The tribute to legendary music composer Ilaiyaraaja, was released on World International Disability Day
India’s biggest film stars, including Amitabh Bachchan and Mohanlal, have come in support of this Dubai-based music producer’s latest venture –Olangal (Malayalam for waves).
Released on the occasion of World International Disability Day, Olangal was arranged and produced by Dubai-based Ranjith Meleppatt and is a tribute to legendary music composer Ilaiyaraaja.
The volunteer-driven project conceptualised by the team of Aasmaan Foundation Trust, an Indian NGO, features the musical talents of six exceptionally talented, differently-abled individuals – Abhirami R, Heena Sharma, Revathy Narayanaswami, Udayan VK, Sudha Subbaraman and Judith Ann.
T 3741 – On International disability day, presenting specially-abled artists who did not let their disabilities get better of them. #Olangal a volunteer project by #AFT. encourages people to see the gifts within each to create inclusive environment: https://t.co/F7up7dBjss
— Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) December 3, 2020
The senior Bachchan shared the music video by tweeting, “On International disability day, presenting specially-abled artists who did not let their disabilities get better of them. #Olangal a volunteer project by #AFT encourages people to see the gifts within each to create an inclusive environment.”
Meleppatt also received support from Malayalam film icon Mohanlal who wrote on social media, “I am happy that I could associate with this wonderful project named Olangal by Aasmaan Foundation Trust and Dhanya Ravi.”
Mohanlal added, “Olangal is an inclusive musical cover by differently-abled artists who remind us to focus on our gifts than our worries and create a more inclusive world.” Actors Dulqer Salman and Tovino Thomas have also shared the links of the song on their social media channels.
‘A huge moment for Dubai-based Indian musicians’
Following the release and recognition from Amitabh Bachchan and Mohanlal, City Times caught up with Meleppat, who produced and arranged the track for the project. The instrumentation was recorded at Meleppat’s My Studio recording studio in Kochi, Kerala. “The music video is a cover medley of Ilaiyaraaja’s classic hit Thumbi Vaa Thumbakudathin, sung in Hindi, Tamil, and Malayalam,” said an ecstatic Meleppat.
“The video was put together after the singers sent videos shot on their mobile phones. Though the original idea for the project was far more ambitious, we had to scale it down due to COVID-19,” explained Meleppat. “We are so honoured and happy to have received support from the titans in the industry,” he added.
Meleppat said Olangal is the brainchild of Dhanya Ravi, founder of Aasmaan Foundation. “The music was re-imagined by USA-based Sudha Subbaraman,” he explained.
Meleppat, who entered the movie music production industry in 2014 with Ashok R Nath’s Persiakkaran, has steadily and successfully created a niche for himself in the industry. He produced the music for movies – 2018 Orayiram Kinakkalal and Puzhikkadakan, released in 2018.
He is also the music production head for Big106.2 in Dubai. As a passion project, Meleppat releases cover projects under the RM Productions banner on YouTube which has been receiving rave reviews on social media. He believes it is a way to encourage new talent from Dubai to a wider Indian audience.
“Over time, I want to launch at least one artist from here every month,” he said. His releases Anananda Sagaram and Saranapadayathra were also released by actors Mohanlal and Suresh Gopi.
‘Now, UAE can be a hub for high-quality film music content’
While Dubai and Abu Dhabi have already become a hub for moviemakers, he believes the next step is the production of studio-quality sound. “I want to encourage a lot of new talent from here. Music for cinema requires a certain high-quality and movie maker usually go to Chennai or Kochi to achieve that sound because they believe the same sound quality cannot be found here,” he explained. Meleppatt firmly believes that Dubai could soon become the next production base.
“In a way, COVID-19 is responsible for that because now, we can record instruments and artists here and send the raw files to studios in Chennai and Kochi, without compromising sound quality,” he added.