Naatu Naatu: The First Telugu Song Nominated for an Oscar
A Viral Hit Goes to Hollywood
The standout track from the movie musical “RRR,” “Naatu Naatu,” has already taken the world by storm. With over 123 million YouTube plays and a TikTok challenge, it’s clear that the jaw-dropping choreography has mesmerized viewers.
The five-minute energetic dance tune, translated to “Dance Dance” in English, has made history as the first song from an Indian movie to earn a nomination at the 2023 Oscars. Moreover, “Naatu Naatu” will be the second Indian song to be nominated for this category since “Jai Ho” from “Slumdog Millionaire” won Best Original Song in 2009. Singers Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava are set to perform the track at the Oscars.
The Joyous Tune of Revolution
“RRR” follows the lives of Alluri Sitarama Raju and Komaram Bheem, two Indian revolutionaries who fought for their country’s independence against British colonial rule in the 1920s. In the “Naatu Naatu” sequence, the characters challenge their English foes to a dance-off, showcasing their pride for their motherland. Composer M.M. Keeravani said that the character’s sentiments are reflected in the music, which highlights “all the things we feel energetic and feel high about, all the things that belong to the motherland, and everything about us.”
The film and song have inspired people worldwide to sing along and recreate the dance on social media. Choreographer Prem Rakshith designed the song to be easy-to-follow and participatory, urging friends, family, and strangers to join in the fun.
Going Up Against Music Royalty
The upbeat track faces stiff competition, including Rihanna, David Byrne, Diane Warren, and Lady Gaga, but is a frontrunner to win. In January, “Naatu Naatu” made history as the first-ever Asian song to nab a Golden Globe, beating prominent artists like Taylor Swift and Rihanna. As the hype for the Oscars builds, so does the excitement for “Naatu Naatu.”
The world eagerly awaits the groundbreaking spectacle set to unfold at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. “RRR” and “Naatu Naatu” have cemented their place in Indian cinema history while transcending borders and cultures to make an impact worldwide. It is a celebration of revolution and the spirit of music that unites us all.