYONE loves it. Yes DJ, you should play it. For about a minute. Because all that happens afterwards is an awful lot of awkward shuffling in the musical interludes and then a circle will form around the one guy that thinks he is a dancing prodigy trying to take on Prabhu Deva’s solos. SAY NO TO MURDER. Stop the song after the second chorus and that way everyone’s happy having done pelvic thrusts and the running-man to their heart’s content. Also in this category: ROMEO ATTAM POTTAL – too fast and technical for anyone to actually dance to. Play the first chorus, let everyone heartfeltedly shout the lyrics and then change the track!
Playing Kolaveri in its original form does make me wince slightly, but hey I get it it’s a song that everyone knows, we know all the lyrics and it makes for good drunk singalongs. But then there are the remixes, sped up, chopped and MIXED WITH BHANGRA. Fine, that’s cool, make it more desi-friendly if that’s your cup of tea. But why do Tamil DJ’s have to play these versions?! Yes we already know what bhangra is and no it doesn’t make us well with pride that kolaveri inspired non-Tamils to remix it in their styles. Don’t mistake this for a racist rant, I love patting the dog and screwing the light-bulb, but not at the end of a Tamil night and especially not when it comes at the expense of a semi-kuthu original.
One word for this song: OVERPLAYED. I do actually like this song though, but it’s another one of those with extensive musical interludes, which just bore me silly. Surely if you’re a DJ and want to play this you can like, mix or skip those bits or something? But the problem still stems back to the all-important skill of knowing when to stop, because I can count on one hand the songs which I think are acceptable to play in their entirety.
While we’re on Nakul (where is he now?) I thought I’d drop this song in. I don’t want to waste too much time writing about it, but for such a rubbish song, I hear it played way too much at parties.
Simbhu songs are like Marmite to me, and I really, really hate this one. Even though the guy does repulse me most of the time, I’ll admit to enjoying a few of his kuthu songs. Not this though. A message to all DJs: just because you can hear ‘thana thananaane thanaane etc.’ with an occasional kuthu-like beat, does not mean this song is gonna bring everyone to the dance floor.
Ok so I could go on and on about the horrific choices of Tamil DJs but then I’d be wondering off into the obscure, so anyway, if you have DJ friends and feel as strongly about the advancement of Gaana as I do then please fix up a way for them to stumble across this page.
And if you’re a DJ then just use your brain mate, if you play a song and everyone decides to sit down or have a water break, you should probably assume it’s a party pooper and play the next track!