Musical Notes

Keeravani in Telugu and MM Kreem in Hindi: tune into the ‘Baahubali’ music composer

The musician and singer has been around in Hindi films since ‘Criminal’ in 1995, but his success in Bollywood has been limited.

Music composer MM Keeravani likes to play hide and seek with Bollywood. He has been flitting in and out of the Hindi film music scene for over two decades. In 2015, when he composed the soundtrack of SS Rajamouli’s Baahubali: The Beginning, its showy sounds indicated a comeback for Keeravani.

In the April 28 release Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, Keeravani mounts a grand score for the final chapter of the two-part fantasy epic. Daler Mehndi, bhangra pop star and proud owner of one of the highest vocal pitches in the music business, sings Saahore Baahubali, a war cry paean urging the hero to vanquish his enemies.

Few playback singers can be entrusted to unsettle eardrums as Mehndi. This isn’t the first time he has sung for Keeravani. They have collaborated on such foot-thumping Telugu dance tracks as Rabbaru Gajulu (Yamadonga, 2007) and Jorsey (Magadheera, 2009).

Baahubali 2: The Conclusion is being released in Hindi, Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam. It is an opportunity for the singer-composer duo to captivate moviegoers across the nation. Keeravani’s sweeping compositions also give him another chance to showcase his work in Bollywood, where he has worked intermittently.

Play
Saahore Baahubali from Baahubali 2: The Conclusion (2017).

The composer has trained in Indian classical music, and melody is closely associated with his name –
Keeravani is also the name of a Carnatic raag. Keeravani has several aliases, using the name MM Keeravani for Telugu films, Maragathamani in Tamil and MM Kreem for his Hindi compositions.

Keeravani got his break in the 1990 Telugu film Manasu Mamatha, and won his first Filmfare Best Music Director for Ram Gopal Varma’s Kshana Kshanam (1991). Sridevi sang her only Telugu song, Ko Ante Koti, a duet with SP Balasubrahmanyam, in the road movie.

With several soundtracks in other languages, including Tamil and Malayalam, Keeravani made a foray into Hindi films with the Mahesh Bhatt directed Telugu-Hindi bilingual action thriller Criminal (1995).

The ambient sounds of the popular track Tu Mile Dil Khile, sung by Kumar Sanu, Chitra and Alka Yagnik, were borrowed from Age of Loneliness, a 1994 single by the band Enigma. In Sudhir Mishra’s Is Raat Ki Subah Nahin (1996), Keeravani produced such lilting melodies as Chup Tum Raho, Jeevan Kya Hai and Mere Tere Naam.

Play
Chup Tum Raho from Is Raat Ki Subah Nahi (1996).

Keeravani followed Criminal with the evocative Gali Mein Aaj Chand Nikla in Zakhm (1998). He concentrated his output in films written, produced, and or directed by the Bhatts (Mukesh, Mahesh and Pooja). He admitted his preference for the Bhatts in an interview: “Mahesh is frank, straightforward and likes my kind of music. Film music, according to me, is of two kinds, for the lip and hip. Mahesh likes the first, which is long-lasting and doesn’t provide scope for pelvic movement.”

Play
Gali Mein Aaj Chand Nikla from Zakhm (1998).

Keeravani’s fruitful collaboration with the Bhatts continued with the films Sur – The Melody of Life (2002), Jism (2003), Saaya (2003), Rog (2005) and Dhokha (2007). The soundtracks were studded with numerous ballads to which Keeravani also contributed as a playback singer. His balladeer trajectory for the Bhatts was interrupted by Amol Palekar’s ghost story, Paheli (2005). Working with lyricist Gulzar, Keeravani composed the lovely tune Dheere Jalna, reworking his own Telugu song Nadira Dhinna from Okariki Okaru (2003).

Although Keeravani’s tunes were lilting melodies, they were not always chartbusters. His sound was soothing and never targetted the mass market. He explored classical genres and musical styles in other languages, but his melodies for Hindi films rarely entered the experimental stage.

Play
Dheere Jalna from Paheli (2005).

In Neeraj Pandey’s Special 26 (2013) and Baby (2015), Keeravani’s musical prowess took a backseat to the high-intensity drama in the films. The imposing sounds of Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, including the terrific background score that plays an important part in shaping the tugs and twists in the fantasy period dramas, is a masterstroke by the composer. A soundtrack in four languages is unlikely to miss anyone’s attention. Will it mark a new beginning for Keeravani?

Play
Baahubali 2: The Conclusion jukebox.
We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content  BY 

How technology is changing the way Indians work

An extensive survey reveals the forces that are shaping our new workforce 

Shreya Srivastav, 28, a sales professional, logs in from a cafe. After catching up on email, she connects with her colleagues to discuss, exchange notes and crunch numbers coming in from across India and the world. Shreya who works out of the café most of the time, is employed with an MNC and is a ‘remote worker’. At her company headquarters, there are many who defy the stereotype of a big company workforce - the marketing professional who by necessity is a ‘meeting-hopper’ on the office campus or those who have no fixed desks and are often found hobnobbing with their colleagues in the corridors for work. There are also the typical deskbound knowledge workers.

These represent a new breed of professionals in India. Gone are the days when an employee was bound to a desk and the timings of the workplace – the new set of professionals thrive on flexibility which leads to better creativity and productivity as well as work-life balance. There is one common thread to all of them – technology, tailored to their work styles, which delivers on speed and ease of interactions. Several influential industry studies and economists have predicted that digital technologies have been as impactful as the Industrial Revolution in shaping the way people work. India is at the forefront of this change because of the lack of legacy barriers, a fast-growing economy and young workers. Five factors are enabling the birth of this new workforce:

Smart is the way forward

According to the Future Workforce Study conducted by Dell, three in five working Indians surveyed said that they were likely to quit their job if their work technology did not meet their standards. Everyone knows the frustration caused by slow or broken technology – in fact 41% of the working Indians surveyed identified this as the biggest waste of time at work. A ‘Smart workplace’ translates into fast, efficient and anytime-anywhere access to data, applications and other resources. Technology adoption is thus a major factor in an employee’s choice of place of work.

Openness to new technologies

While young professionals want their companies to get the basics right, they are also open to new technologies like Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence. The Dell study clearly reflects this trend — 93% of Indians surveyed are willing to use Augmented/Virtual Reality at work and 90% say Artificial Intelligence would make their jobs easier. The use of these technologies is no longer just a novelty project at firms. For example, ThysenKrupp, the elevator manufacturer uses VR to help its maintenance technician visualize an elevator repair job before he reaches the site. In India, startups such as vPhrase and Fluid AI are evolving AI solutions in the field of data processing and predictive analysis.

Desire for flexibility 

A majority of Indians surveyed rate freedom to bring their own devices (laptops, tablets, smartphones etc.) to work very highly. This should not be surprising, personal devices are usually highly customized to an individual’s requirements and help increase their productivity. For example, some may prefer a high-performance system while others may prioritize portability over anything else. Half the working Indians surveyed also feel that the flexibility of work location enhances productivity and enables better work-life balance. Work-life balance is fast emerging as one of the top drivers of workplace happiness for employees and initiatives aimed at it are finding their way to the priority list of business leaders.

Maintaining close collaboration 

While flexible working is here to stay, there is great value in collaborating in person in the office. When people work face to face, they can pick up verbal and body language cues, respond to each other better and build connections. Thus, companies are trying to implement technology that boosts seamless collaboration, even when teams are working remotely. Work place collaboration tools like Slack and Trello help employees keep in touch and manage projects from different locations. The usage of Skype has also become common. Companies like Dell are also working on hi-tech tools such as devices which boost connectivity in the most remote locations and responsive videos screens which make people across geographies feel like they are interacting face to face.

Rise of Data Security 

All these trends involve a massive amount of data being stored and exchanged online. With this comes the inevitable anxiety around data security. Apart from more data being online, security threats have also evolved to become sophisticated cyber-attacks which traditional security systems cannot handle. The Dell study shows that about 74% of those surveyed ranked data security measures as their number one priority. This level of concern about data security has made the new Indian workforce very willing to consider new solutions such as biometric authentication and advanced encryption in work systems.

Technology is at the core of change, whether in the context of an enterprise as a whole, the workforce or the individual employee. Dell, in their study of working professionals, identified five distinct personas — the Remote Workers, the On-The-Go Workers, the Desk-centric Workers, the Corridor Warriors and the Specialized Workers.

Dell has developed a range of laptops in the Dell Latitude series to suit each of these personas and match their requirements in terms of ease, speed and power. To know more about the ‘types of professionals’ and how the Dell Latitude laptops serve each, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Dell and not by the Scroll editorial team.