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Exclusive Release: Underground Authority Power Up on ‘Gypsy’

Their first single by the Kolkata rap rock band juggles the idea of being intellectuals who also like to party down; head into the studio for second album ‘Propaगेंडा’

Anurag Tagat Jun 03, 2016
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Underground Authority Gypsy - Ep'art 2

Artwork for Underground Authority’s single “Gypsy” courtesy of the band.

Only from a Kolkata-bred rapper like Santhanam Srinivasan Iyer aka EPR would you expect a song that jumps topics from amphibians to being in the club to hip hop honor. The frontman of Kolkata rap rock band Underground Authority talks about a “split personality” among people on their latest single “Gypsy,” off their politically-charged new album Propaगेंडा  [pronounced ”˜Propa-geynda’ to reference propaganda and the raw force and anger of a rhinoceros]. Says Iyer about their single, “It’s somewhat autobiographical and about how we’re constantly changing, whether it’s talking about Karl Marx or going out and partying.”

With a funky lead riff by Adil Rashid and drummer Sourish Kumar firing on all cylinders, bassist Soumyadeep Bhattacharya adds the much-needed low-end that seems adequately filled on what is their first single without guitarist and founding member Kuntal De. The guitarist left in 2014, just weeks before the launch of their debut album You Authority. Iyer says of adjusting to a four-member setup, “The sound has become much more raw. On the new album, we’re trying to experiment more with orchestration and string sections.” The vocalist, although mainly inspired by hip hop and spoken word, cites mainstream rock bands such as Coldplay and Imagine Dragons as a major influence on the new album.

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Tentatively scheduled to include 12 tracks in Hindi and English as well as skits and interludes popularized in hip hop albums, Underground Authority have already performed a few songs live, including “Am I Free?,” which addresses farmer suicides and the existence of freedoms. The band is currently tracking drums for the songs, with three tracks yet to be completed.

With Propaगेंडा due in August, there’s a video in the works for “Gypsy.” Iyer explains that they’re working on what could be the first ever 360-degree interactive music video shot by an Indian band. He doesn’t give away the concept, but adds, “We’ve got a company sponsoring the shoot and it should be out in July.”

Listen to “Gypsy” below.

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