Hear Mumbai Rapper The Siege’s Open-Hearted Debut Album ‘Bubblecars’
The 21 year old Bengaluru-born, Mumbai-based hip-hop artist’s record is produced by beatsmith Anand Iyer
If you played third-person cult videogame Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, then you probably didn’t progress through the missions without cheat codes. Mumbai rapper, producer and songwriter Siegen Moopanar aka The Siege can tell you. “When you type in ‘BUBBLECARS,’ every car that you hit starts floating.”
But The Siege was more than amused, taking it as the basis for his debut concept album Bubblecars, which released earlier this month. The genre-bending nine-track record is modeled as a “farewell speech” by the artist, who details troubling signs of self-harm and suicide and its aftermath with hard-hitting bars in Hindi and English. “I saw myself as one of those cars. When I get hit, I don’t get hurt anymore, it only makes me fly and it only makes me free,” he says.
On the spoken word opening track “Welcome to Bubblecars,” The Siege powerfully beseeches the listener to hear him out: “I got voices in my head and they need a mic each.” Teaming up with producer Anand Iyer, there’s visceral and exposed musings from the rapper on songs like “Haath Kaapte, the apocalyptic “Mere Shaitan Azad” and “Shayad Maut,” which goes through a few tonal shifts. Iyer also experiments with lo-fi beats as well as harsher, noisier bass lines on the melodramatic “Kaali Kahani.”
The Siege also credits producer Varun Shungloo (from South Block Studios in Mumbai) for the shape the record took. “We spent around five months working on this album. We spoke about everything about the album, recorded demos before final takes and bounced ideas off each other,” the rapper says. The album closes with a one-two punch, including the death-obsessed title track that employs a distorted bass line and its antithesis, “Free,” which uses an acoustic guitar. The Siege says, “I used this album as therapy for myself. Most of the things I spoke about in the album are the things I don’t talk about usually. So yes, it did help me. But I wouldn’t call it catharsis. It is an ongoing process, still.”
Watch the video for “Bubblecars” below. Stream the album here.