Funky Onam

Kerala Song by Malayali band Perfume is an ode to Kerala and its rich, lush, wild beauty
Malayali band Perfume
Malayali band Perfume

Malayalis are all set to welcome yet another Onam across the state and beyond. To add to the celebration, Kochi-based music band Perfume has released its debut original song, aptly titled, Kerala Song. The Malayalam song by the six-member band is a rare offering where melody blends seamlessly with rock music.

Mazhayulla Naadinte Kathaparayam Naattare… goes the simple lyrics sung by youngster Anand Sreeraj. The lyrics cover the beautiful geography and serene and lush greenery of God’s Own country. The song starts with beats from a traditional Kerala ensemble and gradually transforms into a mix of funk.

Kerala Song is a call to explore the state’s mesmerising natural landscapes, the hospitality of Malayali people and our traditions say, Benhur Thomas, the drummer and spokesperson of the band. “After the pandemic restrictions have eased, everyone is getting back on their feet. Malayalis are celebrating this Onam in full swing. The song is meant to showcase the richness of Kerala.

However, Onam came adjacent to it. Also, we wanted our first solo to be linked with our mother tongue and hometown,” says Benhur.“Through the song, we are welcoming everyone to visit Kerala, thereby enhancing our tourism sector,” he adds. 

The video of the song is nothing short of a visual treat. The track has lavishly explored the backwaters of Alappuzha.  DOP Akash Satheesh has successfully captured the village capes of Kainakary. The song by the young bunch from the five-year-old band is also a call to Malayalis to explore more of Kerala’s own culture and beauty. 

“We always wondered why foreigners prefer the backwaters more. But when visited the Kainakary village and its people, we understood that there is a pleasant richness to it. The support of the locales boosted the energy of the song too and helped our shooting,” adds Benhur.    

The 3-minute-58-second song is accompanied by both modern and traditional instruments. Subin Jerson’s flute hymns and sax performance make special. The idea of the song originated long back during the pandemic break, adds Benhur. The melody composed by Perfume’s keyboard artist Sonu Milton later inspired the simple and poetic lyrics by Joshil James. 

“Though we do not focus on any genre, we love alternate funk. So we composed the music with a rock touch to Malayali rhythms. It is different and provides a glimpse of our signature sound,” the drummer says. The chorus line, ‘Thai Tharo’ and the energetic drum beats make the song a colourful affair, lifting people to groove with the music.  “The music is made in such a way that it can be sung as an evergreen song in future,” says Benhur.

Origin story
Perfume was the brainchild of Benhur and he founded the band in 2017. The team has performed on more than 100 stages across the country with cover songs. Kerala Song is its foray into making original music. “With festivals like Indiegaga making their grip in Kerala, there is a growth of independent music here. Now, the Malayali audience of all ages is aware of live music. It inspires bands like us to showcase more of our music. Apart from Kerala Song, we will be releasing more originals in the coming days,” adds Benhur.

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