The song “Naatu Naatu”, composed by MM Kiravani for the film RRR in Telugu, a Dravidian language spoken in Southeast India, is the first song from an Indian film to win a trophy at the 2023 Academy Awards for Best a good original.” songs where he battled heavy names in the music industry like Lady Gaga and Rihanna.

The song Naatu Naatu was performed at the Oscars 2023Photo: Rob Latour / Shutterstock Editorial / Profimedia

At the Oscar ceremony, composer MM Kiravani said that the song is “the pride of every Indian”, according to the BBC.

The song already made history in January when it won the Golden Globe for Best Original Song, another first for India. That same month, she also won the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Song.

The upbeat pace and Indian choreography captivated audiences around the world, including at the 95th Grammy Awards hosted by Jimmy Kimmel at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles.

The following were also nominated in the “Best Original Song” category:

  • Lift Me Up – Rihaana from the superhero film Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack
  • Hold My Hand – Lady Gaga from the movie Top Gun: Maverick
  • Applause – Diane Warren, from Tell It Like a Woman.
  • This Is Life – Ryan Lott and David Byrne, from the Everything Everywhere All Once soundtrack.

The video for the song “Naatu Naatu”, shot in Ukraine, before the invasion

The music video for the song was shot shortly before Russia invaded Ukraine in front of the Mariinsky Palace, the official residence of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi, the song features the film’s leads Ram Charan and Jr NTR dancing energetically.

“RRR” director SS Rajamouli said they got permission to film in the palace “because the Ukrainian president was a television actor,” the Times of India reported.

The director of the Indian film told Vanity Fair that he envisioned “Naatu Naatu” as a “fight scene” in which two freedom fighters bring a British officer to his knees through dance.

RRR, short for Rise, Roar, Revolt, is a historical fantasy that follows two revolutionaries fighting against British rule in India.

What does “Naatu Naatu” mean.

“Naatu means ethnicity, ethnicity,” composer MM Kiravani told Reuters. – Everything I do is just mine. This is my own experience, this is my own way of expressing myself. It’s my words, it’s my style, look at me, it’s who I am.” In another interview with the New York Times, Kiravani shared, “It’s an eloquent word [ceva al nostru, propria noastră cultură].”

Composer Chandrabose had a different interpretation, saying “Naatu means raw and rustic”. He added: “Everything I wrote in the song comes from the memories of my childhood, my life and my parents. So I created very quickly,” writes Town&Country.