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How Guwahati Rapper Paigambar Teamed Up with Mike Shinoda for ‘Everybody Here’

The Linkin Park and Fort Minor artist produced the gritty track on Twitch, following a social media campaign to find new voices

Anurag Tagat Oct 27, 2021

Guwahati hip-hop artist Paigambar. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

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In late 2020, spurred on by increased digital interactions between artists due to the pandemic, Linkin Park and Fort Minor’s Mike Shinoda reached out to fellow creators with #ShinodaProduceMe, a campaign through livestream platform Twitch and Instagram to scope out new talent.

By May this year, he’d ended up producing at least 30 tracks for young and undiscovered artists and among them was Paigambar Raj from Guwahati. Creating music under the moniker PMR aka Post-Mortem Report since 2019, Paigambar now raps under his first name and quite simply lucked out to catch Shinoda’s attention as part of #ShinodaProduceMe.

Paigambar was already posting short clips of his bars while the first lockdown was underway in India in early 2020, so he felt like Shinoda’s campaign was an easy yes. “When I heard about Mike’s campaign I started using the ShinodaProduceMe hashtag. To my surprise, a few clips later he took notice and reached out to me on Instagram, asking if he could produce a track for me on his Twitch channel and that’s when I started following him on Twitch,” the rapper says.

Overwhelmed at first (“It was one of those ‘OMFG’ moments”), Paigambar’s verses went on to be part of a Twitch stream in February, where Shinoda produced the music for “Everybody Here,” which was released on October 1st with a music video. Paigambar says, “It still is quite unbelievable to me. I am humbled to have gotten this chance of a lifetime to work with one of my heroes.”

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Veering between slinky and sleek, Shinoda’s roomy beats are the launchpad for Paigambar’s fast-paced rap. Shinoda said in a statement, “When I was considering different artists for my #ShinodaProduceMe series on Twitch, I was drawn to Paigambar’s voice and his flow. I liked the complexity of the patterns—it felt like it put you in a trance.”

It was all smooth sailing until March when the track was done and a music video was being plotted. The second wave of the pandemic in India took hold right after, however, which Paigambar terms “a truly dark time” for the country and on the personal front. He adds, “I lost a few members of my family to the pandemic, and I too had contracted the virus. I was very ill for some time and it took me a while to get my strength back.” A few months later, Paigambar tapped his go-to filmmaker Arindam Talukdar to create a music video for “Everybody Here,” shot in a decrepit building with eerie and subtle VFX elements.

Paigambar knows for sure that it’s Shinoda’s openness to work with new talent which led to this collaboration. “I do think that Mike is an exceptional human being. Just for him to take the time and connect with his fans is something truly unique and unexpected, given his stature and impact on music,” the rapper says. As for fellow rappers in India or anywhere seeking out a big-name collaboration, Paigambar’s advice is simple: “Never be afraid to ask.”

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The rapper is working through a few unreleased singles to push out through the year. “I also have an EP which you can expect in December of this year,” Paigambar adds.

Watch the video for “Everybody Here” below.

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