New Delhi: Filmmaker Pa. Ranjith on Sunday hit out at Rolling Stone India and online music platform ‘Maajja’ for their failure to credit singer-songwriter Arivu on the cover page of the former’s latest issue, the News Minute reported.
The magazine’s cover story for August features an interview with singers Dhee and Shah Vincent de Paul, highlighting their work on the songs, ‘Enjoy Enjaami’ and ‘Neeye Oli’. Arivu penned the lyrics for ‘Enjoy Enjaami’, apart from singing parts of it. He co-wrote and sang the track ‘Neeye Oli’. Despite his contributions, he was only afforded a small quote in the story and not featured on the magazine’s cover at all.
Voicing his displeasure on Twitter, Ranjith lambasted the magazine and the music platform for neglecting to credit Arivu. The filmmaker highlighting the irony of “invisibilising” Arivu, even as the lyrics of both these songs challenge “erasure of public acknowledgement.”
@TherukuralArivu, the lyricist of #Neeyaoli and singer as well as lyricist of #enjoyenjami has once again been invisiblised. @RollingStoneIN and @joinmaajja is it so difficult to understand that the lyrics of both songs challenges this erasure of public acknowledgement? https://t.co/jqLjfS9nwY
— pa.ranjith (@beemji) August 22, 2021
‘Enjoy Enjaami’, according to Arivu, was written to celebrate his roots and deals with the story of Tamil migration to erstwhile Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) during the colonial era. This story was told to the rapper and lyricist by his grandmother, Valliammal, who also features in the music video for the song.
Arivu had earlier been slighted when the remix for the song produced by French artist DJ Snake featured Dhee but dropped him from the mix.
Ranjith was not alone in his criticism of Rolling Stone India and ‘Maajja’, the music platform backed by A.R. Rahman. A number of Twitter users criticised Arivu’s neglect by the two entities. These users were quick to point out the irony of Arivu’s treatment since it is his personal caste struggles that the song deals with.
– @RollingStoneIN Arivu should have been a part of this cover more than anybody else. the song enjoy enjaami is about his anti-caste struggles. Rolling Stone covers issues of racial diversity extensively in the USA, but invisibilizes marginalised voices in India. fix it! pic.twitter.com/ApA4kDHCvk
— Agatha Srishtie 🌸 (@SrishtyRanjan) August 23, 2021
How it actually should have been.
Without Arivu there’s no EE.
He is the creator, lyricist and the performer of EE In that order. It is his story.
The song was featuring Dhee, not the other way around. #Arivu #EnjoyEnjaami #SaNa pic.twitter.com/2aas6a5V85
— Sam Paul (@SamPaulDharshan) August 23, 2021
The widespread Twitter backlash prompted Rolling Stone India to put out another Tweet in which they listed out the names of individuals involved in their cover story. Besides acknowledging Arivu, the magazine also mentioned A.R. Rahman as a backer of ‘Maajja’ as well as Canadian hip-hop artist Navz 47 and producer Santhosh Narayanan.
— Rolling Stone India (@RollingStoneIN) August 22, 2021