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Exclusive Stream: Sapta’s New Electro/Folk/Rap Song ‘Deen’ ft. Sofia Ashraf

The Chennai-based electronic act ties up with the “Kodaikanal Won’t” rapper in a new world-music-leaning track

Nabeela Shaikh Nov 07, 2015
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Sapta, Sofia Ashraf

Chennai electronic act Sapta and Mumbai-based rapper Sofia Ashraf. Sapta: Courtesy of the band; Sofia Ashraf: Photo by Arjun Charanjiva

Remember the fiery rapper Sofia Ashraf who called out Unilever’s toxic pollution with her protest song “Kodaikanal Won’t”? While her rap petition exposed consumer goods MNC Unilever’s role in poisoning the lake and forest in the hill station of Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, with mercury, the Mumbai-based rapper makes her latest appearance on a collaborative track which addresses her “tryst with organized religion,” a theme that she is known to approach with equal fervor.

“Deen” is the first single by Chennai electronica act Sapta since the release of their last album Intimate Comfort Unit in July this year. The synth-laden composition is ornamented with Middle-Eastern melodies by violinist Shravan Sridhar and also features the Islamic hymn “Tala Al Badru Alayna,” which is usually sung to welcome Prophet Mohammed into homes, sung by Mumbai-based singer Maalavika ”˜Mali’ Manoj [who has previously collaborated with Sapta on Intimate Comfort Unit.]

Sapta producer Marti Bharath says, “Since I’m not coming out with any albums in the next year or so, I thought I’d collaborate with more people and bring out singles. I’m working on a track with Josh Fernandez [vocalist of Chennai-based rock band F16s] and also planning on working with some artists from Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi.”

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Explaining the juxtaposition of the Islamic chorus and her own verse, Ashraf says, “Religion is beautiful when you welcome it into your home — it gives you peace and hope. But once you start forcing your beliefs down someone’s throat, it’s no longer beautiful, it turns bitter. My rap touches upon the not-so-beautiful side of religion.”

Listen to “Deen” below.

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