Kannada movie Kantara track plagiarism row: Interview with Littil Swayamp, director of ‘Navarasam’ music video by Kerala band Thaikkudam Bridge

Thaikkudam Bridge has gone to court docket saying ‘Navarasam’ and Kantara’s ‘Varaha Roopam’ sound related

Thaikkudam Bridge has gone to court docket saying ‘Navarasam’ and Kantara’s ‘Varaha Roopam’ sound related

‘Navarasam’, a track initially launched on January 19, 2017, by Kerala-based rock band Thaikkudam Bridge on YouTube, is again within the information. Greater than 2 million folks have re-discovered the video in 2022 after the discharge of Kannada blockbuster  Kantara.

Thaikkudam Bridge has gone to court docket saying ‘Navarasam’ and  Kantara’s ‘Varaha Roopam’ sound related. The feedback part on social media is a slug fest between followers of each side, with occasional posts calling for quiet introspection and giving credit score.

Littil Swayamp

Littil Swayamp

Folks have cherished the deeply affecting ‘Navarasam’, and the video, directed by Littil Swayamp, who’s an editor and cinematographer too. The video narrates the  Navarasas via a Kathakali dancer couple and their younger youngster.

Swayamp, 34, has been in California since 2019 — he moved after doing the cinematography on the 2018 Fahadh Faasil-starrer Varathan, and has additionally labored with director Anjali Menon and musician Ricky Kej. He says he can solely “discover it fascinating” when others use “our strategies and strategies to create artwork for themselves or discover their viewers”.

In an e-mail interview, he speaks about creating the ‘Navarasam’ music video and the present controversy. Edited excerpts:

While you noticed ‘Varaha Roopam’ from Kantara, what did you are feeling?

Once I noticed ‘Varaha Roopam’ on YouTube for the primary time, it jogged my memory of ‘Navarasam’. A number of pals instructed me Kantara is an efficient movie. I’m trying ahead to watching it quickly. I puzzled if the movie’s makers had watched what we had achieved for ‘Navarasam’ earlier than they obtained into manufacturing…

An entire new set of individuals now appears to be rediscovering ‘Navarasam’ and ‘One’ by Thaikkudam Bridge. The songs have aged very properly and the visuals are nonetheless up to date. How did you strategy ‘Navarasam’?

Govind [Vasantha] from Thaikkudam Bridge performed ‘Navarasam’ for me earlier than the shoot of ‘One’. Following the success of ‘One’, I used to be requested if I’d be excited about doing ‘Navarasam’. It took me a very long time to resolve. I knew the monitor was robust and I wanted to justify it with a agency story.

Littil Swayamp (2nd from left) with the members of Thaikkudam Bridge during the making of the ‘Navarasam’ music video.

Littil Swayamp (2nd from left) with the members of Thaikkudam Bridge through the making of the ‘Navarasam’ music video.

Formulating the idea and therapy took a few months. The casting course of took over a month. I visited numerous Kathakali artists, exhibits and colleges in Kerala. I additionally travelled to Kannur to search out appropriate places. The scene the place the boy falls into the properly was essential, and we needed to rent an expert stunt grasp. We shot for 5 days. I used to be let down into the properly with the digicam to seize the scene. Throughout all this, I used to be careworn and unwell and doubted if I’d end the undertaking. That night time, I had a dream the place an summary type of a Kathakali artist confirmed up and instructed me to not mess this up and voiced that I may do it. The subsequent day we completed the shoot.

I used to be making an attempt to seize the perfect I may, and the kid actor, Prayag, and the remainder of the solid and crew helped me convey the story via their efficiency and assist.

How did you visualise the track, color schemes and the temper — from utter mirth to heartbreaking sorrow?

All of the completely different Kathakali characters had distinctive color palettes; visually, we needed to enhance the gods with pure environment. The temper was to have it earthy. For example, the household performing collectively depicted ‘Bali Vadham’, the killing of Bali. The inexperienced color on the kid’s nostril was a reference to Hanuman. Lord Krishna is the saviour ultimately, which expresses hope. I needed to be true to the gods.

Littil Swayamp with Prayag, the child actor, of ‘Navarasam’.

Littil Swayamp with Prayag, the kid actor, of ‘Navarasam’.

When the kid falls into the properly, I visualised the artwork type being buried or blended into the earth. Heartbreak and sorrow are all a part of the cycle of life. One thing new may also be born.

What are your ideas on music that’s impressed? How strongly do you are feeling about mental property rights (IPR)?

Sound and music considerably affect our listening to senses, a lot in order that it strikes folks from inside. The method of being mentally stimulated to do or really feel one thing artistic occurs from the second we’re born.

In terms of rights referring to creation and artists’ initiatives, I have to change into an skilled on the legalities to have a say. It’s a very important strategy to shield artists’ rights over the creations of their distinctive minds. IPR has pushed artists to find the undiscovered. I see it as being respectful of the creator.

As its creator, how does ‘Navarasam’ transfer you now?

‘Navarasam’ may be very near my coronary heart. Although it was an extended course of, personally, it was one of the crucial difficult years of my life; generally, I see that ‘Navarasam’ youngster in myself. It taught me quite a bit and gave me the braveness to not surrender and preserve trying to find solutions — regardless of the problem.

A still from the ‘Navarasam’ music video.

A nonetheless from the ‘Navarasam’ music video.

You straddle three very distinct fields — route, modifying and cinematography. How do you handle to remain goal and never let one intrude with the opposite?

I principally do completely different roles solely when I’ve a restricted funds. It will get much more complicated after I even have to supply my initiatives. I’ve conversations with myself from completely different views. It’s fixed problem-solving amongst variables of time, high quality and cash; the method of putting a stability is the problem. What in the end issues is what comes on display in its remaining audio/ visible type. So I collect the energy and persistence to do my half throughout the given sources, even when which means cleansing the ground after pack-up. And, in time, I’ve discovered my peace in numerous avatars.

Might you inform us a bit about your journey?

I’m from Kerala. My dad is from Nedungapra, and my mom was from Kochi. She handed away after I was six, and many alternative households raised me. I’d lived in 45 completely different homes by the point I completed highschool. I absorbed the completely different relationships between folks, as I had many households. I moved inside India, and later went to Dubai and California. I now dwell in Los Angeles. I nonetheless make movies after I get an opportunity. I’m studying and exploring know-how and different mediums associated to cinema and storytelling. I like being a scholar.

Who’re your artistic influences and what’s your work ethic like?

Since I moved quite a bit as a toddler, just a few homes initially had a tv. And it was primarily Doordarshan; one among my uncles had a B&W Onida TV. However, it might rain typically and electrical energy would get minimize. I used to look at no matter I may; the language didn’t matter. My Pricey Kuttichathan was an enormous affect on me as a toddler. And outdated Malayalam films too have had an important affect.

In terms of my work ethic, I take time severely. If there’s a dawn shot, we as a crew have to be there on time; the solar is not going to watch for us. We are able to’t cease time until somebody falls in love.

Any explicit purpose you moved overseas? And, are you continue to excited about working in Indian movies?

I moved to California to do an Audio Engineering programme. I needed to study extra about sound to be a greater editor. And to discover new and upcoming applied sciences. I nonetheless do promoting movies for shoppers. I’ve additionally been working within the movie trade in Los Angeles.

In terms of Indian cinema, if an thrilling script or story comes by sooner or later, I shall be greater than happy to work on it.

The marketing consultant author from Mangaluru has been masking the leisure beat for 20 years.

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