Released on the 14th of December, ‘Parat’ by Panini Pandey, better known as ‘AFKAP’, is not only his debut EP, but also a much-awaited comeback of the Gully-Gang signed artist. With 6 tracks lasting around 17 minutes, the EP has production features from the Mumbai-based celebrated producer Karan Kanchan. The EP is a chronicle inspired by the artist’s personal explorations and experiences, best described by AFKAP himself “Parat means layers, the intermediate between free will and family, culture and internet, love and attachment, money and wealth, isolation and comfort, which will always be conflicting. I tend to not emote freely but thankfully songwriting has helped me to come to terms with my authenticity and not seek external validation.”
‘Rukawat’, the first track of the EP, signs the series of laid-back and emotive tracks that follow. The track features a very beautiful production. AFKAP attempts to design the setting of the EP both sonically and thematically. ‘Aaina’, which follows next, is a quite celebrated track by the artist. The track was initially released as a single back in 2021 and has been listened to by millions. The track is a perfect fit for the EP, given the narrative that it follows. He reflects on personal experiences through an impeccable delivery. The next track ‘Sookhi’ is one of my personal favorites. Sonically divided into two parts, the track talks about pride, presumably after the love and fame he received post the release of ‘Aaina’. But the essence is not just limited to that, he shows ambition through his rap skills and gives his listeners all the right reasons to be a part of his artistry. The first half of the track has a very flawless drum piece which later transitions into a trap-like Hip-Hop beat thanks to the seamless genre in between the track. ‘Lagaav’ follows next and features a chill-drill sound. Produced by Karan Kanchan, the track talks about attachment and detachment and the conclusions they have. While I didn’t understand the motive of using a melodic drill sound for the intricate subject matter, I believe it does show the creative thought the artists put in to make the EP stand out. On the next track, ‘Waapsi’, AFKAP talks about isolation and how he insists on being left alone at times. The lyricism of the track was very interesting thanks to his clever writing. The production seems quite simple and soothing as it allows AFKAP to express itself. The last track, ‘Kasam’ has almost no music, AFKAP takes the spotlight as he introspects on a lot of instances and shares his individuality.
In my opinion, ‘Parat’ talks about Panini Pandey as an individual. The EP is purely focused on his experiences and feelings, he uses his creative freedom at instances to put all the focus on himself as he introspects on matters. This gives the obvious reason as to why there are no guest features on the project. This time around, AFKAP’s pen game seems to take the spotlight away. The metaphors, wordplays, and references are worth talking about. Moreover, his ability to fit in different sounds and genres while implementing different flows and an exquisite delivery is quite admirable. This factor distinguishes ‘Parat’ from other projects because almost every other track has a different sound. The flexibility of the soundscape the EP possesses is incredible, to say the least. ‘Parat’ is a testament to the eccentric musicality of AFKAP, and exhibits his potential as an artist.