Flipsyde Return to India For Orange Festival, Dambuk
The American hip-hop/rock band’s MC The Piper aka Jinho Ferreira talks to us about heading to Arunachal Pradesh
As far as unexpected international artist announcements go, Flipsyde’s forthcoming headline set at the Orange Festival of Adventure and Music in Dambuk, Arunachal Pradesh is probably high on the spectrum. The band behind mid-2000 hits such as “Someday” and “Spun” from their album We The People will perform in Dambuk between December 12th and 15th, joining the likes of San Diego reggae band Big Mountain and Indonesian indie-pop band Ping Pong Club.
Flipsyde rapper The Piper aka Jinho Ferreira – who remains a constant alongside guitarist Dave Lopez and vocalist-guitarist Steve Knight – says he’s looking forward to being closer to nature and even take on some white water rafting. Ferreira says over an email, “It takes forever to reach [Dambuk]. So, I’ll have a lot of time to write on the way there and back.”
It’s only relatively new territory for Flipsyde, considering they were in India in 2006 for a three-city tour by event organizers DNA Networks. Ferreira recalls it was “a powerful experience” and specifically talks about a young kid in the front row at one of their India shows who knew all the lyrics. “So, I pulled him up on stage and gave him the mic and he went crazy. Just started killing it. That kid is probably a rap star in India right now. My last memory of India was being at this outdoor market and people recognizing us. Next thing we knew we were taking a bunch of pictures and signing autographs,” the rapper says.
While that was on the back of releasing the hugely successful, breakout album We The People, Flipsyde went on to sculpt their multicultural sound. This resulted in recruiting singer Chantelle Paige for 2009’s State of Survival, followed by EPs such as The Phoenix (2011) and Tower of Hollywood (2012). For those who missed out on these records, it’s safe to say that Flipsyde stuck to their guns, honing a distinct sound that is surprisingly overlooked. Ferreira calls We The People “ahead of its time.” He however adds, “If you listen to bands like Imagine Dragons and Twenty One Pilots, they’re not too far off from where we started. The internet has turned every individual into their own record company so there is a lot more noise out there than before. But it all comes down to the realness of what you’re doing. If you’re putting your soul into it, it will shine for somebody.”
Even now, Ferreira says that Flipsyde are regularly working on their craft, from Lopez’s production skills to the vocalist’s own induction into the Sundance Screenwriter’s Lab to “sharpen my storytelling skills.” Ask him whether he’s heard about the burgeoning hip-hop scene in India and Ferreira is quick to praise Bollywood hip-hop movie Gully Boy. “I know it was fiction but I come from hip-hop and I could see the realness in it. That’s how I know some of the rappers in that movie were real rappers.” He says he was particularly awed by the scenes involving lead actor Ranveer Singh’s character Murad rapping in the car. “I lived that scene. Only I wasn’t in the car at work, I was in west Oakland with a broken-down car at a gas station. Rapping to keep my head from exploding, or exploding someone else’s. A few years after that we formed Flipsyde. So, congratulations to the people who made that movie because even though it was focused on a small hood in India, I could still identify with it in California,” he adds.
Booked to perform at Orange Festival by New Delhi company Six Degrees Arts, Flipsyde coming back to India after 13 years is more or less surprising. Ferreira says that’s not where it ends. “It’s gonna be a fun show with a lot of energy and some surprises.”
Orange Festival of Adventure and Music takes place between December 12th and 15th at Dambuk, Arunachal Pradesh. Event details here.
Watch the video for “Someday” below.