Groovy kind of tune

A heady new cultural potpourri is ruling the airwaves in pubs, dance clubs and cocktail lounges south of the Vindhyas. The surprising pop culture trend is of an artistic mix of regional film music fast turning into a turntable hit.

South Indian film music is rocking the day-end bashes at stuffy corporate conferences, dance floors at high-end dance clubs and even pre-wedding revelry. It is a bold new sound combining regional elements from Sandalwood (Kannada), Tollywood (Telugu) and Kollywood (Tamil) films, somewhat like a mix-and-match south Indian thali .

For an audience long fed with Bollywood staples, it is a welcome variation. The innovative beats are driving music lovers wild and sending energy levels soaring on the dance floor. It is a happy, vigorous and big sound, said homemaker Sneha Rao who uses the genre to pep up her gym routine.

The craze permeated into the mainstream in a major way after "Kolaveri Di", the lazy number crooned by Tamil movie star Dhanush, invented in Chennai that went on to became a viral hit worldwide. That whipped up a frenzy like no other and boosted requests for a host of other numbers.

Chartbusters like "Jinke Marina" and "Pyarge Aagbittaite" in Kannada, "Nakku Mukka" and "Appadi Podu" in Tamil and "Ringa Ringa" and "Aa Ante Amalapuram" in Telugu are the top choices.

The songs are trendy and exhilarating said Sneha Devaraj, a communications consultant and a party organiser in Bangalore. The music is innovative and gets people grooving on the dance floor, she said.

Hardly anybody understands all the lyrics of these songs but that ceases to matter once the music gets going, said her colleague Sandhya Nair. It is a refreshing change from the routine Bollywood music, she said.

Meanwhile Bollywood, which has imported heroines and recently movie plots from southern movies, is spinning off of this trend too. Bollywood music directors are cottoning on to the genre, as hits like "Ringa Ringa's take-off "Dhinka Chika" adapted into the Salman Khan film Ready, and playing with similar beats, show.

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