The on-going wave of protests over the recently implemented CAA and NRC in the country has prompted various musicians to make music. Delhi based hip-hop artist Adi Radia aka Naqaab47 has released a collaborative single called Andolan with Delhi based electronica duo Shoals.
Released as a music video, the song features heavy commentary on the politics of divide & rule, the recently witnessed police brutality against students and protestors, with a chorus that describes the state of the alternate Indian “Haal toh bure hai fir bhi Dil hai Hindustani”. The video is in itself a compilation of various news clippings, footage from protests and more. When asked about the importance of using music as a form of protest, Naqaab47 says “The events that we have been witnessing recently are confusing and disheartening to say the least. To pass a fiscally irresponsible bill with a secret communal agenda is one thing, but to disrespect our intelligence with dishonesty and clampdown on peaceful protesters in such a violent manner is simply not right. This is not the India we grew up in or ever imagined we would be living in. This song is our form of protest because if we don’t show solidarity with those being persecuted now, it could be our turn next. In fact, they have already started a crusade of sorts against intellectuals and the urban youth.”
What went behind in the creation of the song and the video?
“When I was first approached by Shoals with the idea to do a song about the current state of our country, my initial reaction was that I am not interested in being overtly political in my music. In fact, this is something that all of us who worked on this share. None of our past work dabbles this deeply in politics.
However, when I started researching the subject, I realised how deeply we are screwed. Tears came to my eyes as I saw videos of protesters pouring their hearts out. I bottled up all of these feelings, concepts and words that I encountered and unleashed them the next day in the studio. My verses are in the form of a pure stream of consciousness.
Shoals on their part, had been active in the protest movement from before. Sidharth, one of the members of Shoals, even faced an incident of arbitrary violence from the police while he was simply drinking tea. It was their will to express themselves in some way and release an anthem for the movement that resulted in such a timely release. The beat they created is as menacing as the times.
As far as the video is concerned, Ish had complete freedom to express himself and how he felt about what was happening. It’s all him. The uncompromising nature of the video comes from his belief that we are in the historical right. His goal was to blend the heavy police brutality videos with some light-hearted satire, and add his own personal layer to the overall message.
The most incredible thing about this song is that everything – including writing, composition, recording, mixing, mastering, and the creation of the video – all took place within the span of 3 days. That’s what makes it a raw expression of that moment in time and would not be possible without the commitment of the artists who came together for this cause.” says Naqaab47.