I joined Vidusan, Supaveen, and BPS on the film production set of their new single, "Chickana," featuring Gana Bala. During this visit, I interviewed them to learn the inspiration behind the song and explore their collaborative journey.
Before delving into the interview, allow me to introduce Vidusan and Supaveen. Vidusan and Supaveen are talented Tamil-Canadian artists known for their three successful hit singles: "Serithaana," "Mayilu," and "Ninaivilae."
Vidusan has been learning Carnatic music since the age of five. He grew up surrounded by music and honed his skills by playing instruments such as the violin and bass guitar. Over time, Vidusan's musical talents evolved into production and composition. He reflects, "Ever since I was a child, I've had a deep desire to create music."
Supaveen began his journey as a singer during his childhood, participating in local shows in Scarborough. At 13, Supaveen's parents sent him to India, where he spent about a year and even took part in a show called "Sun Singer." While in India, he received vocal training and learned some Carnatic music. Upon returning to Canada, he also ventured into music production.
The fateful meeting of Vidusan and Supaveen occurred at a random rehearsal for a local show they used to perform at. They shared their production beats, instantly forming a connection, and decided to collaborate on making music together. A few days later, Vidusan invited Supaveen over to his house, and they began cooking up music. Since that moment, they have been creating music almost every day, primarily at Vidusan's house, for the past 4 to 5 years.
It took Vidusan and Supaveen 4 to 5 years of preparation as artists before they felt ready to release their debut single. They experimented with making English songs but eventually decided to create Tamil songs for the sheer enjoyment of it. Their first joint creation was the demo for "Mayilu" in 2016. Since its inception, they refined and reworked the song, finally releasing it as their second single in 2021. Vidusan reflects, "We just decided to release it. Everything was spontaneous. I guess it just happened in the flow of the universe."
Today, "Serithana" boasts an impressive 3 million listeners, while "Mayilu" enjoys 2 million streams on Spotify.
Supaveen shares, "Another one of our goals is to reach a Tamil audience with our music and resonate with people from diverse cultures. For example, you see Korean music on billboards; I believe Tamil music also belongs there. I feel confident that, one day, we will achieve this 100%."
Vidusan adds, "We must shatter the notion that Tamil music is solely for India and Sri Lanka because it has the potential to be embraced worldwide."
After learning about Vidusan and Supaveen, I joined them on the film production set of their newly released single "Chickana," accompanied by their producer, BPS, to uncover the inside story behind the song.
I asked them, "Could you elaborate on the concept behind the video?"
Supaveen explained, "It's a hybrid between a lyric video and a traditional music video, and we're just having a blast with this one. As you watch the video, you'll notice that many of our friends and various creatives are simply enjoying the moment. The direction for this video comes courtesy of Marcus and his team, with valuable assistance from Arshad at StartBAD Studio."
I inquired further, "What was the inspiration behind the song?"
Supaveen shared, "We have a diverse taste in music, and recently, we were drawn to Moroccan music. We found intriguing similarities between Moroccan music and Tamil music."
BPS added, "It's a fusion of Morocco, the A.M.O piano, and Tamil Kuthu music all rolled into one. The rhythm we've crafted already aligns with Kuthu music, and interestingly, there's a common thread of off-beat rhythms in various South regions like South Africa, South America, and South India. By blending these elements and adding Tamil, we realized we could create a sonic experience that resonates with audiences across the South and worldwide."
My next question was, "Did you have a specific intention in mind for the direction of the song?"
Vidusan replied, "We didn't have a fixed destination in mind for the song, but it led us into a whole new genre." Supaveen said, "We also aimed to venture in a different direction than our previous releases." Vidusan continued, "If you compare 'Serithana' and 'Mayilu' and examine their foundations, they fall into the trap soul genre with Tamil melodies. However, this song represents a complete 180-degree shift from our typical style; we genuinely adore it. We hope everyone else does, too."
BPS added, "One of our primary objectives is to resonate with diverse cultural backgrounds, to create a record that appeals to every minority group. So, our greatest success would be for the song to connect with everyone, not just the Tamil community. Many individuals participating in this video shoot serve as role models within the community. They joined us because we didn't want it to be solely attributed to Vidusan and Supaveen when we released this song. It's a song for the entire community. Everyone should feel like it belongs to them when it's released."
For my final question, I inquired, "Could you provide more insights into your collaboration with Gana Bala?"
Supaveen explained, "We simply felt that his unique voice would perfectly fit the song. As soon as he heard the track, he instantly fell in love. It was nothing short of amazing when we received his vocals back." Vidusan added that Supaveen stayed up until 4 a.m. to receive Gana Bala's recordings from India, around the same time Vidusan prepared to go in for work. They shared that Gana Bala treated them like his nephews, making it a heartwarming experience.
"Chickana" is now available for streaming on Spotify, and the music video has been released on YouTube! Be sure to check it out to experience the unique fusion of Moroccan and Tamil music by Vidusan and Supaveen, featuring Gana Bala.
What is my Identity? It's a question that we all seek to answer in our own ways throughout our lives. Each episode of Identity spotlights a different creative, some from the Tamil community and some from outside it, who will be chatting about how we take ownership of our narratives, art, politics and of course who we are. Catch these episodes of 'Identity'!