What a year it has been for producer projects in the Indian Hip-Hop Culture! The sheer effort and contributions by various beat producers have been a great push to the scene and this year, the collaborations have hit their highest peak.
Parimal Shais is a Kochi-based bass music producer and DJ. He is known for easily laying bass boosted beats over Indian nostalgic movie hits and thrusting trap into sampled regional South Indian sounds.
His latest offering – “Kumarikandam Traps Vol. 1” sees him reach out, collaborate, and synchronize the wide range of South Indian artists, both pan-India and globally.
Parimal Shais’ debut 15-track experimental hiphop/rap album is heavily sampled from South Indian traditional musical instruments and sounds blending with the current trap beats aesthetics giving a very fresh and unique approach to hiphop production. We caught up with the man himself and hosted a quick interview to gain exclusive insights on the project.
1) When did the idea of the global collaborative effort first come to mind? Was the project already in creation at the time?
Ans: Being from Kerala, it’s impossible to not be aware of how big of a community of Malayalis and Tamils live abroad. Plus the music that’s coming out of young diaspora artists are too powerful to be ignored. We in Kerala mostly got exposed to hip-hop scene in this post-internet generation relatively recently, however it’s a whole different story for Tamil hip-hop which has such diverse roots all over the place in different countries in North America, Europe and South East Asia.
Having a strong sense of rooted identity is something our general youth is missing as a community over here.
So even before the idea for this project came up we were fans of South Indian artists from abroad and it was a no brainer to reach out to artists from everywhere when we got into something like this, only thing that mattered was if they could rap good or not.
2) Tell us
in brief the myths that surround “Kumarikandam” and why this is important to the album.
Ans: According to ancient Pandyan legends, Kumari Kandam is believed to be the submerged continent ranging from Madagascar to Western Australia including present-day South India & Sri Lanka, where the first Tamil literary academies (Sangam) where held and was the place where civilization began. In the times of Colonial British India, Tamil Revivalists in the 19th century revived and popularised this ancient concept to give Tamil people back then a sense of powerful native ‘Dravidian’ identity in the midst of all the chaos and submission under the western rule.
The reason we used this for the title of our album is simply because we are again at a point of chaos in history as we are losing our sense of identity and submitting once again to the western corporate pressure and it’s on the surface ideologies. Having a strong sense of rooted identity is something our general youth is missing as a community over here. Also, unlike generic trap lyrics our album stands out with very conscious and potent lyrics over the South Indian instruments sampled trap beats showing the resentment of the youth against the system and how lost this post internet generation is.
3) Which song or artist do you think has stood out from the entire project and why?
Ans: Damn! That’s a really hard question to answer, we made this project in a period of 10 months so each song has a special place and story; also truth be told, all these artists have different styles of their own and the energy they bring to the table are very unique and stands out from
It’s one of the last songs we did for the album, the instruments I sampled for this track, especially the ‘kuthu’ drums is a personal favorite of mine which I believe blend in with the trap sounds so effortlessly. Also you can’t not give props to my man HanuMankind for his potent anti-establishment lyrics as well as his one of a kind flow in our Indian rap scene. Even though we worked on this track in the very last minute, we’re super fortunate we got this made.
4) What do you feel about the current status of Indian Hip-Hop Culture?
Ans: Being a fan for long time I should say it’s a wonderful thing with hip hop and rap being on this level and even just to have the people being familiar and exposed to the art of it in India. Even though the wave of hip hop hit bigtime in India through the mainstream industry I still think it’s influence on the public and especially coming generations are dope and I’m sure we are yet to see how much true potential of artists are to come up from everywhere in India in the near future with different types of stuff. So anyway I can’t complain with the current state of hip hop in India because it’s the best it has ever been over here and I’m more curious about how hip hop will evolve in India within the next few years.
5) What’s in store for you in the coming future?
Ans: We spent almost a year solely on creating this project and right now getting this out there to the people is the priority because we did this with no industry connects or no marketing strategy except just the vision and obsession to create this album as perfect as possible. So in the near future getting to do more live music definitely would be something we’d really be looking to make it happen because it’s one thing to create this music and totally another thing to take it out there and play it live to the people. Also, we’re working on some songs with couple of artists at the moment which will come out soon and we’re hoping to collaborate with more artists from around the country and explore more with the sounds and have fun with it.
Listen to the full “Kumari Kandam Traps Vol. 1” Album below.