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‘I’m glad Seeti Maar put a smile on people’s faces in such testing times’
Musician Devi Sri Prasad aka Rockstar is on cloud nine as his song Seeti Maar in Salman Khan’s Radhe clocks over 120 million views. In this interview with DT Next, he talks about how working with Prabhudheva in the last 16 years has been an organic process and why he would never hit a saturation point in his career
Ever since the release of Seeti Maar, the single from Salman Khan’s Radhe directed by Prabhudheva, it has been all over social media. From Instagram reels to Taka Tak people across the world have been shaking a leg to it. “I am glad that Seeti Maar has put a smile on people’s faces in such testing times. There was this little girl from Mumbai dancing for Seeti Maar that gave me goosebumps. In fact, I was worried will people accept it when we release it prior to the release and given the number of COVID cases in our country. It feels surreal that it has gone to become such a huge thing across the world. Sallu Bhai (Salman Khan) said not to worry about anything and to release the song. He believed in it,” says DSP.
DSP’s journey with Prabhudheva started in 2005 with Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana and continued with blockbusters like Pournami, Shankar Dada Zindabad, and Villu among others. “I have been a huge fan of Prabhudheva master since school days. I used to wear the same costumes and earrings as him in Chikkubukku Rayile song and won prizes in school,” he laughs. “We have mutual respect for our work. I know what he would like and what dance movements he would love to have for a certain kind of music. For instance, the insertions of Epdi Epdi, Apdi Apdi Apdi and Bloody Bugger in Vaada Maapilley from Villu are something he would love to have in a song. When it came to Seeti Maar, he said, Sallu Bhai ku oru nalla dance number pannalam pa (Let us come up with a good dance number for Salman). I played this tune for him and said that the name is Seeti Maar. He liked the idea and called up Salman Khan, who was equally happy and said that it will go on to become a chartbuster in Hindi,” adds the composer. On the song garnering a pan-Indian appeal, DSP opens up, “Music has no language until you add lyrics to it. Daddy Mummy Veetil Illa tune was first recorded for Sankar Dada Zindabaad with another lyric and became a huge hit. Prabhudheva asked me not to give the tune away to anyone as he felt he could use it for one of Vijay’s films he is working on. The same tune became Daddy Mummy Veetil Illa in Tamil. As I am proficient in both Tamil and Telugu, I knew what sort of lyrics would work. Similarly, the tune was also recorded in Hindi for another lyric and ended up being a chartbuster. I would call it a Pan-Indian song. It is not the money or award that would have made me happy. The reach that my work had given me the ultimate happiness. That’s the reason why I record a tune keeping in mind that it should cater to everyone across the nation.”
Radhe is Rockstar’s fifth Hindi film and he says that opting for Hindi as the second language in school helped him to understand the lyrics and the emotion. “Salman and I share a good rapport. He liked my Dhinka Chika and Naacho Re from Ready and Jai Ho respectively. They both were blockbusters like Seeti Maar. Fortunately, my mom said that Hindi should be my second language in school because she knew I would pick up Tamil having been raised in Chennai, Telugu from home, and English from school. I owe my mom all the credits to my Hindi blockbusters,” he smiles.
On his upcoming projects he says, “I have a bilingual with Lingusamy and a few more independent songs across languages. You will see me having more work in Tamil as well.” DSP concludes by saying that people have to adhere to strict COVID protocols. “Stay at home as much as you can and follow protocols like wearing masks, sanitising your hands, and maintain social distancing. This is how you can protect your loved ones and fight this pandemic,” he signs off.