How the Composers of ‘RRR’ Wrote the Euphoric Melody ‘Naatu Naatu’

This story about “RRR” Composers MM Keeravani and Chadrabose first appeared in TheWrap’s Awards magazine’s “The Race Begins” issue.

The question is quite simple: will voters watch the Indian film?RRR– and in particular the euphoric and extravagant dance sequence on the song “Naatu Naatu”? Because if they watch it, or even watch clips on YouTube where the scene has become a viral sensation, it’s not hard to imagine the song receiving the kind of accolades that no song by Indian songwriters gets. has received since two AR Rahman songs from “Slumdog Millionaire” was nominated 14 years ago.

“Some songs over the years have caught the eye, but this was the first to get this kind of international response,” said composer MM Keeravani, who co-wrote the percussive and incredibly catchy number with lyricist Chandrabose. . “This response was not expected.”

The Telugu-language song is heard during a scene at a stately garden party hosted by India’s British colonial rulers in the 1920s. When a snobbish Briton ridicules a pair of local men for not able to dance, they erupt in a nearly 10-minute blast of flying feet, snapping suspenders, and house-crashing terpsichorean frenzy every time the film plays. “There’s a lot of energy flowing and happening,” Keeravani said in what must be called a significant understatement. “The lyrics describe different types of energy and how the energy flows, and then you have the high energy beats.”

While the depiction of the sequence was fairly straightforward in writer-director S.S. Rajamouli’s script, it grew in writing and filming. It was a rowdy number, but then it escalated,” Keeravani said. “It’s not just a song, it’s an experience.”

But this experience did not come easily. Keeravani said he wrote 20 different songs for this point in the storyline in an effort to give Rajamouli (who is his cousin) some options. “It was very difficult to focus on a particular track, so we asked the opinion of the inner circle of the film. Most of them voted for this song, and their judgment was not wrong.

The choreography, he admitted, played a major role in the song’s success – not just the crazy moves of NT stars Rama Rao Jr. and Ram Charan, but also the work of the actresses who played young women Britons carried away by the contagious energy. “Some of them were laughing, rolling on the floor, literally,” he said. “And some of them were trying those steps. So it became everyone’s experience. The spectators became one with the performers. It created a vibe that made it more than a song for me.

And what about the other 19 songs that weren’t chosen? Will they ever see the light of day? “It’s an interesting question,” Keeravani said. “These 19 songs will be used for some projects, maybe. Most of them won’t be lost. They’re just waiting to be released.

Learn more about the Race Begins issue here.

Photo by Jeff Vespa for TheWrap

And what about the other 19 songs that weren’t chosen? Will they ever see the light of day? “It’s an interesting question,” Keeravani said. “These 19 songs will be used for some projects, maybe. Most of them won’t be lost. They’re just waiting to be released.

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