‘Thanimai’ in Tamil means loneliness or solitude and is an apt title for a melancholic melody dedicated to a missing partner.
Multiple award-winning singer, songwriter and composer Shabir Tabare Alam even cheekily recommends that ‘Thanimai’ is best enjoyed during the wee hours of the morning, around 2:30am, where the feelings of loneliness tend to be at their peak.
Shabir, the inaugural winner of Mediacorp’s Vasantham Star 2005 and winner of Singapore Youth Award 2017, releases it as part of a 4 song lockdown EP. (EP = extended play or a mini-album)
The Singapore Youth Award is the highest national honour given to young achievers by the Singapore Government and Shabir is the first music artist of Tamil and Indian descent to win the award.
He has achieved mainstream success as well and that too in the highly competitive Indian Film Music industry with back-to-back releases in 2019 with one of his songs "Yaayum" from movie Sagaa crossing 100-million collective views on Youtube.
“Uttharavidu Unvazhivara Unnudun pala Unnatha Ulaa Unddrida Urugikkurugugiren; Mutthamumida munvazhivide mutthamizhinil muthiraiyida muppozhuthinil mukkanitharuven”.
These are some of the almost tongue-twisting alliterations in Shabir Tabare Alam’s new single ‘Thanimai’.
Loosely translated this means to say that your lover is wishfully thinking when you would lovingly order him to walk next to you. He longs for the day where he can spend all day showing you what it’s like to be loved.
Thanimai’s reflective lyrics are instantly relatable and set a mood that will transport you back to time spent together with your beloved in a way that is “je nai sais quoi” where time comes to a standstill.
The new single explores what it is like for lovers to not know when they’d be able to see each other next and is inspired by real stories of couples being separated.
This catchy ‘Indie-pop’ is the only love song in Shabir’s lockdown EP and affords a glimpse into his emotional side while entertaining us with unique anthemic swirling harmonies.
The mid-tempo track explores a confluence of Indie-pop elements with the Tamil film music genre while giving a clever nod to Shabir’s R&B roots in a fresh way.
All the songs in the lockdown EP were written during the lockdown and focus on different facets of the time and carry a different message and style for the listener.
Thanimai touches upon scent as a powerful thing. Just a whiff of your partner’s fragrance has the ability to not only intoxicate you but also unlock memories that make your heart miss a beat.
The aesthetically shot music video directed by N.Mohamed Yahssir showcases the little things that make a relationship special like, the way your partner likes their morning brew or the familiar smell of his or her shirt which makes your heart flutter, in a beautiful setting.
After being part of an ensemble that sang the 2007 National Day Parade song, "Will You", he wrote and composed "Singai Naadu", the National Day Parade Tamil song in 2012. The song won praise from the Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong
Shabir, one of the first music artists to drive the international Tamil independent music movement has published many albums gaining him a loyal following across Singapore, India and Malaysia.