The Commodification Of Hip-Hop In India: A Discussion

Image: Prabh Deep , Photographer: Nishant Jhamb

When describing Indian hip-hop, the word ‘nascent’ may as well be crumpled up and lit on fire amongst other cliched terms like: game-changing, fledgling, budding, out there, and breath of fresh air. Indian hip-hop has been around for a while; through acts like Panjabi MC, Street Academics, Raftaar, Bombay Bassment and others, the genre has been cemented, though maybe not as visibly as it is today. Over the last few years, the mainstream has taken notice of a different type of hip-hop: slowly building momentum through the streets, gaining popularity via the internet’s recycling of likes, re-tweets and shares, it snaked its way through the back alleys of major metropolis’ and has now rooted itself in corporate boardrooms.

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NEWS - 12. November 2018  

Unraveling The Meticulous Sonic Architecture Of Siavash Amini’s Music

Image credit: Aram Tahmasebi

There used to be these stores that Siavash Amini would visit back in the late 90s or so. This was around the time that the shift from tapes and CDs to MP3s was beginning. Amini had already been introduced to rock music through the pirate tape culture in Iran — growing up in the port city of Bandar Abbas, he recalls travelling to Tehran to exchange pirated tapes and bootlegs.“Trading, recording, exchanging collections,” he says. “And you always find out the strangest stuff in there; all these strange bands that are not metal, but somehow found their way into the collection.”

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NEWS - 26. October 2018   ARTIST - Siavash Amini

Natasha Humera Ejaz: Moments of Magic in Berlin

Earlier this year, Natasha Humera Ejaz visited Berlin, from July 10 to September 9. The Pakistani artist, who produces music under the name Stupid Happiness Theory, was in the city as part of the Border Movement Residency. She had a plan: she was going to learn about the business of music; collaborate with artists; perform; introspect. Somewhere along the way, though, she threw it all out.

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NEWS - 22. October 2018   CITY - Berlin ARTIST - Stupid Happiness Theory Project - Border Movement Residency

A New Perspective For Plastic Parvati: Goethe Talent Program 2018

A cooperation between the Goethe-Institut and Pop-Kultur festival, the Goethe Talent Scholarship (now going into its 4th year), is an immersive 10-day programme where 10 music makers from around the world get to experience Berlinʼs rich and diverse music scene; learn and unlearn musical processes and in general gain new perspective on their craft. I have heard only the most wondrous things about Berlin and so it felt a little surreal when I finally landed on a hot summer morning and met the other fellows.

Below is a summary of highlights and images from my experience….

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NEWS - 12. October 2018   CITY - Kolkata ARTIST - Plastic Parvati

Dynoman: I Realised That I Was An Artist Who Evolves & Is Not Limited To A Genre Or Sound

In a way, Karachi is an anomaly. The seamless integration of conservative with unconventional defines its creative musical expression. But within its structured contours, lie esoteric nuances that transcend traditional norms of musicality. Coaxing a transcultural amalgam of dialogues within the experimental space, the city’s tryst with underground continues to celebrate the synthesis of old and new in the realm of ‘sound art’.

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NEWS - 01. October 2018   CITY - Karachi ARTIST - DynoMan

Sohrab Kashani: If There Was Ever A Time To Come Together Regardless Of Our Differences & Beliefs, It Would Be Today

“I was born after the Islamic revolution and the Iran-Iraq war. I am the byproduct of that history. It is difficult to imagine what life could have been if neither of those events had happened. Maybe I’d be a different person. Maybe I wouldn’t exist today.

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NEWS - 24. September 2018  

Cleaning Out The Closet: Minister Of The Interior’s Redefinition Of A Musician

Guitarist, composer, and now bedroom producer, Samar Grewal, grew up being the kind of teenager that had a nervous energy about him. One that manifested itself as head-bobs and foot-taps – following rhythms and keeping time.

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NEWS - 17. September 2018   CITY - New Delhi ARTIST - Minister Of The Interior

Sana Nasir: The Karachi Graphic Designer Creating Visual Landscapes For Music Festivals

Image credit: Tonje Thilesen

“My inspiration for this year took me back to my Sony Walkman days. When you had shelves lined with cassettes; when listening to a song on repeat meant rewinding back in time to just before the pause; when mix tapes were a thing and you’d scrawl playlists on their covers; when you’d tighten loose tape with pencils; when you’d discover and memorise bonus lyrics in the fold out album covers. There was a lot of DIY intent and construction involved to all of that, much like this festival.”

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NEWS - 05. September 2018   CITY - Karachi

Identifying With The ‘Other’: The Appropriation Of Black Thought

Image: Still from 2009 Bollywood film ‘All The Best: Fun Begins’

Growing up in a world where whiteness was the default, South Asians gravitated to ‘the other’. Hip-hop – and Black culture at large – offered a protective umbrella to immigrant children, giving them an opportunity to belong in an unknown land and unfamiliar community. Indian-American comedian Hasan Minhaj expanded on this phenomenon in an interview with Hot 97’s Ebro Darden, by stating that the narrative hip-hop culture propagated was one that immigrant kids aspired to achieve, a hope that one day they would be treated as equals.

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NEWS - 28. August 2018  

Colombo: Border Movement Lounge Vol. IX This Friday

This Friday will see the Border Movement Lounge host it’s ninth edition in Colombo in the Goethe-Institit’s cosy courtyard.

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NEWS - 22. August 2018   Project - BM LOUNGE COLOMBO#9


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