99 Songs is a 2019 Indian Hindi-language musical romance film directed by Vishwesh Krishnamoorthy, and co-written and produced by A. R. Rahman originally in Hindi (in his maiden production banner YM Movies), who thus makes his debut in both roles, apart from composing the original score and songs. The film co-produced by Ideal Entertainment and distributed by Jio Studios, stars debutants Ehan Bhat and Edilsy Vargas in lead roles, alongside Aditya Seal, Lisa Ray, and Manisha Koirala among others portray supporting characters. The film is a sensual story about the art and self-discovery of a struggling singer who wants to be a successful music composer.
Rahman had written the script for the film in 2011, with Eros International initially announced to produce the film in August 2013. After Eros backed out of the project, Rahman stated that he will produce the film under his own banner YM Movies. This film is the debut directorial of Vishwesh, who worked as an advertisement filmmaker before Rahman offered him to direct for his production. Vishwesh, also a musician, is well-known for the Mumbai-based hardcore band Scribe. The scripting and finalizing process continued till four years before the film was officially announced in June 2015. The casting process is done by Mukesh Chhabra; around 1,000 auditions took place until the makers finalized Ehan and Edilsy as the lead actors.
Production of the film silently progressed in March 2017 and ended within a year. The cinematography for the film was jointly handled by Tanay Satam and James Cowley, while editing was done by Akshay Mehta and Shreyas Beltangdy. The dialogues for the film were written by Hussain Dalal while Gautham Menon and Kiran gave the dialogues for the Tamil and Telugu versions. For the Tamil version, G. V. Prakash Kumar and Khatija Rahman gave voice-overs for the film's lead actors.
The world premiere of 99 Songs was held at the 24th Busan International Film Festival which was held at Busan, South Korea, where the film was screened in the Open Cinema category on 9 October 2019. The film was released on 16 April 2021 and was also dubbed and released in Tamil and Telugu.
The background music and soundtrack for the film were composed by A. R. Rahman. The album which was in production since 2015, consists of 14 original compositions for each language (Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu). The lyrics for the original Tamil version were penned by Madhan Karky, Thamarai, and Mashook Rahman, while the lyrics for the Hindi version were penned by Navneet Virk, Abhay Jodhpurkar, Dilshaad Shabbbir Shaikh, Raftaar, Munna Shaukat, and Telugu version was penned by Anantha Sriram.
99 Songs became the first Indian soundtrack album to be released in Dolby Atmos Technology. After five singles – "Sai Shirdi Sai", the theme song from the film titled "The Oracle" the male and female versions of "Jwalamukhi" and "Teri Nazar" – were released on 5 April 2019, 14, 20, and 26 February and 13 March 2020, the full soundtrack in its entirety was released by Sony Music India on 20 March 2020.
After a fan's request to release the Tamil and Telugu versions of the soundtracks, Rahman launched the tracklist of the Tamil version on 24 March 2021, with the album being released on 26 March Telugu version on 2 April. It was followed by a promotional event for the launch of both the soundtracks that took place on the respective days.