Unifying power of music: Sri Lankan hit song captures Indian hearts, Bollywood bewitched

Politics divides, but music unites. This is nowhere more illustrative than in South Asia where a superhit Sri Lankan song “Manake Mage Hithe” is making waves in India

Sep 21, 2021
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Unifying power of music

Politics divides, but music unites. This is nowhere more illustrative than in South Asia where a superhit Sri Lankan song “Manake Mage Hithe” is making waves in India. The Sinhala track has not only bewitched top Bollywood celebrities, including superstar Amitabh Bachchan, but also drawn thousands of fans, spawning versions in multiple Indian languages. 

First released as a single music video in July last year, the song was crooned by Sri Lankan singer Satheeshan and rapper Dulan ARX, also its lyricist, and produced by Chamath Sangeeth. The music video directed by Hasith Aryan featured Madushi Soysa, Kasun Tharaka and Ruwan Priyadarshana.

After the song became popular, Sangeeth collaborated with famed Lankan singer-rapper Yohani to release the duet cover featuring the original singer Satheeshan

Indian fans have mainly fallen for the stunning voice of 28-year-old Yohani, whose version of the song is currently viral, according to Firstpost.  Yohani Diloka de Silva, popularly known as Yohani, is a versatile singer, songwriter, rapper, music producer, YouTuber and businesswoman of musical instruments.  She was discovered by the Sri Lankan Record Label Pettah Effect, which led to many singing collaborations. 

The 78-year-old Bachchan was among the stars who uploaded videos featuring the hit track on Instagram.

Bachchan shared a hilarious video that superimposes the Sinhala track over a dance scene from his classic movie Kaalia, which was released way back in 1981. Praising the song as “impossible to stop listening to”, the yesteryear’s angry young man wrote that it had been edited by his granddaughter Navya Naveli.

The song, which has become one of the chartbusters on Spotify and Amazon Music in India, saw actor Tiger Shroff shake a leg on the original cover on Instagram, grabbing 22 million views. Another Bollywood legend Madhuri Dixit shared a look video saying she is in “love” with this song.

Singer Sonu Nigam shared a video capturing ‘Shenanigans in Goa’ using the song, while star actor Parineeti Chopra shared a video of herself humming to the track while driving.

The YouTube video of “Manake Mage Hithe” has grabbed over 100 million views now, with Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi versions of the song also getting very good responses. In some languages, Indian artists came up with fresh renditions on the tune combining folk songs.

There is also a version in the social media in Kokborok, the language of the Tripuri people in the northeast Indian state of Tripura and neighboring areas of Bangladesh.
 
The song has cut across all social boundaries.