Rap music hardly struck a chord in Tamil music a few years ago, but the scene is gradually changing for the better, says singer-rapper Sricharan Kasthurirangan, who has sung rap portions in films such Chennai Express and Ko.
"A few years ago nobody bothered about rap portions in songs. It's not the same anymore. Rap music in India, especially in Tamil cinema, is gaining importance. People have started recognising rap lines and are giving due credit to singers," Sricharan told IANS.
Sricharan has written and crooned Tamil rap lines in the song "One two three four" from the forthcoming Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Bollywood film Chennai Express. A singer-rapper for nearly eight years, Sricharan even sang Ennamo Yedho in Tamil action-drama Ko.
He says he has received "many personal messages" via social networking platforms, with people appreciating his work.
"It's good that our work is finally being recognised," he said, adding that "this is just the beginning".
He feels the reason why rap music has still not found its place in the Tamil industry is because music here is still accustomed to melody and mushy songs.
"We are used to melody and love songs. We even have item numbers and a hero introduction song, but rarely a rap number. Why can't we have a rap song to introduce our hero in the films?" he asked.
Talking about the possibilities around a rap track, he said: "We don't necessarily need to have a fast rap number as there are different versions of rap music. We can have a rap version of a melodious love number. Or it could be done something along the lines of what Chris Brown and Usher are doing in the west," he said.
Sricharan, who writes his own lyrics, avers that rap music is not about swearing and singing gibberish.
"Rap stands for rhythm and poetry. Lyrics are the most important part in a rap number and they need to have a soul. I don't swear in my songs and I take effort to write my lines. I give lot of importance to the lyrics and never sing gibberish," he said.
However, in most cases, it gets tough for people to catch up on a rap song's lyrics.
Sricharan has a solution to this: "I urge my music directors and producers to print the lyrics of the rap portion of a song on the CD cover. When people start appreciating the lyrics, they will automatically enjoy a song even more."
Writing the lines for the song "One Two Three Four" and singing for a Shah Rukh Khan movie was a milestone for Sricharan.
"It was a rare opportunity and I did my best. I don't think there was any difference in the way I sang the song. The effort for all songs remains the same because if it's not the same, then I'm responsible for it," said Sricharan, who has also rapped for Malayalam film Kili Poyi.
Sricharan, who has worked with all major southern composers, hopes to collaborate with Oscar-winning composer AR Rahman soon.