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Anirudh Ravichander

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Anirudh Ravichander
Anirudh Ravichander at Audi Ritz Style Awards 2017.jpg
Anirudh at the 2017 Audi Ritz Style Awards
Background information
Birth nameAnirudh Ravichander
Born (1990-10-16) 16 October 1990 (age 31)[1][better source needed]
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India[1][better source needed]
  • Film score
  • Independent music
  • Composer
  • singer
  • instrumentalist
  • Vocals
  • keyboard
Years active2011–present
  • Sony Music
  • Aditya Music
  • Zee Music
  • Wunderbar Studios
  • Eros Music
  • Divo
  • T-Series

Anirudh Ravichander (born 16 October 1990), is an Indian film composer and singer who primarily works in Tamil cinema. He has also worked in Telugu and Hindi. Born to veteran actor Ravi Raghavendra, Anirudh made his debut in the English industry in 2011.[2] He has since become one of the most popular composers in South India and is one of the best-selling recording artists in India, with over 20 million units sold worldwide.[3] He has won 9 South Indian International Movie Awards and became the first musician to win the Chennai Times Most Desirable Man title in 2017.[4]

Anirudh's debut song "Why This Kolaveri Di", composed for the 2012 film 3, went viral across the globe and has gained over 200 million views on YouTube.[5] A.R. Murugadoss signed him to compose music for Kaththi (2014) starring Vijay, which included the viral hit "Selfie Pulla".[6] The soundtrack for the film became Anirudh's highest profile soundtrack until he was signed to compose music for Rajinikanth's Petta in 2019.[6] In 2016, he signed a record deal with Sony Music, which publishes his independent albums and live concerts.[7] In the same year, he featured with Diplo on the remix of Major Lazer's hit single "Cold Water".[8]

Early life[edit]

Anirudh is the son of actor Ravi Raghavendra and classical dancer Lakshmi Ravichander and nephew of Surya PTS.[9] His maternal grandfather S. V. Ramanan is a multifaceted personality who has excelled in making documentaries, commercials and music. Anirudh's great grandfather was director Krishnaswami Subrahmanyam, a pioneering filmmaker of the 1930s.[10] Anirudh was part of a band in school called Zinx. At the age of 10, he started composing music and landed his first break with '3' at the age of 22.

He was the School Pupil Leader (Head Boy) at Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan, K.K. Nagar. He graduated from Loyola College, Chennai in 2011, which according to him was just a backup in case his music career did not take off.[11] Anirudh learnt piano from Trinity College of Music, London and did his sound engineering diploma from soundtech-media (Chennai). He also learnt Carnatic music, and was part of a Carnatic fusion band.[12] He always loved music and composing music is his passion. His dream was to make music his career and become a musician. In his school days, Anirudh had entered a TV show that was judged by A. R. Rahman, and his band was one of the winners along with 5 other bands. Anirudh was awarded the Best Instrumentalist by his idol.[2]


2011–2012: Debut and early success[edit]

Anirudh made his debut as a music composer in his cousin Aishwarya R. Dhanush's directorial debut 3, starring Dhanush. While pursuing his degree at Loyola College, he had done background scores for the short films made by Aishwaryaa and his work on short films convinced her to have him work on her first commercial venture.[13] In early November 2011, a leaked version of a song from the film Why This Kolaveri Di!, circulated online and the film's team decided to subsequently release it officially on 16 November 2011. It instantly became popular on social networking sites for its quirky "Tanglish" (portmanteau word of Tamil and English) and foot-tapping kuthu beats.[14] Soon, the song became the most searched YouTube video in India and internet phenomenon across Asia.[15][16][17][18] Within a few weeks, YouTube honoured the video with a "Recently Most Popular" Gold Medal award and "Trending" silver medal award for receiving a large number of hits in a short time.[19][20] The song was built around a South Indian folk rhythm. Its instrumentation consists of nadaswaram, shehnai, saxophone, urumee and thavil drums, acoustic guitar and keyboards mixed with electronic synths and scratches. The vocals utilize the singing style of Tamil folk culture. Lyrically, the song revolves around the film's main actor being dumped by his girlfriend; the song is sung by the character in a drunken state, with many of the lines nonsensical. According to the composer, 3's director Aishwarya R. Dhanush wanted a light-hearted song about failed love. Ravichander quickly composed the tune in about 10 minutes.[18][21]

