‘Rowdy Baby’ fame singer Dhee and rapper Arivu have brought out an independent track titled ‘Enjoy Enjaami’ on AR Rahman’s platform for indie musicians Maajja
A call to our ancestors, a celebration of our roots — or in other words, a recall to the things we have forgotten — is what singer Dhee and rapper Arivu’s track ‘Enjoy Enjaami’ is about. The recently-released track is produced by Maajja, the platform started by composer AR Rahman to support indie musicians, and composer Santhosh Narayanan.
Dhee is currently managed by Maajja who is also producing her upcoming début album in English. “They (Maajja) asked me if I wanted to do a song for the Yaall festival (Maajja’s music fest), and I thought it would be nice to do something in Tamil. Arivu and I had wanted to collaborate [for some time]; he is just an amazing musician and appa (Santhosh) was kind enough to produce this,” says the singer, who has sung tracks in films like Madras, Irudhi Suttru, Soorarai Pottru and the upcoming Jagame Thandhiram.
The music video for ‘Enjoy Enjaami’, shot in Arivu’s hometown in Tiruvannamalai district, is the “first ever time” 22-year-old Dhee has been filmed on camera for an independent track. Predictably, the camera shy singer was nervous.
“I have always been [camera shy], even now on this Zoom call,” she laughs. “It was pretty scary at first but when you get there [and start filming], you just vibe to it and then it becomes fine. At the end of the day, I didn’t want to leave and didn’t want to stop.”
Only the beginning
Her début album is expected to be out by the end of this year; at the very least, a few tracks from the album will be released, she assures. Dhee doesn’t elaborate but she lets on that the tracks will be “contemporary jazz laced with different things”.
On it being in the English language, she adds, “I wish I could write in Tamil but it would probably take five to 10 years for me to learn Tamil. I can speak the language but not creatively write. Maybe, I will do it one day.”
One would assume that life ought to have changed a bit for Dhee since ‘Rowdy Baby’ released; the track from the film Maari 2, which she sung alongside Dhanush, is the most viewed Tamil song on YouTube with over a billion views. When she steps out, kids call her the “Goli soda akka”, she tells us (’Rowdy Baby’ begins with “Hey… en goli soda ve”), but she won’t concede that her career has been progressing in a way that is not organic.
Dhee is now based in Chennai, and has been here since the national lockdown was enforced in March 2020. Under normal circumstances, she would have split her time between Sydney in Australia, where she is based, and Chennai, where her parents live. At the moment, the thought of relocation hasn’t crossed her mind, but she hopes platforms like Maajja reach out to artistes based in different locations and help provide the breakout opportunity.
“My dream is to see South Asian artistes excel. There are so many talents that it is amazing. When festivals like Yaall happen, it will promote South Asian indie musicians all over the world. I would like for it to become our Coachella festival. It will be a cultural revolution,” she adds.
Having achieved viral fame and popularity at a young age, what else has Dhee got in her checklist of things? She remarks that she doesn’t view the fame brought on by ‘Rowdy Baby’ as a measure of success.
“I feel like I’m only just starting out. I have only now started creating music. Even then, I don’t think there will ever be a point of ‘This is it!’ for me because it might make you not want to create music,” she concludes.