Exclusive Premiere: Mallroad Project Take on Sexual Harassment in Animated Video for ‘Thurky Boss’
The New Delhi Hindi rock band sing about the #MeToo movement on their latest single
When members of Hindi rock band Mallroad Project get together on weekends, away from their corporate jobs, vocalist and guitarist Shankar Sharma says they’re quite a “ferocious bunch” who spend their time debating and dissecting current social issues. He adds, “We have a lot of opinions, but the songs we write and release are the ones where all four of us feel the same about a topic.”
Formed in 2010 as The MatchStyx and then rejigged in 2016 as Mallroad Project, the band released their debut EP Naazni in 2017. But their more recent material has been released as singles over time, discussing topics such as terrorism (“Dehshatgard”) and politics (“Who is the Real Pappu?”). Sharma says, “We found out that the songs that are specific themes or socially relevant messages are better as singles, so that you can have a conversation around it.”
Their latest release is “Thurky Boss,” which brings together tongue-in-cheek lyrics, simple but pop culture-heavy animation and hard rock arrangements. Sharma says they composed the song prior to the #MeToo movement’s social media proliferation in 2017. “We’ve been aware of sexual harassment in offices – towards men and women – this is something we wanted to put the word out about,” he says.
The song follows lyrics about the kind of men one should stay away from, while exposing their hypocrisy – the animation by Mumbai-based Godwin Joseph and Daya Mudaye alluding to TV celebrities, godmen and pedophiles. The band is careful to avoid naming anyone or judging anyone guilty, focusing on highlighting perverse behavior. They’re looking forward to how people will react to the song and video, fully aware that socially conscious material will evoke polarizing views.
Mallroad Project have at least one more release in the pipeline this year and Sharma promises it will be in the same space as their singles so far. “India is a complex country, there’s quite a few issues to write about. All four of us have to agree that it’s something we have to speak about and then we get started,” he says.
Watch the video for “Thurky Boss” below.