Saturday, March 06, 2010

Elephunk theme or Unakkum Enakkum Aanandham by another name

Back in 2003, Black Eyed Peas released the Elephunk Theme on their Elephunk album. Of course, BEP has gone on to other things since then. But the Elephunk Theme -- ever wondered about it? The song samples liberally from a Tamil song -- Unakkum Enakkum Aanandham -- composed by Ilaiyaraaja for the movie Sri Raghavendra. Sample we're told. Listen to the original though, and you realize that it is more than a sample. They lifted the entire Elephunk Theme from the Tamil original. The Tamil original is below -- and you can find the BEP version on YouTube.

It's amazing that they get the amount of credit they do for this song, when really, they hardly did anything musically to it, other than a western pop/rap cover.

Now -- ever wonder about the female singer that lends her voice to both the Tamil original and the BEP version? Her name is S. Janaki. She's Indian -- Telugu by birth -- but sings in many languages, including Telugu, Tamil, Hindi -- and even Japanese and German. She has 30,000 songs sung, to her credit. She's currently 71 years old, and sang this song when she was 47 years old. She's currently semi-retired. See her in the video below, performing live. She, unfortunately, didn't get any credit for her performance on the BEP album. My guess is because she just didn't strut like Fergie.


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