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Exclusive Premiere: Rahul Rajkhowa Turns to Reggae on ‘No More Violence (Hello Mr. Martian)’

The Guwahati artist gets a little help from blues songstress Tipriti Kharbangar and more musicians from the North East

Anurag Tagat Aug 15, 2019

Artwork for Rahul Rajkhowa's new music video. Art: Vishal K. Bharadwaj and Samir Bharadwaj

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Guitarist, vocalist and producer Rahul Rajkhowa has only recently undertaken Assam flood relief work and his latest song “No More Violence (Hello Mr. Martian)” includes environmental concerns, albeit in a much more satirical manner. Rajkhowa says it’s about much more than just one problem that life on Earth is facing.

The Guwahati/New Delhi singer-songwriter adds about releasing his new reggae song on India’s Independence Day, “With lynching, religious killings, major global unrest and climate change dominating the news, I thought my next release should seek to address nonviolence and environment protection. Kids our age and the younger ones need to be hearing lyrics that influence positive behavior.”

His latest has been a live staple for a while now – just like his last single “Let Me Explain” – and brings together a story of an astronaut and an alien conversing about planet earth. The Martian asks humans to love their home better. Featuring lyrical additions by Shillong blues rock band Soulmate’s Tipriti Kharbangar (“One moment I see her vibing to the song and the next moment she’s on stage with us improvising lyrics and the crowd went wild,” Rajkhowa recalls of the singer at a gig in Cherrapunjee), “No More Violence” also includes keys by Manavon Massar, who’s performed for bands such as Khasi Bloodz, Dewdrops and Riddim Funktion. In a bid to “combat discrimination against the North East,” Rajkhowa also called in Aizawl-based drummer Rotluangkima Ralte and bassist Puia Khiangte.

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Rajkhowa’s comical yet socially conscious song naturally lent itself to an animated music video (“Even my mum suggested it would work best,” he says.) Directed and animated by filmmakers Vishal K. Bharadwaj and Samir Bharadwaj, the video has a comic book feel to it. “I have four more reggae tracks that I will release over time,” Rajkhowa adds.

Watch the video for “No More Violence (Hello Mr. Martian)” below.

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