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New Music: From Kannada Pop to Tamil Hip-Hop, Psychedelic from Gurugram and More

Tune in to the latest releases from pop artist Izora, rappers Pasha Bhai and Arshaq Malik and drummer Gautam Deb’s collaboration with rapper Artslord, among others

Anurag Tagat Oct 07, 2021

(Clockwise from top left) Vishwi, Aishwarya Rangarajan, Mehdi Hasan Niazi, Chitrangada Satarupa, Nutana Mohan. Photos: Gnapika Mohan (Nutana); Rusha Bose (Chitrangada); Courtesy of the artist

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“Shriaq“ by Pasha Bhai x Arshaq Malik

On their first collaboration together, Bengaluru hip-hop artists Pasha Bhai and Arshaq Malik run amok with Dakhni and English rap verses about Muslim identity and discrimination faced in the course of their daily lives, pointedly exposing systemic faults in India. “Shriaq” is produced by LoneKat, released with the help of Bengaluru label Wanandaf, co-founded by Pasha Bhai.

“Solene” by Izora

Venturing into even darker, slicker pop territory with her music, singer-songwriter Izora aka Shreya Jaswal speaks from the perspective of an “obsessive toxic person” on her new song “Solene.” Coupled with a music video that unfolds a narrative of narcissistic behavior and more, Izora says she took inspiration from the T.V. series You to write “Solene,” while also employing the somber delivery over trip-hop beats.

“Make It Up” – Mehdi Hasan Niazi

Hong Kong-based singer-songwriter Mehdi Hasan Niazi calls on U.K. producer Nick Sheldon for a cinematic English pop song called “Make It Up.” The impassioned, club-friendly song is even more interesting in the context of Niazi being a classically trained Hindustani vocalist and ghazal voice ever since he was nine years old.

“Nanna Savaari” by Vishwi ft Aishwarya Rangarajan

Composer and producer Vishwi’s new Kannada song “Nanna Savaari” (which translates to “my journey”)  drives home a message of “perseverance in the face of adversity.” The charming Kannada song features Vishwi on vocals along with singer Aishwarya Rangarajan, with a poignant flute element recorded by Navin Kumar. The music video narrates the story of two individuals faced with financial hardship, arriving at a crossroad to make life-changing decisions.

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“Nandalaala” by Nutana Mohan

It’s not exactly devotional music but Hyderabad singer-composer Nutana Mohan’s debut single “Nandalaala” could be considered an ode of sorts, given its contemporary fusion arrangement. The Telugu song features lyrics which recount stories of Lord Krishna, written by Devarakonda Rama Sharma while the charming production is helmed by Siddhant Mishra, featuring flautist Ramachandra Murthy.

“Jee Le Zara” by Jefferson Cornelius ft. Neha Sharma

Calling on producer Michael Timothy and guitarist Baidurjya Banerjee, singer-composer Jefferson Cornelius and vocalist Neha Sharma dive into shimmering pop on “Jee Le Zara.” The duet is anchored in earworm-potential production and Banerjee throwing in Carnatic guitar-like lead sections, while the lyrics and themes are a different exploration for Cornelius, who previously released Tamil song “Iyarkai” and “Silhouette” earlier this year.

“Please Hold Me” by Moli

Gurugram multi-instrumentalist, experimental/psychedelic artist Moli’s new song “Please Hold Me” is a seven-minute journey about yearning for and feeling the presence of stillness. There’s pain and longing but Moli shreds his way through it, walls of shoegaze-y guitar becoming dissonant but intentionally so.

“Echo at the End of the World” by Reflection City

Mumbai’s alternative/synth-pop duo Reflection City – comprising Meheranand Tikkas and Chaitanya Nirantar – have released their debut single last month. “Echo at the End of the World” laments loss, grief and loneliness in a sonic fashion not too far from the likes of Radiohead, while the final minute changes the mood into one of hope and vibrancy.          

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“Not A Dream” by Chitrangada Satarupa, SambitC

Kolkata-bred, Mumbai-based singer, actor and photographer Chitrangada Satarupa invokes the importance of one’s inner child and the emotions that are associated with it, including wonderment on her debut single “Not A Dream,” created alongside multi-instrumentalist Sambit Chatterjee (from post-rock band aswekeepsearching and metallers What Escapes Me) with vocal arrangement by vocalist Isheeta Chakrvarty. The airy, vocal-led track is accompanied with a music video created by Rusha Bose for Candy’d Closet, Satarupa’s upcycled clothing label.

“Achamillai” by DEB x MC Artslord

Pune/Mumbai drummer Gautam Deb – currently back on the road bashing skin behind the kit for hip-hop heavyweight DIVINE and more – makes his debut as a producer and solo artist on the seismic Tamil track “Achamillai,” led by rapper MC Artslord. The music video – also directed by Deb – shows Deb thrashing away as Artslord throws down about having no fear in the face of divisive forces.

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