Carvaan Malayalam is fine-tuned for Malayali music lovers, says Saregama India MD Vikram Mehra

Carvaan Malayalam, which was recently launched, has 5,000 pre-loaded tracks for offline listening

After music label Saregama’s portable digital audio player Carvaan made its mark in other languages such as Hindi and Tamil, the company now gears up to be on song in Malayalam as well. With its trademark retro design, Carvaan Malayalam, which was launched recently, comes with 5,000 pre-loaded tracks from yore for seamless offline listening. Saregama India Managing Director Vikram Mehra tells us why their new radio-cum-music player promises a treat for music lovers in Malayalam.

What prompted Saregama to venture into Malayalam with its Carvaan series?

We received a great response both in Hindi-speaking regions and in South India. When it comes to the movies and the quality of music, there is a clear understanding that Malayalam has always done so well. The language is currently a focus area for us now. The way Carvaan’s journey has been going, starting off with Hindi and then making a presence in other languages, Malayalam was obviously the next big step.

How were the tracks in the in-built playlist selected? What were the criteria?

We are invested in the big data, with innumerable data points spread around the world and across different media, such as streaming services, YouTube, radio stations and so on. Thus we source feedback from Saregama’s content usage. This helps us track by language, by artist, to ascertain the most popular ones. This facility was utilised to a great extend in drawing the Malayalam playlist as well.

Carvaan Malayalam

Some of the notable ones included…

Since the core idea of our system is tapping the nostalgia factor, the playlist ends roughly with the end of the 20th century. Carvaan Malayalam comes with 5,000 pre-loaded songs in which we have also included 1,000 select Hindi songs that were big hits and a host of chosen Carnatic compositions as well. This is a pattern we follow with Carvaan’s regional variants. The oldest song is perhaps Omanathingal Kidavo from the 1950 film Sthree and the latest Changampuzha Kavithakal from the film Meghasandesham (2001). Other popular albums or film include Chemmeen, Pareeksha, Vishukkani, Madanolsavam, Avalude Ravukal.

So, in this digital age, how is Carvaan different from other music services, like YouTube and Spotify?

Carvaan’s USP is convenience. I say it is perhaps less about music and more about the convenience of listening to music. There are some in the older age bracket who may be a bit uncomfortable with new technology. Sometimes it can get a bit complicated. This is no frills. Just press the button for your curated old is gold (songs). No repetition, no ad breaks and there is no need for an Internet connection either. Also, this is a product chiefly conceptualised on the nostalgia factor.

Any added features exclusive to Carvaan Malayalam?

We have not tinkered with our basic product. This version too has Bluetooth, Aux output and USB support and can be used simply also as a pair of high-end speakers. Then as we have done with our earlier products, FM/AM are added. So it doubles up as your pocket-sized radio as well. Otherwise, design-wise it is untouched.

Carvaan Malayalam is priced at ₹6,190. The device is available on https://www.saregama.com/carvaan/malayalam

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