Sunday, Dec 08, 2019 | Last Update : 04:22 PM IST

In tune with Thalaiva

Published : Jul 27, 2016, 10:16 pm IST
Updated : Jul 27, 2016, 10:16 pm IST

After specially curated Kabali menus, Kabali tour buses and flash mobs around the box office hit, here is a new entrant to the frenzy around superstar Rajinikanth — a track solely dedicated to the ‘Bo

Peepal Tree was inspired by the trailer of Rajinikanth’s latest blockbuster, Kabali
 Peepal Tree was inspired by the trailer of Rajinikanth’s latest blockbuster, Kabali

After specially curated Kabali menus, Kabali tour buses and flash mobs around the box office hit, here is a new entrant to the frenzy around superstar Rajinikanth — a track solely dedicated to the ‘Boss’ (Thalaiva). Titled Magizhchi (Tamil phrase for joy or happiness), the latest single by music band Peepal Tree showcases some endearing snippets of Rajini fans, his larger-than-life persona and cult that encompasses generations of fans who wouldn’t let go of the opportunity to enact their favourite hero’s moves. We catch up with the band, which comprises Sujay Harthi on vocals, Tony Das on guitar, Praveen Biligiri on bass and Willy Demoz on drums and percussions.

Talking about the track, Tony shares, “The idea started when Willy first saw the trailer of Kabali. The theme song, the trailer and the superstar, all came together so well that it made him feel that this movie was going to have the impact and energy of two of his most favourite Rajini movies combined — Baasha and Thalapathi! There was so much going on in his head at that point and he wanted to express it, and could think of no better way to do that than through music. He decided that we should write a song to bring out the power he felt from Kabali. He came over, showed everyone the trailer, and convinced the band members to do a track dedicated to the charm and frenzy around Rajinikanth.”

There was an exchange of ideas between the members to create an exclusive track. “There were many riffs and melodies sent over email, WhatsApp, etc.; some great sounding tunes were exchanged during the process, but nothing fit the idea in his head,” recalls Tony.

He adds, “Then one day, we were working on something and I played a riff that struck a chord with him, and here we are with our latest track Maghizhchi!” Talking about what makes the track so special, Tony says, “The sentiment behind it is heartfelt, and that is enough to make a good song! Also, we didn’t try to write anything out of our comfort zone. We were not writing a filmy song or anything of that sort. This is the most riff-based, heavy rock song in our repertoire and we’re really happy with how it’s turned out. The icing on the cake was getting our bassist Praveen (who is otherwise very shy about singing), to sing a lot of main vocal parts in the track.”

When quizzed about the challenges that one faces while dedicating their music to a superstar with a crazy fan following, Willy asserts, “We didn’t really worry about it as we knew we weren’t going to be pushing any wrong buttons. We had a very simple idea for the video, and we knew that there was no way our intentions could be misconstrued.” He adds, “There are some positives about dedicating a track to a veteran like Rajini sir. There is the obvious part about getting to give back to someone who has been a part of your life in so many ways. All of us have grown up idolising actors, superstars, singers or sportspersons. These are people who have brought so much happiness into your life. Getting to return the favour in some small way is always a great feeling. Apart from that, we are reaching new listeners owing to the Rajini factor combined with our music, and the appreciation that we are receiving is fantastic.”

Attempting to decode the reason behind the superstar’s popularity and success, which even surpasses that of Amitabh Bachchan, SRK and the Khans, Willy puts forth, “If someone knew that formula, everyone would be famous. Seriously though, I think it is just the fact that he is as great a human being as he is a superstar. In addition, he has the charisma of a star which makes him immensely popular among the masses.”

Are there any other celebrities that the band would like to pay a tribute to in future Tony says, “The list is long! However, we do not want to develop a reputation for being a tribute band. This idea presented itself amidst rumours that this may be Rajinikanth’s last movie, so we felt it was the right time to do something like this.”