The remaining songs of the album were released in December 2011 and also won very positive reviews from critics. A reviewer from Behindwoods.com noted: "Anirudh Ravichander has delivered so much variety in his very first album. Such a promising debut by a composer hasn't been seen in recent Tamil cinema history", while Rediff.com's reviewer noted that "all the songs in 3 are good and come with appealing instrumental arrangements", concluding that it was "an intriguing collection."[22][23] Anirudh also received praise for his background score in the film. He consequently went on to gain recognition for the film through accolades, notably the Vijay Award for Best Find of the Year as well as nominations at the South Indian International Movie Awards and the 60th Filmfare Awards South.[24] He also worked on the Telugu and Hindi version of the film with Adnan Sami and Vishal Dadlani singing as a part of the album, though the dubbed Hindi film was never released.[25] Anirudh teamed up with Dhanush soon after to produce a Kolaveri-inspired track titled "Sachin anthem" commemorating Sachin Tendulkar in association with the health drink, Boost.[26][27]

2013–2015: Continued success[edit]

Next, he sang and composed a single for David – a bilingual multi-starrer directed by Bejoy Nambiar; "Kanave Kanave" in Tamil and "Yun Hi Re" in Hindi. The album also opened to very positive reviews, with a critic noting: Anirudh's song was "the pick of the album".[28][29] His next album was Ethir Neechal, which won positive reviews. Behindwoods.com noted "the album does well to consolidate Anirudh's sensational debut".[30] Anirudh introduced rappers Yo Yo Honey Singh and Adhi of Hiphop Tamizha into Tamil film music. Similarly, the background music of the film was praised with a reviewer noting that Anirudh "certainly proved his mettle yet again with his exceptional music."[31] Moreover, Sony Music India released the complete background score of Ethir Neechal via YouTube owing to its popularity.[32] His next soundtrack, Vanakkam Chennai released in July 2013, and reached top spot in iTunes India Top Album category within a few days of its release. Prior to release, Anirudh had revealed that it was his "best work til date", and the composer featured as a vocalist in six of the seven songs in the film. For the song "Oh Penne", he roped in Vishal Dadlani for the first time in Tamil music, while a promotional international version was also recorded featuring British singer Arjun. Another promotional song, "Chennai City Gangster", saw him collaborate again with Adhi of Hiphop Tamizha and British Indian rapper Hard Kaur, with the trio also featuring in a music video for the film.[33] A critic from Behindwoods noted: "Anirudh exploded onto the Tamil music scene with a hat-trick". His background music for the film was well received by reviewers.[34][35] In September 2013, he was signed on to compose the background score for Selvaraghavan's fantasy film Irandam Ulagam, after Harris Jayaraj had opted out. Anirudh noted his happiness at working with Selvaraghavan early in his career, despite being called up as a replacement and subsequently recorded for the film in Budapest.[36] The film opened to mixed reviews and became a box office disaster, but Anirudh's work received a positive response.[37]

