#WhatTheFAQ: Big win at the Oscars, but do you know the actual story behind RRR's Naatu Naatu?

The acceptance speech made by its composer MM Keeravani and songwriter Chandrabose at the 95th Academy Awards is making headlines
Do you know what is Naatu? | (Pic: EdexLive)
Do you know what is Naatu? | (Pic: EdexLive)

In a sweeping win for India, RRR's Naatu Naatu becomes the first song from an Indian film to grab an Oscar. With #CongratulationsIndia, people from all over the globe can't just stop expressing their happiness. And why not? The live performance of this trending song earned its singers a standing ovation!

Oh, and the acceptance speech made by its composer MM Keeravani and songwriter Chandrabose is making headlines. RRR Director SS Rajamouli says that Naatu Naatu is not just a song, it's "a story within a story". What does this mean? Let's take a look!

What was the inspiration behind Naatu Naatu?
"Naatu means ethnicity, ethnic," Keeravani told Reuters. "Whatever I do is purely mine. It’s my own experience, it’s my own way of expression. These are my words, this is my style, look at me, this is who I am." He also attributed inspiration to Top of the World, a song by The Carpenters, an American sibling duo who gained popularity during the 1970s.

What was behind its success?
Originality! And hence the Best Original Song award. Chandrabose, who has a slightly different interpretation of the song, shared in an interview with The New York Times, "Naatu means raw and rustic. Everything I wrote in the song is from my childhood memories of my life and my parents. That’s why I created it very fast."

Read Also : #WhatTheFAQ: Naatu Naatu song from RRR bags Golden Globe Award 2023. Who is music composer MM Keeravani?​

What's the director's take?
Rajamouli told Vanity Fair, “Yes for the audience this is a song, this is a dancing scene. But for the story, it’s actually a fighting scene. It moves into a kind of competition.” He goes on to praise the choreographer, saying that the steps were curated to suit the style of the performing actors and at the same time, made simple enough so that audience could copy them.

What do the lyrics mean?
If you think you'll enjoy the beats more if you know the meaning, here's the crude translation:

Like the lead dancer dancing at a local goddess’s festival
Like an aggressive bull jumping in the dust of the fields, you to dance
Like the main dancer dancing at the festival of a local goddess
Like playing with the stick while wearing wooden slippers
Like a gang of young boys assembling under the shade of a banyan tree
Like as if you are eating a Jowar roti with a chili

Listen to my song (x3)
Let's dance, dance, dance / crazy dance
Let's dance, dance, dance / wild dance
Dance as if you have eaten green chilies / dance like a sharp dagger

Like a beating drum that makes your heart beat faster
Like the shrill voice of a bird which can make your ears
Like singing a song that can make your fingers snap to the beat
Like the wild dance with a fast beat
Like the dance that makes your body sweat

Listen to my song (x3)
Let's dance, dance, and dance/let's dance, crazy dance
Let's dance, dance, and dance/let's dance, wild dance
Let's dance, like the sharp plough
Let's dance, dance and dance/let's dance, like the humidity

Dance so that the blood in your body jumps violently, which will shale the earth (yes, yes!)
The life force inside of you should dance with joy, so jump until the dust rises in the air / let's dance

Note: Taken from an article by Town & Country magazine. Also, for those who are still curious, Naatu Naatu does not quite translate to "dance dance", it means "raw, unpolished."

What's up with the award?
For the Academy Awards, the song competed against hits like Applause from Tell It Like A WomanHold My Hand from Top Gun: Maverick, Lift Me Up from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and This is Life from Everything Everywhere All At Once. Earlier this year, Naatu Naatu won the Golden Globe awards.

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