Gig Preview: RSJ MASSIVE ft. Divine, Plague Throat and Dewdrops
A parking lot in Shillong will host the second edition of the multi-genre music festival
Even if scorching Indian summers (and the occasional threat of rains) mean fewer outdoor big-ticket music festivals, there’s always an outlier or two. Promotion and release brand Sterling Reserve Music Project and music publication Rock Street Journal (RSJ) have brought forward the second edition of their day-long festival, RSJ Massive on May 25th.
The festival boasts an unusual curation of hip–hop, metal and reggae, bringing together Mumbai rapper Divine, Shillong death metallers Plague Throat and local reggae act Dewdrops. If at first glance one might not be able to connect the three genres, Dewdrops keyboardist Manavon Massar educates us. He says, “They’re all anti-commercial and underground, all come from the independent and underground scene and the people of Shillong also follow it a lot.”
While Divine – by virtue of being one of the biggest rappers in the country right now – is expected to attract a huge crowd, all eyes will be on whether the entire set will include his newly established label Gully Gang’s first single “Gully Gang Cypher,” which released on May 22nd. “We’ve played with Divine together at Ziro Festival of Music (in 2016)and it’s a great feeling with all these big names coming together every time” Says Massar.
Plague Throat, for their part, have just wrapped up an India tour promoting their new EP Evolutionary Impasse which released in February. Stay tuned for the heavy spectrum of things to be taken care of thoroughly.
While Plague Throat might only include vocalist-guitarist Nangsan Lyngwa and drummer Malice, Dewdrops scales up to a 10-member reggae band(nine musicians and one flag bearer) on stage. The band draws its influences from reggae legends like Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. Massar tells us about their set, “We always, always, always try to change or add a new element that is relevant to the present time… and not just play the same old stuff”
After the success of the multi-genre festival format last year with thousands in attendance to see hip-hop act Khasi Bloodz, folk artist Bipul Chettri and more, RSJ is back in Shillong to try and establish itself as a prominent music festival, after the success of the likes of Bacardi NH7 Weekender in the state over the last four years.