Delhi has been home to a plethora of quality artists pushing out experimental projects in the past few years. Artists from the city that’s turning into the Hip Hop capital of the country, make a deliberate choice of having a unique style to their name, turning the city’s music into a spectrum. This spectrum ranges from substance centric music encompassing introspection to straight bangers with high replay value. Well, Bharg and Rawal covered that whole spectrum, in their debut album titled Sab Chahiye. Their obsession with the presence of versatility is also what gave the project it’s name. In English ‘Sab Chahiye’ translates to ‘want everything’. “It’s also a reference to wanting the money from their art and respect for their art.” the duo say.
Two artists that met at a ‘Spit Dope’ event through a common friend very quickly clicked and decided to collaborate. One of them being Rawal – a designer and rhymer – as he calls himself, is a seasoned rapper who was part of The Delhi Cypher in 2014. Bharg, on the other hand has been trained in jazz and classical music in college. Their diverse taste in music was one of the many things they had in common which led them to making a conscious decision of demonstrating this variety. What this idea birthed is Sab Chahiye– an album with 15 tracks, one for every mood. Recounting how they met, Bharg tells us “We first met at a Spit Dope event. A common friend introduced the two of us as two people who should collaborate. I followed Rawal bhai the next day and liked a couple of his photos a week or so later. He went to my profile, I had a story playing guitar. He heard some unusual chord progressions and called me up. We were hyped af after an hour long conversation because of how much we had in common! Within two meetings after that, we had one our first song “Aagey Aur Upar”. Third meeting, we came up with Jungli Kutta; after which we never stopped.”
The duo shows all their cards with the project featuring super laid back pieces like Magan and Baat Ban Gayi that are quickly followed by mosh pit inciting tracks like Junglee Kutta and Akkad Bakkad Bambey Bo. They dribble with auto-tune on Bombay Sapphire, but jump over to acoustic performances on Sab Chahiye and Khush Reh Tu. Rawal digs deep with introspection on songs like like Dikkatein and Aagey Aur Upar. “The beat for Jungli Kutta was conceptualized in 15 minutes after hitting reset on a frustrating session. It was created with No Limit by G-eazy on my mind. Rawal got so hyped with what I’d made that he probably high-fived me at least 30 times after that. We took the half baked version to Calm (from Seedhe Maut) and Raga for feedback and they decided that they liked it enough to jump on the track themselves!!” says Bharg.
Another noteworthy attribute this project holds is its line up of features and appearances apart from Bharg and Rawal. Delhi veteran rappers Encore ABJ, Calm, Mc Kode and Raga appear on songs Magan, Jungli Kutta, Bombay Sapphire, Naseeb and Dikkatein. Another monster collaboration is Akkad Bakkad Bambey Bo with production by Sez on the Beat and a verse by Ikka. Kreon is on production duties on the album-ender Chahiye Sab and Lakshay (Delhi based vocalist and composer) contributes to Khush Reh Tu.
On how Bombay Sapphire came into being, Bharg tells us “We had Raga in our studio for a session. I couldn’t make a beat for 3 hours. Being all blank. Almost gave up on the session. Rawal bhai said, you gotta do it. Raga doesn’t come to everyone’s studio. I picked up the best thing I knew, i.e my guitar, and then started strumming. Another 15 minutes in, we had the layout and the beat for Bombay sapphire. Rawal bhai had a one-liner out of many that he keeps writing which said “Dilli ka ladka par peeta mein Bombay Sapphire.” Then Raga joined up with the next line, then the next line. Then we hit record. So yeah. We laughed, made jokes, played the song live. People loved it and our first time messing around with the autotune worked!”
This project is unique and definitely the first of its kind in Indian Hip Hop. Projects like these are important as they push rappers to collaborate with musicians from different roots to add more impact to their words, and classical musicians to welcome rappers into their projects, adding more substance to their arrangements. It’s a beautifully pieced puzzle that was carefully put together, and created a cinematic listener experience.