“You know what? Maadeva was originally supposed to be called Va Va Va song and until just one day before we released, we didn’t even know we’d call it that. The song was supposed to release on a Sunday and on Friday while we were heading to the studio, Charan (Raj, the music director) said, “hey, how will it sound if he we change the hook line to Maadeva instead of Va Va Va? I liked it and then we hummed it for a bit in the car and then realised it was really addictive. We decided to change it then and there and that’s how a day before the song was to release, we changed the whole hook line,” shares Sanjith Hegde, the voice behind the iconic hit.

Taking us back to the time when they first began working the number, Sanjith tells us that it happened five months before the movie went on floors. “Charan was brimming with ideas right from the beginning and when he approached me with the concept, even I was kicked about it because it was such an experimental song, so fresh and innovative,” he says. The young singer was all the more stoked because it was the first time he’d be singing fully in English.

“I never thought I’d become a playback singer. I’ve always wanted to be an independent music artiste. Singing for films happened by a stroke of luck and for the past three years that’s what I’ve been doing. Of course while I like this stint, movie songs have a set pattern and there’s not much that you can do outside of it. Maadeva did that for me and helped me break new barriers for myself. I was slightly skeptical though that my Kannada roots would rub off on the English portions but I guess I managed it. There’s a slight tinge of it though but I’m happy I explored this side of me that showed that I can sing in English, too,” states Sanjith.

He’s especially happy that he got to work with HanuMan Kind, a popular Malayali wrapper from the US for the wrap bits in Maadeva. “HanuMan has only worked on Western music before and Kannada music was alien to him. I know him through another musician friend and broached the idea of roping him in for the rap bits. Charan was game and we were both keen to see HanuMan’s reaction to the song when he joined us. The atmosphere in the studio when the three of us would be there was electric to say the least. HanuMan loved it, too,” avers Sanjith.

With the only three Kannada word in the song being Maadeva and Maklu Jopana, Sanjith had one concern. “For the typical Kannada audience who like their mass numbers and had only heard me lending my voice to filmi ditties, this would be a different experience. But once the song released, I gained a whole new set of audience. My school friends who never listen to Kannada songs, texted to tell me how much they loved Maadeva. It’s a rage in college fests and I am amazed by the kind of energy that the song brings forth. I’ve been getting messages from industry folks from across borders and that’s so heartwarming. Maadeva has opened a whole new dimension to my craft,” wraps Sanjith.