Vian Fernandes, the head of Thaikkudam Bridge, opens up about the recent plagiarism row surrounding Kantara and its song Varaha Roopam.
Rishab Shetty’s film Kantara earlier surrounded itself with unwanted controversy as Kerala-based band Thaikkudam Bridge accused the makers of stealing their song Navarasam for the film’s track, Varaha Roopam. And while the Kerala court put a temporary ban on playing the song on any platform without the band’s permission, Vian Fernandes, bassist, and vocalist of the band, said that the band wants to get the due credits.
While speaking to Hindustan Times Fernandes said, “The band’s point of view is to get the due credits, following which the track can be played.”
Speaking about why it is so critical to speak out about this for the band, Fernandes explains, “This is the first time that an independent band is fighting a big production house. With the reach, power, and money they have, they think they can get away with it. For us, it was about setting an example to the entire indie music scene. No matter what the outcome will be, we will have the satisfaction that we did not sit around, but, took a step.”
Here’s the Navarasam song:
Similarities between songs
He further said that it was first the listeners who caught the similarities between the two songs: “Initially, we were okay with it as some songs do have similarities at times. However, the comments, messages, and calls didn’t stop. In fact, thousands of comments were deleted on Varaha Roopam’s video. We still gave it time, listened to it a number of times, and made sure of the similarities.”
The 35-year-old adds that the legal route wasn’t the first option for the band, “The music director, B Ajaneesh Loknath, reached out to Govind Vasantha, one of the founding members of the band. Our management team had also given a warning to the Kantara team, and one of the videos was taken down. But, another video was still active on the music director’s channel and they had disabled comments. If they had even talked to us before the release and given the band a mention, we would have been okay with it.”
According to the petition passed by the Kerala court, the Thaikkudam Bridge music group must grant permission for the song to be released on OTT platforms and theaters. A Kerala court ruled in favor of the band and banned any platform—including Amazon, YouTube, Spotify, and JioSaavn—from playing that song without the band’s approval.