Oscar 2023, with ‘Naatu Naatu’ historic Indian music victory after 95 years

The song ousts the queens, Rhianna and Lady Gaga, big defeats

Among the great surprises of the night of the Oscars there is certainly the burst of Indian music, which triumphed on the stage of the Academy Awards. Rahul Sipligunj, Kaala Bhairava & MM Keeravani got the gold statuette for Best Original Song with ‘Naatu Naatu’ soundtrack song in the film ‘RRR’ (Rise Roar Revolt). A feat beyond imagination, if one considers that the current undisputed queens of the planet’s music market were also competing, namely Rihanna and Lady Gaga, who are therefore two of the great defeats of this edition.

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A song that presents new sounds, to which we are decidedly unaccustomed, entirely sung in the Telugu language, which means ‘Native’, as well as the film in which it is inserted. It is the first Indian song to win an Oscar in the award’s 95-year history. The video of ‘Naatu Naatu’, which means ‘Dance Dance’, was shot with a very long sequence shot lasting about ten minutes. The location where the video clip was filmed is one of the ‘curiosities’: it was in fact filmed in Ukraine, a few weeks before the outbreak of war.

For the highly scenographic choreography, it took two weeks, with 12 hours of work a day, 150 dancers and a team of 200 people. In the video, a white and blue Elizabethan building can be seen in the background: it is the Mariinskyi Palace, the official residence of President Volodymyr Zelensky. Among the other competitors defeated by ‘Naatu Naatu” there was also ‘Applause’, taken from the film ‘Tell It like a Woman’ with music and lyrics by Diane Warren, and ‘This Is A Life’, by Son Lux, Mitski and David Byrne.