Since the lockdown, Malayalam actor Neeraj Madhav has been in a mood to rap. After his experimental rap/hip hop track ‘Oru Kadha Parayam’, which was shot on phone and crooned to free beats, gained notice, the actor-dancer brought out his first EP titled ‘Jungle Speaks’ featuring three songs. Now, Neeraj’s latest original, ‘Panipaali’, has gone viral for its droll mix of humour-laced lyrics and visually-catchy storytelling in the music video.
‘Panipaali’ (which roughly translate to ‘messed up’) is written and sung by Neeraj. “I wanted to keep the lyrics simple and in colloquial style to appeal to a larger audience,” says the actor. The single is a comic take on the “lifestyle of the young generation” that often stays up at night, waking up late in the morning.
“The idea was to look at the funny side of sleep schedules. Many of us use mobile phones late into the night. Even when I call up my friends at night, many are either playing Ludo or PUBG on mobile phones,” he says, adding that he wanted to “spice the song up with visuals” with a fantasy setting.
The hip-hop beats for ‘Panipaali’ were created by Arcado and the visuals — like a comic strip form — were conceptualised by Neeraj, while the animation was done by Spacemarley. Neeraj also showcases a range of voice modulation to convey a particular mood or comic expression in the song.
Now that the four-minute-long song has gone viral, spawning dance covers on social media, the actor started a ‘Panipaali Dance Challenge’ online, prompting a response from some celebrities, including RJ Pearle Maaney.