Monday January 20, 2020
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Tripura rapper likes songs on issues such as discrimination and racism

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Guwahati: Borkung Hrangkhawl, son of a politician who comes from northeastern state Tripura dislikes alcohol, women and parties when it comes to rapping instead he likes songs that highlight issues like discrimination and racism that is commonly faced by people of the region.

“Singing about clubs, alcohol and ladies are part of rapping, but they are not my taste. Rapping is a gift from god that I want to use in making a difference,” Borkung said here on the sidelines of the second edition of Rongali, Assam’s destination, culture and harmony festival.

The son of Bijoy Kumar Hrangkhawl, president of the Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura, finds the genre interesting as he believes “you can literally tell a story through a rap song”.

“Being from Tripura, I felt like I have lots of things to say. My father is a politician. I got inspired by him because he has been working for the welfare of tribal people in Tripura. So, I picked up rapping to tell the stories of my life, people in Tripura and others around it,” said Borkung.

“Tribal people’s rights in Tripura are being neglected for some reason, probably because of the population ratio… We are declining. Other people have come in and settled there. It’s not that I want to chase away others. We just want our rights as Tripuris. I don’t want to promote violence or anything against humanity. I want to promote equality and peace,” added the 29-year-old.

Talking about violence, the Delhi University alumnus, who began his musical voyage with the hip-hop band DropSquad over five years ago, once got stabbed while strolling in a park in the capital.

“I think it was 2006…I was poked in my chest with a small knife. They poked me three to four times, but it didn’t go in by god’s grace. I asked them why they tried to do it. They said it’s their job. I told them there is no use in doing all this. They thought I was from Nepal.

“Later, they apologised and got me a Bandaid. I could have died. I hope it doesn’t happen to anyone else. It was a bad experience,” he said.

Didn’t he feel like returning to his hometown after the incident or on reading about racist attacks on the northeast people in the capital?

“I felt like that at one point in time. But I thought why we should run away. We are Indians. I feel that there is a need to bridge the gap.

“Instead of always going to the usual vacation spots in India, they (people from other regions) can go to Guwahati, Tripura or Nagaland. The only thing is that they don’t understand our culture. That’s the only problem. Otherwise, they are also good human beings,” he said.

Borkung, who has delivered hits like “The roots (Chini Haa)”, “Never give up” and “The journey”, likes to rap in English as he thinks the language has a greater impact.

“I am more fluent in English. I thought it would be more impactful. Though I did sing ‘The journey’ in Hindi as well,” he said.

Is he open to Bollywood?

“If an opportunity comes, I will consider it… Not so commercial, though. I would like to work on films like ‘Barfi!’ as it’s different. I don’t watch movies for ‘masala’ sake,” said the rapper, who has performed in Chennai, Delhi, Mizoram, Shillong and more.

As of now, he is looking forward to being part of a documentary.

“We are doing a documentary with a few people from Mumbai. I can’t reveal much. They want to make a documentary on people who make protest songs. I am excited about it,” he said.(IANS)(Image-youtube)

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I Find a Lot of Independent Music These Days: Kavita Krishnamurthy

Better market for independent music now, says Kavita Krishnamurthy

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Kavita Krishnamurthy
Kavita Krishnamurthy feels that the independent music scene in India has become "very, very good" now. Wikimedia Commons

BY SIDDHI JAIN 

Kavita Krishnamurthy, who has lent her voice for some of India’s most adored songs, feels that the independent music scene in India has become “very, very good” now.

“Earlier, any singer who had to make a headway as a light music singer, they had to make a breakthrough through films, only then they really got heard.

“Now through YouTube, Facebook and different ways of promoting your own songs, I find a lot of independent music, rock bands, jazz musicians, world musicians, have all come about in India, and have a better market in India than during my times,” the 61-year-old Padma Shri recipient told IANSlife.

Having sung for plenty of films in the past few decades, Krishnamurthy has lent her voice to actresses like Nutan, Helen, Shabana, Sridevi, and Kajol, to Karishma Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Rani Mukherjee. She began her recording career in 1971.

Kavita Krishnamurthy music
Kavita Krishnamurthy feels that now through YouTube, Facebook and different ways of promoting your own songs, she found a lot of independent music. Pixabay

Some of the films she sang for include ‘Mr. India’, ‘Saudagar’, ‘1942: A Love Story’, ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’, ‘Bade Miyan Chhote Miyan’, ‘Hum Dil de Chuke Sanam’, ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ and ‘Devdas’.

Asked how Bollywood playback singing has changed over the course of her long career, she said that when she started out as a playback singer, she found most of her songs to be essentially Indian.

“They were based a lot on folk, a little bit sometimes raga-based, but more geet-kind of songs. Pronounciation of Hindi words also had to have a certain amount of clarity. The poets played a very important role.

“It could have been a classical-based song, a happy, sad or romantic duet, sometimes a bhajan in a movie. Also, we’d be recorded with the musicians most of the time, if we made a mistake we had to redo the whole song,” she said.

She added that it was never line-by-line, but half- or quarter-song was sung together. “It’s only after 2000, that you could do a line or half a phrase. Technically, things changed a lot.”

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Cut to the present day, and the acclaimed singer finds quite a lot of western-based numbers, Sufi songs, and item numbers. “Trends have changed and there are more rhythm-oriented and guitar-based songs than there were in the past.”

Kavita Krishnamurthy performed at the Lakshminarayana Global Music Festival 2020 in the national capital on Saturday. (IANS)