Yuvan, Das & Gaana

Yuvan Shankar & Vasundhara Das Gaana singer

Yuvan wants to do a hip-hop album, while Vasundhara is peeved that she doesn’t get to sing more melodies. Both revelations make you go “Huh?”. Read more of this charming conversation at The Hindu. Yuvan even smartly evades the question about computer-generated tracks and talks about the one time in his life he used a 40-piece orchestra.

The part about Vasundhara not relating to ‘dapaankoothu’ is interesting. Of course, she doesn’t have to like it, but I wonder if she knows anything about its background. Not many “true” music lovers think highly of this distinctly unique genre of Indian music. I, for one, absolutely love it and while Deva may have bastardized pure gaana for the big screen, I still appreciate the fact that he gave it more visibility. For more insight into the art form, check out this article from Outlook India (registration required) where parallels are drawn to ghetto rap. Hear that Yuvan?


Some excerpts:

“Tamil thenjaal daan Gaana”, in Palani’s words—only when you grind Tamil, do you get Gaana.

Sadly true!

The slum-dwellers express themselves freely on any subject—sexuality, love, violence. But our hypocrite society won’t allow this. English-speaking Indians love it when Eddie Murphy uses f*** a hundred times but can’t tolerate the same in Tamil. So we’re forced to sanitise Gaana a bit.

Hyuk…Hyuk!

The earthiness of some Gaanas will be too much for the censors and the middle-class morality brigade. Sample this: A city-bred slum youth, asked if he would marry a village girl, firmly rejects the idea through this Gaana—Ava naaththu naduva/ Naaththum naruva/ Ava vandu pudippa/Suryanukku sooththa kaatuva (She plants paddy saplings/ And she’s always stinking/ Runs after crabs/ And bares her ass to the sun.)


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4 thoughts on “Yuvan, Das & Gaana”


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    Tim says:

    Yuvan’s songs are good


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    Manoj says:

    ok.


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    jevya says:

    i have been laughing for 10 mins over this exchange above, it’s really hilarious and impossible to explain why it is hilarious. but i’m curious as to what you find “distinctly unique” about dabbankuthu?


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    Manoj says:

    Are you talking about the YSR-Vasundara exchange or the more intellectual one between Tim & I? If it’s the latter, then the profoundness of that comment deserved that response I thought. ;)
    Distinctly unique, yeah. And why not? I don’t see any other form of Indian music that is born from poverty, esp. from the slums of urban India. Profanity that doesn’t make one flinch (me at least), catchy rhythms and the clincher – it all rhymes! :)


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