Anirudh's next release Velaiyilla Pattathari, featured veteran singer S. Janaki, Dhanush and Anirudh, and won positive reviews upon release in February 2014.[38][39] while adding "in all, the album is soulful, lively and truly Anirudh".[40] The film subsequently became a blockbuster at the box office, with Anirudh's work in re-recording also receiving critical acclaim and won the Filmfare award for best music director; Rediff.com stated he "has created magic once again", while Behindwoods.com noted his "BGM lifts all manner of scenes".[41][42] His next film was Maan Karate, starring one of his close friends, Sivakarthikeyan. This album topped the iTunes chart within a few days of release. This album is a perfect mix of different genres, be it a lovely breezy ‘Un Vizhigalil’ song or ‘Royapuram Peter Kuthu’ vibe, its truly a treat. Maan Karate's soundtrack released shortly after and also won favourable reviews from critics.[43] The film opened to mixed reviews, but became a box office success, with a critic from Rediff.com praising that "Anirudh has proved once again that he understands the pulse of the youngsters. In fact, the BGM and sound tracks in the film, make the film appear more exciting than it actually is."[44]

A.R. Murugadoss then signed him on to compose music for Kaththi, starring Vijay, becoming Anirudh's highest profile album until he was signed to compose music for Superstar Rajinikanth's Petta in 2018. He composed the film's theme music within four days of signing, and also went on to collaborate again on songs with Adhi of Hip Hop Tamizha and Vishal Dadlani.[45] Moreover, Anirudh recorded songs with veteran singers K. J. Yesudas and Vijay for the first time in his career, while he also created a "love kuthu" song "Selfie Pulla" to be sung by the film's lead actor Vijay and Sunidhi Chauhan, which became a big hit.[6] The album received positive reviews from critics and topped the iTunes India Charts.[46][47] Durgesh Haridas of The Indian Express stated: "The OST is arguably the best for a Vijay movie in recent times and Anirudh's variety and experimentation is helping him establishing himself as one of Kollywood's top music makers.", and labelled "Selfie Pulla" as "a number that even kids will be humming." adding that the song "doesn't disappoint".[48] His work for re-recording also won acclaim, with a critic noting: "Anirudh's music and BGM reaches a new level", while the film went on to become one of the highest grossers in Tamil films history and he won several accolades for his work in the album Kaththi.[49][50]

For the third time, Anirudh collaborated with his close friend Sivakarthikeyan for the film Kaaki Sattai, produced by Dhanush under his production company. The album received mostly positive reviews and boosted the streak of Anirudh. In early 2013, it was announced that Anirudh would make his acting debut in Vignesh Shivan's Naanum Rowdydhaan, after selecting it from twenty other scripts he had heard.[51] However, production work stalled, with Anirudh noting that he will give priority to a career in music composing and agreed to work on the soundtrack for the film, now featuring Vijay Sethupathi. Furthermore, he signed on to compose music for a film made by and featuring newcomers; Aakko, with initial publicity posters for the film featuring solely on Anirudh's status as the movie's composer.[52] Anirudh scored music for Maari, which was another project with Dhanush. The music received positive reviews, with the song "Don'u Don'u Don'u" becoming exceptionally popular.[53] He also received critical acclaim for his work in the Vijay Sethupathi starrer Naanum Rowdydhaan, leading him to receive many accolades for his achievement in the film.[54] He released a single from the movie Aako on Valentine's Day in 2015 of the name "Ennakenna Yaarum Illaiye". He also scored his first Ajith Kumar film in Vedalam, directed by Siva. Anirudh's music received mixed reviews, however, the song "Aaluma Doluma", which uses North Madras slang, became very popular[55][56] Anirudh concluded the year with Thangamagan, starring Dhanush which also received positive reviews for his music.[57]


