Anirudh Ravichander was nineteen, when a fun song that he composed in under twenty minutes, garnered one hundred thousand hits on YouTube in the first two days and today that international rage called ‘Kolaveri’ is the first Indian song to have more than 140 million hits in YouTube making him a ‘YouTube Gold award’ winner. The rest as they say is history.
Appreciation poured in from across the world when Prime Ministers and leaders started mentioning this song in their speeches and the likes of BBC, CNN and the Wall street journal wrote about it. The first song to spawn several versions in languages across the world and popularize the concept of flash mobs from the Times Square in New York to the Westminster square in London and the streets of Melbourne. Radio stations across the world which had never before played a Tamil song started playing ‘Kolaveri’.
Anirudh became one of the most sought after music composers and the music for every film that he composed debuted right at the top on itunes. He became well known for his background score and soon came to be known as a hit machine. At the age of 20, he scored for the Budapest symphony orchestra, a rare honour and at 21, he was addressing students at the prestigious Indian Institute of management at Ahmedabad. More recently, he was invited to talk at the prestigious London School of Economics.
Today with seventeen films in six years in which he has worked with all the top heroes of the industry, he has bagged multiple awards right from Film fare , IIFA awards, Vijay awards, Siima awards, Mirchi awards to the first ever Amitabh Bachhan Youth Icon award instituted by Mr. Bachhan himself.
His independent music has also touched a chord with listeners. ‘Chancey illa’ an ode to his city Chennai produced for The Times of India and the love trilogy that he releases every year on Valentine’s Day have several hundred thousand hits and counting on YouTube.
His concerts which have taken place across the world in London, Paris, Dubai, Toronto, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore have drawn thousands of fans and have elevated him to Rock Star status.
1) Which place, or city or country do you most feel at home in?
I am a Chennai boy. I have lived and studied here. My family has deep moorings here. In fact many a time, I am asked which place inspires me to make music. I would say the terrace of my studio in Alwarpet in Chennai.
2) What are your proudest achievements?
I think I am yet to achieve anything. I have taken infant steps and have a long way to go.
3) What inspires you?
The reaction from the audience to a song that I make inspires me. I feel energized by the love that the audience shower on me during a live concert. It instils in me a deep responsibility that I have to constantly make music that they will like.
4) What has been biggest obstacle in your career?
The fear that any album that I make should be better than the previous one.
5) Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date?
My classmate Aravind from school. He lost his Father, when we were both getting ready for our board examination. That day I said to him that he should study sound engineering and if and when I become a Music Director, he could be my audio engineer and he went on to do so. He was with me for my initial few albums but unfortunately, he succumbed to a heart attack at a tender age. He always believed in me more than I did. Until this day, I dedicate all my songs to him.
6) What is the best aspect about your current role?
The love and adulation of people across the world. I had set for myself a goal that by the time I am 30, I should be a music Director of at least one film. Now at 27, I have been here seven years and 16 films. I am living a Dream.
7) And the worst?
As I said, this success is also what causes fear that I should continue to be worthy of this Love from People.
8) What are your long term goals?
I take each day as it comes and thank God for all this.
9) If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change?
I would make Music Compulsory across all educational Institutions. Nothing binds the world together like Music.
10) If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why.
I am not sure about a historical figure, but one character that has fascinated me is Pablo Escobar from the Series Narcos. I would like to know what makes his mind tick.