The music world was taken aback when allegations surfaced that the smash hit ‘Enjoy Enjaami’ had become the center of a major payment controversy. Notably, music composer Santhosh Narayanan recently brought to light his claims that Maajja, the music label, had not fairly compensated himself, the lyricist Arivu, and vocalist Dhee for their contributions to the song that has taken the internet by storm, amassing over a billion streams across various platforms.

The controversy escalated more than a week after these allegations when Noel Kirthiraj, CEO of Maajja, delivered a riposte to the accusations. Dispelling them as unfounded, he stressed that the label’s ethos is firmly rooted in supporting independent artists and music. Echoing Maajja’s principles, he insisted on the commitment made to indie artists and denied any malpractice in the distribution of revenue to the artists involved.

“The allegations against us are false and exceedingly harmful, with the potential to mar our reputation,” Noel stated. He further elaborated, challenging the veracity of claims made by the artists, “We were always dedicated to fulfilling our commitments. But, it appears there is no unanimity among the artists themselves about their contributions to the song. Despite our repeated requests, we haven’t received any official statements regarding their direct engagements or revenues, which muddies the process of resolving this situation.”

In his statement, he emphasized the proactive steps the label has taken, including providing advances to two of the artists, and shouldering substantial expenses on their behalf. He assured that Maajja intended to settle any outstanding issues swiftly and equitably, and owing to the severity of the allegations, they planned to address the issue through appropriate legal channels.

Santhosh sparked the dispute on the third anniversary of ‘Enjoy Enjaami’, expressing disappointment that despite being promised complete rights, revenues, and royalties, he, Arivu, and Dhee had not been compensated. He highlighted that their inquiries to Maajja had gone unheeded, sharing his frustration over social media platforms, casting a spotlight on the label, which was co-founded by internationally celebrated composer AR Rahman.

The situation has not only affected Santhosh but brought Rahman into the conversation as well, with Santhosh referring to the iconic musician as an unsuspecting victim to ‘false promises and malice.’ Santhosh conveyed his gratitude towards Rahman for his unwavering support and appealed to the fans to stand by the indie artists during these challenging times.

He even alluded to the earlier controversy in 2021 involving the sidelining of rapper Arivu, assuring that there would be further clarifications on those issues. Santhosh’s accusations tapped into the indie community’s simmering concerns of recognition and just compensation for independent artists.

‘Enjoy Enjaami’ stands as a testament to the fusion of Tamil hip-hop with R&B and the traditional Tamil folk style Oppari. Released in 2021, the track has not only become an anthem in Tamil Nadu but has transcended cultural and linguistic barriers, capturing imaginations worldwide. Lyricist Arivu’s powerful words combined with Dhee’s unique vocals and Santhosh’s distinctive composition have given it a status of an international phenomenon within the indie music scene.

The controversy sheds light on the broader questions of intellectual rights and fair remuneration within the music industry, particularly for independent artists who often lack the support structure of mainstream acts. The ensuing dialogues and legal proceedings from this dispute will likely influence how indie artists navigate the complexities of the music business and stake claim to their rightful earnings.

By IPL Agent

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