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He Said, They Said: ‘Enjoy Enjaami’ Creators and Maajja Label in Payment Standoff

To cover financial miscreancy in the Indian independent scene, especially in the present times, is to sound like a broken record. While the large-scale duping by SPXCEJXM still haunts the public imagination, now has freshly emerged an incident that has been latent for three years. Yes, as many must have already guessed, it is the controversy surrounding “Enjoy Enjaami”.

For those unaware, “Enjoy Enjaami” is a Tamil song by Arivu (lyricist and singer), Dhee (singer) and Santhosh Narayanan (producer), commissioned by the Indian label maajja. Despite all the connotations in the song and label titles alike bursting with happiness and joy, the actual depth of the matter has been revealed to be rather tawdry. Earlier this week, Narayanan took to his Instagram to post a video on the occasion of the song’s third anniversary; what fans understandably must have anticipated to be a sweet and pithy throwback to three years soon turned into a disturbing allegation of foul play.

According to Narayanan, even after the passage of three years, none of the aforementioned three involved in the song has received a shilling to their name as royalty. When approached by The Indian Music Diaries, he reveals that he was approached by maajja about the song as far back as 2020, alluring him with the co-founder status of an industry heavyweight such as A.R. Rahman. When asked about the rights to the song, Narayanan states that “Maajja (sic) offered to let us artists keep 100% of the revenue splits and royalties. We then decided to split all revenues equally among Dhee, Arivu and myself. Maajja (sic) does not own any part of the song. There are numerous interviews of them boasting about this.”

Given the surreptitiously facile nature of the scene, and even without it, signing contracts to ensure payment is the widely practised modus operandi and would seem to anyone—inside or outside the industry—a bare minimum good measure. Almost unbelievably, as Narayanan responds, “There was never a contract signed… I usually have a fee that I charge for composition and Maajja (sic) requested me to work on a 100% revenue split in favour of us artists and I was pretty happy with the deal. I have been waiting for a contract till date. Legally, the rights and revenues remain with me and the artists Dhee and Arivu.”

People on social media have been aptly reactionary in the whole saga. Initially, it was presumed that Narayanan—who has been vocalising the cause of the three aggrieved including himself—held A.R. Rahman amongst those in contempt. While Rahman is no saint, Narayanan was quick to take to his Twitter to dispel any myth regarding his involvement in this particular matter, and on the contrary valorised him with a victim status.

In an interesting turn of events, Noel Kirthiraj (CEO at maajja) has released a statement, absolutely denying the accuracy of Narayanan’s claims. Citing the allegations as grossly slanderous, Kirthiraj states: “We vehemently refuse recent false and damaging allegations aimed at tarnishing our reputation. We stand by our commitment to indie artists and indie music,”… there is no consensus around the contribution to the song among the artists involved. Additionally, per contractual obligations of the artists, we haven’t received any disclosure or statements outlining direct engagements and revenues collected, despite our repeated requests, further complicating the resolution process.” He further adds, “Nevertheless, it’s worth noticing two of the artists involved have received advances, in addition to maajja incurring significant expenses on their behalf.” The Indian Music Diaries tried reaching out to artists Dhee and Arivu, but they did not respond to this rather unsettling predicament.

While the whole matter is indubitably a strong indictment of maajja and the blatant lack of accountability and compunction on which such loci of the music industry operate, at the end of the day, it is almost inconceivable as to how the due diligence of paperwork on a commission of this stature was disregarded. Obviously, the industry norm remains the core predator here, but the sheer negligence at play here is certainly not something to look up to. To hope for the best outcome here is the obvious next step, but the lack of papertrail makes the battle a redundantly unfair affair. The internet will have to be weaponised to clinch any future justice, as we await the result of this still unfolding saga.

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