What ‘lies’ ahead: Tamil Indie star Kaber Vasuki’s latest single explores the darker human nature

We learn from singer-songwriter Kaber Vasuki that his latest, “Poi”, explores the unaddressed, and its music video boasts a gripping plot with intricate meaning
In frame: Kaber Vasuki
In frame: Kaber Vasuki

Musician Kaber Vasuki is navigating through his artistic prowess with compelling storytelling and musical brilliance. Having started to make a mark in the realm of film music with his contributions to films like Metro Maalai, Aelay, and Rocky in recent years, we see a fresh perspective of the artiste in his recently released single with producer Atrium. Poi, translating to ‘lie’ in English is the latest single to be released by the talent.

Also sitting on the director’s chair for the music video of this song, Kaber presents an array of themes. Backed up with the lyrics of the track, the video produces dark visuals, adding to the thematic tone of the same His direction for the video also enforces a gripping plot set in a specific world ravaged by addiction and the exploitation by big conglomerates of the workforce.

As the video and track itself have layers of message and emotions, we rope in Kaber for an extensive chat to understand further the idea behind the song, the reasons behind adopting the specific theme, the specific details of the visual representations, his understanding and vision of the Chennai music scene and much more! Read on...

What is your new single all about?
The essence of POI delves into the intricate aspects of human psychology, exploring the darker, less spoken-about dimensions of our nature. It vividly illustrates delusions, mirages, and the entrapment within one's own dreams or illusions. The song casts light on toxic individuals and the pathways they create, emphasizing the complexities and pitfalls of these darker aspects. It's an introspective journey through the shadowy corners of our minds, a musical exploration of themes often left unaddressed.

Also Read: Tuning in with Tarini: A chat with the emerging Indie talent from Chennai  

How did you zero in on the name of the song, Poi?
Initially named POI - Inba Bimbangal, the song's title underwent a transformation, simplifying to POI. This adjustment might signify a shift in focus or a more streamlined approach, potentially emphasizing the core essence of the song without additional connotations, keeping the title more open to interpretation.

Your music video has a unique concept how did the idea come about?
The concept for the music video stemmed from a desire to merge the roles of musician and storyteller. This natural inclination to narrate stories aligned seamlessly with the creation of a music video that resembles a compact, low-fi sci-fi adventure. In under seven minutes, the video encapsulates a micro-movie, captivating audiences with its visually immersive storytelling, reflecting the essence of the song in a visually compelling manner.

What gives this particular song a distinctive identity compared to the ones that have come before?
Collaboration played a pivotal role in shaping POI. After laying the song's foundation, the musical direction was significantly influenced by Atiium's exceptional production skills, infusing the track with a vibrant energy that transformed it into a captivating piece. Anjana Rajagopalan's contributions, particularly her arrangements and vocals, added depth and layers to the composition. The synergy among the musical collaborators amplified the song's impact, underscoring the significance of teamwork in crafting a distinctive musical identity.

You have a concoction of inspiration and flavours in the music video addressing various issues like substance abuse and the practices of big tech companies. What really pushes you to keep this the central theme of your music video?
The thematic elements in the music video, such as substance abuse and critiques of big tech practices, were chosen to construct a compelling narrative within the low-fi sci-fi setting. The integration of these real-world issues within a fantastical backdrop emphasizes the intrinsic connection between science fiction, which is essentially rooted in imaginative exploration, and the reflection of societal realities. The blending of these themes adds depth to the video's plot, offering viewers a thought-provoking visual experience.

How do you think Chennai fares compare to other cities regarding newer independent artistes and the music being recognized?
Chennai, as an artistic hub, fosters an environment where talent is acknowledged and appreciated. Over the past few years, the live music scene in the city has significantly expanded, offering a larger platform for emerging artistes. Platforms like KYN Records contribute by providing opportunities for artistes to showcase their talents in innovative ways. In this case, the chance to direct the video is a testament to the city's support for artistic creativity and the opportunities it offers to local talents.

Who are some of your favourite artistes from the city or in general?
Several artistes from Chennai and beyond have caught my attention, each bringing their unique flair to the music scene. Artistes like Siennor, Othasevuru, San - T, MC Valluvar, and Stowe Francis stand out for their distinctive styles and contributions. Additionally, Susantika has made an impression with their exceptional musical talent, showcasing the richness and diversity of the music originating from the city and beyond.

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What changes might you want to see regarding the issues you have dealt with in the song?
The issues addressed in the song, revolving around the darker side of human nature, delve into complex and often neglected aspects of society. It's crucial to encourage open dialogue and awareness about these themes. Addressing these issues might involve promoting mental health discussions, fostering healthy social interactions, and advocating for a more transparent approach to dealing with toxic relationships or societal pitfalls. Initiatives that offer support, understanding, and constructive solutions could positively impact these societal challenges.

What is next in the pipeline for you?
There are exciting developments brewing for POI. KYN Records and I have some surprises lined up. These surprises could encompass a range of possibilities, from potential collaborations, innovative releases, or unique projects that build on the momentum of POI. The anticipation for what's next adds an element of curiosity and excitement for the future endeavors in the musical journey.

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