The composer of Naatu Naatu compares the song to a young son, who has grown up and is now travelling places to make a good name for himself and his father
Koduri Marakathamani Keeravani aka MM Keeravani made history after ‘Naatu Naatu’ from SS Rajamouli’s directorial ‘RRR’ became an international phenomenon.
In all the recent screenings of RRR in the West, the song got the audiences hooting and dancing.
Over the months, several videos of western audiences seen dancing in the theatre to the song have surfaced on social media.
The song bagged the Golden Globe for Best Original Song and was also nominated for the Oscars race in the Best Original Song category.
This win for the 61-year-old music composer on an international stage is an acknowledgment of his oeuvre that spans across 220 films in various languages.
Accepting the award, the composer said, “Thank you very much HFPA for this prestigious award, the Golden Globe. I am very much overwhelmed by this great moment happening and I am very happy to share this excitement with my wife. It’s been an age-old practice to say that this award belongs to someone else, not me. So, I was planning to not say those words when I get an award like this. But I am sorry to say that I am going to repeat that tradition because I mean my words.”
Keeravani said that this song was like his infant son, who has become big and is now going places to bag a good name for him.
He has composed 30 tunes before finalising on the present version of the ‘Naatu Naatu’ song. Reports said that it took 19 months for lyricist Chandrabose to come up with the perfect lyrics for the song.
Keeravani first started out as a music composer in the late 1980s, but wouldn’t hit a breakthrough till 1990’s ‘Manasu Mamatha’. Since then he has won a National Award, multiple State Awards, Nandi Awards and SIIMA Awards.
He is also a recipient of eight Filmfare Awards, eleven Andhra Pradesh state Nandi Awards, and a Tamil Nadu State Film Award. He was also nominated for Saturn Award for Best Music for ‘Baahubali: The Beginning (2015)’.
‘Annamayya’, for which he won the National Film Award and ‘Azhagan’, for which he won the Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Music Director feature among some of his critically acclaimed works.
Born in 1961, in Andhra Pradesh’s Kovvur town, Keeravani has worked in over 150 films in a career spanning three decades. While his work predominantly features in Telugu cinema, he has collaborated with the rest of the South Indian industries and featured in Bollywood too.
Keeravani is deeply spiritual. He has lived like a sanyasi for a year to avoid a premature death, which was predicted, gives large part of his earnings to charity, and is fiercely loyal to his family.
Keeravani, who calls himself MM Kreem in Mumbai cinema and Maragathamani in Tamil and Mayalayam cinema.
The decision to create aliases was inspired by Stephen King. “Stephen King had two names. I have three,” he said during an interview.
Born in a Telugu family in Kovvur in Andhra Pradesh, to painter, lyricist and screenwriter Koduri Siva Shakthi Datta and his wife Bhanumathi, Keeravani began learning to play the violin when he was four. Keeravani began his career in 1987 as an assistant to music composers K Chakravarthy and C Rajamani.
When he was ten, Keeravani used to play the violin for the Pranalingam Accordion Party which is a band from Kakinada, a coastal city in Andhra Pradesh.
Growing up on a steady diet of film songs on the radio, especially RD Burman, at the age of 10 Keeravani was travelling with a band from Kakinada and would often perform Laxmikant Pyarelal’s Ek pyar ka nahgma hai on the violin.
It is said that Keeravani wanted to retire from the film industry. Baahubali’s historic success changed the fortunes of not just Keeravani, but also his family now, one of the most influential film families not just in Andhra Pradesh but all of India.
Keeravani changed his retirement plans. “I can never retire from music – whether it is creating, or listening”.