Enjoy Enjaami topped the chartbusters all across the country, right after its release. The 2021 Tamil song was seen as a strong state against the systemic and generational oppression of the landless tea planters. Rapper Arivu rose to stardom when he gave voice to this emotional yet hard-hitting song.
The song has found itself in the middle of a controversy. The song was performed at the opening ceremony of the 44th edition of the Chess Olympiad, which took place in Chennai on July 28.
The song was performed by singers Dhee and Kidakuzhi Mariyammal, at an event that was attended by the Chief Minister of the state and the Prime Minister of the country. Santosh Narayanan was credited as the composer of the song, and there was no mention of Arivu, who had been synonymous with the song.
Arivu took to social media to address his concern regarding the same. “ I Composed, Written, sung & Performed Enjoy Enjaami. Nobody gave me a Tune, Melody, or a Single word to write this one. Spent almost 6 months of sleepless and stressful nights and days for everything it is right now. No doubt it’s great teamwork. No doubt it calls everyone together. But it doesn’t mean that’s not the history of Valliammal or the landless Tea plantation slave ancestors of mine. Every song of mine will be having the scarmark of this generational oppression. Like this Just One..(sic)”, said the rapper.
There were soon multiple versions of the story. Composer Santosh Narayanan released a statement, which contradicted Arivu’s claim that the song was composed in six months. “The entire process of the ideation, composition, arrangement, and recording of the shoot version with all the lyrics of Enjoy Enjaami was done in under 30 hours”, wrote Narayanan.
Dhee, one of the lead singers of the song and daughter of Santosh Narayanan, also put out a statement on her social media accounts. In a two-page letter, Dhee talked about the lack of control she, Santosh Narayanan, and Arivu had over the promotion of the song. Further in the statement, she also stated that Arivu was invited to the opening ceremony, but he couldn’t make it as he was in the United States.
‘Enjoy Enjaami’ had been in a similar controversy before, when Rolling Stone magazine interviewed Dhee and Vincent de Paul for their cover story but excluded Arivu.