Enkore: ‘It’s for Everyone Fighting to Stay True to Themselves’
The Mumbai rapper tells us about his new single ‘Chance Hi Nahi,’ music videos in the indie scene and his upcoming projects
If there’s one idea he wants to spread with his new single “Chance Hi Nahi,” Mumbai rapper Ankur Johar aka Enkore says it would be courage to stay true to who you are. “I’d say I was just trying to make a song that kind of recharged some of the battery for everyone fighting to stay true to themselves and the soul in them,” says the co-founder of hip-hop collective Dreamteam. “The world is never going to encourage dreamers and the minority so we gotta rep for ourselves and each other.”
Released on February 6th and produced by English producer Luke White, “Chance Hi Nahi” is a chill-trap, bilingual ode to the strength found in believing in oneself. The track was also mixed and mastered by members of the Dreamteam: Mumbai producers Rahul ‘BLUnt’ Dhande and Wide Octaves respectively.
The music video—directed by Enkore and Mumbai producer Kartik Parande—is simple yet well-produced, reminiscent of old-school hip-hop visuals, keeping the shots centered around the rapper as he hangs out with his friends and a few choice moves from Mumbai hip-hop dancer B-Boy Flying Machine.
In this interview with Rolling Stone India, Enkore discusses music videos, the message behind his lyricism and what’s next for the Dreamteam in 2018.
When did you start working on “Chance Hi Nahi”? Tell me a little bit about making the track.
I like to spend a lot of time surfing YouTube listening to beats, it’s something that I enjoy whether I’m in a good space or mind-fucked. The beat here by Luke White is one that I just found randomly on one of those days, and I felt it and wrote to it almost immediately. This was towards the end of last year I think. I only had the first verse initially, but Rahul ‘BLUnt’ Dhande (a producer and sound engineer with Dreamteam) was with me when I tracked a reference of that and he told me it was special. Maybe I just needed the nudge, because from there I just wanted to make sure the song meant something and was a good vibe—and that I wrote a harder second verse than my first.
What would you say is the message or theme? What do you want people to learn through your music and lyricism?
With “Chance Hi Nahi” as a song, I’d say I was just trying to make a song that kind of recharged some of the battery for everyone fighting to stay true to themselves and the soul in them. The world is never going to encourage dreamers and the minority so we gotta rep for ourselves and each other. And honestly, the song is a reminder to me too, to not get caught up in the BS. I try and raise different examples, situations and ways that this attitude is born or manifests. The lyrics are also part of just making it more thoughtful music. People have minds and souls that’ll vibe to this kind of shit, some just seem to have forgotten.
The music video is simple but fantastic—how important is it for artists today to have a well-made video? Do you think the Indian indie scene is lacking in this and would it boost an artist’s popularity if they up their visual game?
Thanks! Shout out to my guys at One Digital for helping bring the vision to life. It’s hard to answer questions like this though because I genuinely believe all creatives have their own way of working, as do their pieces of work. Sure, it’s important to have a good video and to market yourself but it’s never going to be more important than good music. And then what if you have both but a shit live show? Ideally yes, make great videos if you have great songs but budgets, time, etc. can get hard as an independent.
What are your plans for 2018? Do you have an album or EP in the works or any collaborative projects you can tell us about?
I do have a lot of music I’m working on—stuff that I’m really excited, and to some level anxious, to put out. I wouldn’t want to commit to details yet, but yes, there should be a project that comes out at some point not too late this year. Lot of production from the homie (producer) Sez. That aside, we have (New York-based DJ) Sinista, an electronic producer from Dreamteam, dropping his single “Magic” this month. Wide Octaves and BLUnt got some heaters up their sleeves too. We’re working hard.
Watch the video for Enkore’s “Chance Hi Nahi” below: