For a self-taught musician with little to no background in music, Yoosh has managed to carve his niche in the industry. The singer/Songwriter/rapper/producer from Delhi has Mac Miller, Lupe Fiasco, Tyler the Creator and Drake as some of his artistic influences. The Thane-based artist who was into poetry and sketch writing since 2019 came to the scene only two years ago, intending to keep experimenting with different sounds, “even if I don’t create a cohesive sound palette.”
The hip-hop musician has been exploring subgenres and sounds within it. He also wants to narrate specially curated, carefully chosen stories through his music while building a solid fan base along this process. He recently released his debut EP ‘Toda Faatak,’ which has over 28k streams and is “all about the freshman spirit and experience as a newcomer in the industry.”
Written, recorded and performed by Yoosh, the 6 track EP uses a wide variety of instrumentals like R&B, Drill, Moder Boom-Bap, Trap and Melodic Trap. It begins with ‘Khayal Hai (intro),’ which is a piece of the famous BBC interview by the Punjabi poet Shiv Kumar Batalvi. Through the piece that talks about the relevant issues in the ‘brown culture’ that persists in modern-day India, the track puts across Yoosh’s beliefs to his listeners, thus setting the perfect tone for ‘Toda Faatak.’
‘Fervor Freeverse,’ the second song in the 17 min EP brings out the essence of the artist’s personality and what he believes in. Produced by Sarcastically Kumar, it is “an honest ode to my dreams and listeners.” The R&B trap soul instrumental coupled with witty rhymes and harmonies is a gentle yet powerful introduction to the rest of the EP.
The next track, ‘Bemisaal,’ is one of those songs that shows how powerful vulnerability can be. A song that talks about self-appreciation, battling self-doubt, introspection and reminiscence, the self-produced trap beat track is heart-touching.
‘Vartul,’ undoubtedly steals the show in the album. With its hard and dark trap beat with Indian instrumentals, the track truly brings out Yoosh’s voice. Produced by Harm Sandhu, it can be called a homage to what hip-hop is truly about – creative cultural resistance and a reflection/response to reality and social problems. The touch of activism in the track shows that the artist is not afraid to speak his truth. An old track as well as an ode to the country’s recent socio-political environment, it speaks of greed and corruption. He also states that politics runs on ‘blame games’ and that ultimately citizens also need to take the blame for how the country is run. He talks of it as a ‘vicious cycle,’ and makes a powerful statement throughout the track.
The 5th track, ‘Hocus Bogus (interlude),’ is a direct hit at artists who copy styles of the West and claim it as their own. The track that talks about the stereotypical notion that a good artist/rapper needs substance usage and lives the gangster lifestyle to be ‘good’ in what he/she does are addressed here. Following up this is ‘Fake Flex Nahi,’ that talks about the musician’s progress so far as a musician with his craft as his biggest badge of honour. He talks about being a hip-hop artist beyond the shiny chains and cars. With its witty, raunchy, competitive rhymes, his philosophy and hunger to be at the top of the industry’s game are brought out here.
The EP closes off with ’16 Parchi Thap’ and ‘Dua Kar.’ While the former is a boom-bap track with dark sounds talking about competition, the latter is a drill mayhem. Yoosh goes all out to show his skills and bilingual dexterity while having a personal element as he brings his painful past into the picture. A mix of melody, fierceness, intimacy and intricacy, the track is a dark experience with hard-hitting drums.
With tales of unnerving situations, overbearing parents, misplaced ideals and jobs that fail to define people, ‘Toda Faatak’ has a song for all kinds of hip-hop heads. Yoosh has thoroughly explored and understood every genre providing a killer EP. From tracks speaking of societal issues to tracks simply having fun, it has it all. Yoosh has managed to get the true essence of hip-hop music without the ornaments, literal and figurative. The rapper is currently dabbling with more such unique and fresh sounds for his next projects.