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Dehradun Rapper Syntaxx Explores Emotions and Ambition in Debut EP “Multiple Personalities” ft Haze

“The rules to write is what Syntax means”— the 22 year old rapper and audio engineer from Dehradun, Suchita Thapa, acquaints us to her rap monicker ‘Syntaxx’ right at the start of her debut EP ‘Multiple Personalities’. Suchita, initially, a poet and guitar player, sowed the seeds of rap music pretty early in her school life through participation in various spoken word events and poetry competitions. Her love of music and poetry mixed with a lack of singing skills led her towards the more accessible, rap music. Joining Delhi University opened the gates of hip-hop for her as she started attending street cyphers and got in tune with the culture. Learning and jamming with the OGs, she recorded her first single back in 2019. Making the most of COVID hit, she started releasing music recorded and mixed on the phone. Gradually improving her skills and equipment, she has been consistently releasing singles since then. This consistency and her genuine love for the art has helped her bag a feature from the popular rapper ‘Kalam Ink’ for her song ‘Agar Mai Dooba’ and a chance to feature in the Delhi veteran MC Kode’s new EP ‘Yo’. Telling us how she met the producer of the EP Farhat Ali aka Haze she says, “Haze and I met at a Hip Hop competition at Pacific Mall Dehradun and I was amazed by the potential he had. Haze has been playing drums since school and also knows the piano and Guitar. Inspired from AR Rahman he wants to create music that is timeless and revolutionary. I had the idea of the EP where I wanted to make a project that offers a wide variety of sounds and emotions and has a song for every mood and person and Haze was the perfect person to collaborate with. I think that the young guy has a lot to offer that we can hope to see in the coming years. We’re proud to say that we managed to make this in a bedroom with a 60k laptop and can pray that this is just our starting.”

‘This Ain’t My Dream’ kickstarts this 12-minute EP spread over 6 tracks with a lofty, anthemic intro. Wearing her warrior lineage on her sleeves—”Mera dharm hai kshatriya, mere khoon mei usool”—Syntaxx announces her return to the scene and makes it clear that she isn’t stopping until she claims that rap throne. While her bars carry the punch and ooze passion and hunger, a rather unfortunate beat choice detracts from the intended effect of the track. A promising start to the project continues into ‘Self Roast’, a caricaturistic comedic rap track. A goofy beat with sitcom-ish sound effects and trumpets as laughing cue lighten the self-deprecatory bars by Syntaxx. While she takes several digs on herself in the verses, with a catchy hook she straightens it out that it is only her who has the exclusive rights to do that. 

Haze’s true potential is realised in ‘Mumkin Nahi’. He cooks up a classic rock beat which transitions seamlessly into a tabla based section and back. Suchita tries her hand at singing on this one, delivering a decent performance despite claiming she can’t sing. Apart from the first few ‘strained’ low notes—which felt like she was mimicking Shinchan—she opens up quickly and delivers a solid performance. Ajinkya Senger’s backing vocals elevate the middle section to make it feel like it could easily be found featured in a 2000s bollywood movie—a major highlight of the project.

‘Kalank’, essentially a darker version of ‘Self Roast’, brings out the vulnerable and scared side of Syntaxx. We hear the voices in her head getting louder as she—unable to cope with the societal pressure and norms— tries to find solace in alcohol and casual sexual encounters. The outro ‘Gratitude’ before an unnecessary skit features Syntaxx’s career best writing performance. She vividly expresses everything that making music has taken from her and all that it has given. Imagining an uncertain future, she writes hard hitting bars like—”Voh pooche kuch saal baad kahan dekhti ho khudko, pehla khayaal bola aaj ka toh pata dedo; dooja khayaal bola ek mic ek stage, ek main aur baaki mujhe sunne vale laakho mei log; teeja khayaal aana laazmi jisme mare hai sapne mere khadi dekhe maa bhi unki chhitta ko maun”. Haze arranges a pretty fitting end to this emotionally heavy track and project, the guitar and drum work with Manas Pathak’s bol instead of the tabla made for a freeing outro.

Suchita aka Syntaxx unpacks a lot of her emotions with this project, the vigour and passion she put in this project rubs off on the listener as well, but the fact that there’s a major lack of novelty in the production and the style of rapping makes it just another drop in this vast ocean of desi hip-hop which keeps on expanding on the daily. Fortunately/Unfortunately, having ‘substance’ in your music isn’t enough for a project to stand out from the rest in the streaming age, a distinct style and presentation is essential to pull the listeners back to your music.

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