Chennai based songstress Harini Iyer has joined forces with New York based Ukrainian bassist/music producer Han Beyli to release her incredibly groovy new track, “Rowthiram Pazhagu”. The track’s seeds were sown when Harini Iyer read the poem “Puthiya Aathichoodi” by legendary Tamil poet and freedom fighter, Bharathiyar. That spark of musical creativity was bolstered by a groovy bass loop sent by Han Beyil and today, we have this incredibly addictive number to listen to.
Harini Iyer draws her influences from a wide and diverse array of musical genres. From Carnatic music to neo-soul/R&B to Afro-Cuban Music to Latin Jazz, all of these musical styles have had an influence on her as a musician, singer and songwriter. Harini Iyer also holds a diploma in contemporary writing and production from the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. She was an active member and choreographer of the Berklee Indian Ensemble. Needless to say, her background sounds incredible, so the question is, how does that massive dose of musical goodness sound on record? Let’s find out.
Right from the get go, the thing that stands out in this Tamil-English number is the infectiously groovy trip-hop-carnatic fusion beat with some brilliant bass and tabla playing. The rhythm flows like a river from note to note and takes you along on a groovy cruise. However, just before the beat kicks in, there is a beautiful Carnatic style vocal intro that introduces you to the amazing vocal chops of Harini Iyer.
She has a rich and distinct vocal tone and she showcases her incredible range with a hint of subtlety. There are no vocal theatrics but Harini infuses her singing with enough dynamic changes that showcase her range without ever treading into the “showoff” territory. The track is mixed and mastered very well with wonderfully layered vocals and instruments which do a great job of enhancing the overall feel of the song.
Lyrically, the title “Rowthiram Pazhagu” roughly translates into “practice anger” and thematically, the song focuses on the need to control and preserve anger. While anger is perceived as a volatile and imbalanced state of mind, when harnessed and channeled properly, it can actually be a great tool to question injustice and seek the truth.
We live in the age of information overdose, a lot of which is actually false information. Perhaps controlled rage against such falsehood is what might lead us on the path of truth. While an uncontrolled inferno can raze down the mightiest of forests, a sharp and well focused laser beam can cut the most intricate patterns on steel. With Rowthiram Pazhagu, Harini Iyer urges you to be the latter.
Verdict: More groovy than Austin Powers.