Anirudh at Velaikkaran Audio Launch

On Valentine's eve in 2016, he released a single dedicated to lovers, a song titled "Avalukena", under the banner of Sony Music. After a short break, Anirudh released a single from Rum in April 2016; "Hola Amigo". In May 2016, Anirudh signed a deal with Sony Music India. As per the deal, from here on, the independent albums and live concerts of Anirudh will be published and promoted by the global giant.[58][59] Music giant Sony music presented a multi-platinum disc plaque for his successful collaborations with Sony[60] Anirudh again teamed up with Sivakarthikeyan For Remo. The album featured 8 tracks, with Behindwoods and Indiaglitz crediting "Remo's music is definitely a cupid's arrow from Anirudh" and "Some beats, a little melody, and a whole lot of fun, Remo is soulful jukebox",[61][62] it became one of his album topping the iTunes charts.[63] Then, on 12 November 2016, he launched the audio of his cousin Hrishikesh's horror flick Rum. In late 2017, Anirudh launched the first single "Surviva" and became fastest Tamil song to get 1 million streams,[64] this track saw the comeback of Yogi B back to the Tamil music. Anirudh launched the next single, "Thalai Viduthalai". It was written by director Siva and sung by Anirudh and Harish Swaminathan. Anirudh used the "Death Metal" first time in kollywood for this track. This song was also considered a tribute to the ultimate star Ajith Kumar, who had completed 25 years in the Tamil film industry. After a HipHop and Death Metal, the third single was a romantic classical fusion; "Kadhalaada", featuring Pradeep Kumar and Sasha Tripathi. Anirudh launched the complete album with 4 other tracks. The English song "Never Give Up" featuring Raja Kumari. The album was topping iTunes, Saavn and other digital platforms,[65] its completely an international album.[66] He again teamed up with Sivakarthikeyan, it was their 5th collaboration. He has experimented with genre and given variety in the album.[67] It has a kuthu vibe Karuthavanlaam Galeejam expressing about colour and caste, sung by Anirudh himself. A romantic melody track Iraiva which features Anirudh and Jonita Gandhi, the track breaks into two genres it starts as a soft melody expressing love, then suddenly enter into a metal genre. Another melody Idhayane by Neeti Mohan and Anirudh. Vaa Velaikkara song sung by Shakthishree Gopalan, Bjorn Surrao is offbeat, and an introduction to trance-psychedelic music.[67] It has a motivational track Ezhu Velaikkara sung by Siddharth Mahadevan. It's overall a catchy emotional album'[68] A Hindi pop music video Bewajah, composed by Anirudh and sung by Anirudh, Irene and Srinidhi Venkatesh, which is also India's first ever vertical video was released by Sony Music India. The video features a love-torn duo whose romance is narrated through animated movie posters.[69] The song became an instant hit etching several million views.[70] In 2018, he made his Telugu debut with Agnyaathavaasi, which has 6 tracks, a fast-paced massy introductory track Dhaga Dhagamaney sung by Anirudh himself, a sweet melody Baitikochi Chuste song ruled by the guitar chords and enchanting flute, It was an instant hit among youngsters with its quirky lyrics and a catchy foot-tapping tune, Gaali Vaaluga sung by Anirudh was also instant hit among music lovers. Niranjana Raman has sung a beautiful classical number, Swagatham Krishna, the inclusion of the guitars and synths gives an enchanting experience throughout the track. Nakash Aziz has crooned peppy number AB Yevaro Nee Baby and Pawan Kalyan has sung a folk number Kodakaa Koteswar Rao. The whole album has been received well.[71][72] His BGM received praises for his fresh sound.[73][74] Next, he composed for Suriya's Thaanaa Serndha Koottam, which was a remake of Special 26. The song "Sodakku" was an instant hit among the masses. After that, he composed for Nayanthara's Kolamavu Kokila, which was well received and was praised for being unique. The song "Gun Kadhal" became popular among Anirudh fans. On 10 December, the full album for Rajinikanth's Petta was released by Anirudh. While the song "Ilamai Thirumbudhe" was praised by Siddharth Srinivas from Only Kollywood.com, the songs "Marana Mass" and "Petta Theme" became chartbusters.[75] His next project was Nani's Telugu film Jersey, which is directed by Gowtam Tinnanuri. He later appeared in Gang Leader which was directed by Vikram K Kumar. This marked his second collaboration with Nani. After that he appeared in Darbar, which was directed by AR Murugadoss.

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