In 2021, Ghanaian singer KiDi (Dennis Nana Dwamena) took the internet by storm with his highly energizing groovy number ‘Touch It’. The song, which had just the right element of infectious Afro beats and fun rhythm was a massive hit in India, so much, that now the singer-songwriter has come up with an Indian-afro remix of the hit number.
Titled ‘Shut Up’, the song written and composed by Tanishk Bagchi and Jack Knite was shot completely in Kerala and sung in collaboration with Bollywood playback singer Tulsi Kumar, who is also the daughter of prominent businessman and music composer Gulshan Kumar. The clippings of both the singers, dressed in South Indian traditional attire, grooving to the song on a houseboat in Alappuzha has already gone viral, while the song has generated over 16 million views on YouTube.
Tulsi Kumar, whose earlier hits include ‘Tanhaai’ and ‘Is Qadar’, which are all immensely popular, speaks to Onmanorama about her first international collaboration and the love the song has been receiving in India.
So, how did you get associated with KiDi?
The collaboration started with talks by both our managements to bring us together for the song. However, even before that, I remember grooving to the song ‘Touch It’ that had gone viral in India.I had created a reel on this audio that was really trending on reels in 2021. It just happened that KiDi’s management was looking for a tie-up in India. My good friend Bhappa Lahiri (son of famous muician Bhappi Lahiri) suggested my name and they were keen on collaborating with me. That’s how the talks for the song began in January. ‘Shut up’ became a reality and got released in December. We sorted the music and decided on the shoot during the gap of few months. The song was shot in Kerala in December. It has come out as a beautiful Afro-Indo fusion. I’m so glad it is my first international collaboration and I am receiving a lot of love from my viewers and listeners.
It’s interesting to note that the shoot took place in Kerala. How did that happen?
The initial track of KiDi ‘Touch It’ was shot in Ghana in their own way. Now, that we were doing the Indian version, we wanted to treat it differently and give it a very different flavour. Our music director Adil Shaikh came up with the idea of shooting the song in South India. When I heard it, I was game for it. Usually in international collaborations, the songs are often shot outside our country. However, we wanted to depict our Indian culture in a global platform. So, we requested KiDi to come down to India so that we could shoot it down in Kerala, which has a very rich culture. We have showcased the kathakali, kalaripayyatu and also visuals of a houseboat in the song, which had both African and Indian beat. The idea was to depict India on a global platform. Now that the song released, we are immensely happy that the song is receiving the love it is getting, especially for the fact that the Indian essence is seen in the video.
How different was the Indo-African version from it’s original?
A huge shout out to Tanishk Bagchi for introducing lots of new elements and essence of different instruments into the song. KiDi wanted to do something in India with the track so we decided on fusing it with Hindi lyrics in such a way that it can reach the global audience. I had already loved the song, so it was really fun and interesting to do this song.
Heard you are part of a kids edutainment channel. How are you associated with it?
Yes, I am creatively involved with the channel Kids Hut on Youtube. It’s an edutainment channel for kids, which include nursery rhymes, stories etc. I just love creating content for this channel as it helps me connect with a lot of young kids, especially since a number of parents reach out to this channel for their kids’s growth. I also am the sole voice over artist for the channel.