‘Don’t want aspiring indie musicians to struggle like we did’
Composer-actor Hip Hop Tamizha Adhi in this interview with DT Next talks about his latest venture the Underground Tribe-- a platform to hunt independent musicians and to produce their music. He also classifies independent music is way different from non-film music where the latter is a threat.
CHENNAI: It has been a decade since Hip Hop Tamizha Adhi forayed into Tamil independent music scene with his friend Jeeva and started Hip Hop Tamizha. Since then he has dabbled across composing music for movies, a bankable actor and a profitable producer.
His latest music video Chinna Paiyan under his venture Underground Tribe has garnered over 3 lakh views within a week.
“It has been a decade. Looking back at the journey, it feels like a dream. However, we were sure of what we set out for. We started off from the scratch when hip hop wasn’t a thing in Tamil. Only Yogi B and co had forayed into the scene and things were vague. The path we treaded was rocky. When Hip Hop Tamizha started all we wanted was to be independent musicians,” he begins with a flashback.
Then on he takes us on to what inspired him to start the Underground Tribe and says that though the genre of music was something new to the audience when he started off, the legalities around it is another volume of book altogether.
“All we wanted to was to make good music and there was no one to back us. It took us time to know the legalities around the song and working with music labels. We don’t want the current talent crop to go through such hurdles and stop them from making music,” he adds.
Adhi also delves deep into what Underground Tribe does for hip hop scene to thrive among Tamil diaspora and says, “There is immense talent out there but they don’t know how to channelise it. Underground Tribe isn’t a reality show. We handpick talents and help them record and showcase their talent through this. For the starters, I made Chinna Paiyan with Vaisagh. There are other street musicians too who will get an opportunity to be a part of this in future. They get hands on training about formalities and other legal procedures of putting their music out. Going ahead, we are planning to put out at least 25 music videos which will be produced by me. So far, this genre was all about Hip Hop Tamizha, now it will be Tamil Hip Hop.”
Of late, there have been several independent music and the scene has been growing since the pandemic.
“There is a difference between independent music and non-film music. What we have seen so far is “non-film music” with high-profile artistes. Independent music is what we do and for that you need to nurture such talent. In the west, there is independent music and they are all stars, who have nothing to do with films. That isn’t the case here. I believe this is harmful and as a threat to independent music scene. When you take Punjabi music, musicians there are bigger stars than Punjabi actors,” he opens up.
Tell Adhi that Punjabi music has strongly stuck to its roots, while Tamil hip hop is more westernised, Adhi retorts, “Punjabi music scene was prominent 25 years ago across the world. Whereas, Tamil independent music scene is just growing. In future, Tamil music too will stick to its roots and will be popular across the world and Underground Tribe will be a flag-bearer of that. Wait and watch, our music will be included in films. It will be the other way round.”
On the film front, Adhi says he has completed Veeran. “The film will release later this year. I am also producing another film and will go on floors soon. An official annoucement will be made.”
He also reveals why he doesn’t perform in concerts. “This is a good time for concert and that is a lot of money. Yuvan and Anirudh have been doing it. However, people like to hear film songs when it comes to concerts. Mine will be purely independent music and I will go on a tour when indie songs are popular,” he concludes.
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