Some of the apps that you extensively used during the lockdown – Among Us, Discord, Ludo King, why, even Zoom – were launched ages ago! When they were released, they were moderate successes. But then a certain circumstance (namely a pandemic that brought millions to a standstill, confined to their homes) triggered its unprecedented further course of success.
Let’s take this theory and apply it in the Entertainment space, particularly music. Some songs may have failed to make it’s expected impact, either due to poor promotion, or poor performance of the film itself or without any legit reason at all! It’s a very unpredictable and abstract space. This unpredictability lends itself to the desertion of even good songs at times. However, with the advent of short-form content – namely Whatsapp Stories, TikTok and more recently Instagram Reels – people are now capable of cherry-picking the standout part of a song and using it for their videos. This increases the visibility of that viral bit of the song, and people go in search of the source song in droves. Thanks to this phenomenon, we have seen many Malayalam songs (and movies) finding a new lease of life – a second innings of sorts. Let’s look at a few of these tracks!
Note: This is not to say that these Malayalam songs weren’t well received at their time of release. Most of them were moderate hits. Rather, we intend to highlight how random events on the internet have catapulted them to greater heights!
Nillu Nillu (Rain Rain Come Again)
Singer and Music: Jassie Gift
The songs of this film got good coverage on TV, thanks to Jassie’s (fab) previous album, 4 The People. As kids, all of us vibed to the soundtracks of December and Rain Rain Come Again, but they somehow never stayed in the limelight (Themma Themma being an exception). Until, in 2018, there came a trend out of nowhere: The Nillu Nillu Challenge on TikTok, where youngsters stopped random vehicles on the road and started dancing. The trend caused alarm amongst many – including the Kerala Police and Jassie Gift himself – who urged the people to exercise caution and not invite trouble!
Uyyaram Payyaram (Kakshi Amminipilla)
Singers: Zia Ul Haq
Music: Samuel Aby
The vocals were lively, the video – featuring a high-voltage Basil Joseph – was quirky, and it looked like they had an instant winner on the cards. But somehow it got overlooked at the time of release. Two years later, the Reels fam has accepted the track with open hands and made some hilarious content around it, similar to the Sadi Gali challenge up North. A bonafide sleeper hit, this one!
Originally Composed by: Jakes Bejoy
Prominent Cover: Jos Jossey
When the track eventually blew up as a template background music for all kinds of videos, people were scrambling to find the source. Legend says that most of them searched for the song on YouTube using the keywords “Tatatata BGM” and somehow managed to find it too!
Fun fact: Usain Bolt used this song for one of his videos!
Paikkurumbiye Meykkum (Gramaphone)
Singers – Sujatha, Balaram
Music – Vidyasagar
When the film released in 2003, it was Enthe Innum Vanneela that became an instant chartbuster. Paikkurumbiye was just a moderate hit in comparison. Fast forward to 2021, and we’re now flooded with videos of budding dancers vibing to this song. YouTube has some great dance covers, do check them all out if you’re a fan of the original!
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Pulkodiyil Thoomani (Take Off)
Singers – Hesham Abdul
Music – Shaan Rahman
This song was often deemed by many as one of Shaan Rahman’s “underrated tracks”. Not anymore, though. In 2020, out of absolutely nowhere, it resurfaced – that too in quite unexpected spaces, like football videos! Soon enough, it became the ‘emotional highpoint song’ for short form videos.
Singers – Kalyani and Chorus
Music – Sabeesh George
The film came and went without garnering much attention in 2004. Cut to 2019 Onam – when WhatsApp stories had become a thing – and every Onam story, video and meme had to have a revamped version of this song in the backdrop. The staple Social Media Onapaaattu!
Singer – Thirumali
Prod – Arcado
The song gained a lot of appreciation from the hiphop community at the time of release. But it got a lot bigger when the WhatsApp Status Community took it on as the quintessential “Numma pwoli aanu” anthem, using it in the background for any video related to Kerala – specifically videos highlighting achievements by Malayalis. In IPL 2020, Rajasthan Royals also used the song for a reel featuring homeboy Sanju Samson!
Singers – Haricharan
Music – Rahul Raj
The quirky film from Friday Film House didn’t rock the box office maybe, but this romantic number definitely rocked the TikTok space a couple of years later. Moreover, Ashwin Ram’s viral 2020 Malayalam Mashup, featuring one song each from 2000 to 2020, had this song from the year 2016, leading to more buzz.
Oru Dinam (Big Brother)
Singers – Anand Bhaskar
Music – Deepak Dev
This embarrassing mess of a film made its viewers want to delete any memory associated with it. So it was quite natural that when people first heard the song on WhatsApp Statuses a few months later, they couldn’t immediately place it as a Big Brother song, Nevertheless, it’s a super melodious track from Deepak Dev that’s now getting its deserved recognition!
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If you think we’ve missed some Malayalam songs that caught on way after their release, do comment below!