Kutty made immense contributions to the popularization of Mappila Pattu, which has been a cultural identity of the Muslim community in Kerala.
Believed to be the uncrowned prince of Kerala Muslim folk songs, named “mappila pattu” VM Kutty died of heart disease at a private hospital in Kozhikode on Wednesday, family sources said.
He was 86 years old.
Originally from Pulikkal near Kondotty in the Malappuram district, Kutty made immense contributions to the popularization of Mappila Pattu, which has been a cultural identity of the Muslim community in the state, particularly in Malabar (North Kerala) .
âMappila Pattuâ is a genre of Muslim folk song, sung in a familiar dialect of Malayalam mixed with Arabic.
It was out of pure passion for folk songs that he synchronized the “Ishels” (tunes), supposedly sung by Arab sailors who reached Kozhikode for trade centuries ago, in Arabic-Malayalam lyrics and gave a unique slang which made the art form creating a huge impact among music lovers.
Beginning his career as a teacher at a local school, Kutty became a performer of Mappila songs through research into the centuries-old stream of Arabic music.
The presentation of ‘mapplila pattu’ on the radio at the age of 20 marked the beginning of his artistic life.
He was also the person who first presented the mapplia pattu on stage and formed a music troupe for its performance in the southern state.
Over the years, he also popularized the ancient folk songs which had since been confined to a few Muslim pockets.
Kutty has also written extensively on mappila pattu and introduced many new singers to the music stream.
He wrote over 1000 songs and wrote several books.
âMappila pattinte lokamâ, âBhathigeethangalâ, âKuruthikunjuâ and âBasheer Malaâ were among his notable works.
Recipient of the Sangeetha Nadaka Academy Award, Kutty has long served as Honorary Secretary of the Institute of Mappila Studies.
Condemning his death, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said Kutty was a genius who played a key role in popularizing Mappila Pattu and taking the musical genre to new heights.
âKutty, who had composed and sang over a thousand songs, also made his presence in the film industry. Thus, he was able to popularize the musical genre across Kerala and build up a fan base,â he said. he said in the message.