Premiere: New Delhi Rapper Armaan Yadav Picks Up ‘Bad Blood’ In New Video
The intense visuals for his 2019 single show the artist in captivity
It’s been at least a year or two of grappling with “Bad Blood” as a song and music video for New Delhi hip-hop artist Armaan Yadav. Releasing politically-charged tunes like “Saffron Ablaze,” Yadav started putting out material in 2018 and the no-holds-barred “Bad Blood” arrived in March 2019.
It was the vehicle for a “vocal experiment” for Yadav, who has now released a menacing music video for “Bad Blood,” created by New Delhi production agency Galat Scenes. It’s a deeply introspective track for someone who also writes songs like “Zulm” and “Articles of Faith,” (both produced by Kochi beatsmith Parimal Shais). Yadav says, “Often, my music is overtly political and focuses so much on the exterior that the vulnerability of introspection in this track [‘Bad Blood’] scared me. It was too raw a look into the experience of being gaslit, of being in a toxic dynamic, while also wrestling with the fact that toxicity isn’t always a one way street.”
The video — complete with motifs of reflections, being chained up, perhaps kidnapped and tortured — is completely different from the original clips that Yadav had teased on social media last year. The rapper recounts how he had just come back to New Delhi after six months in Jammu & Kashmir and felt a kind of block preventing him from putting out new material. “So one night, unable to sleep I wrote a rough script that I sent to Sid [Siddhant Shah, from Galat Scenes]. Soon enough he flipped the concept on its head and after a couple days of going back and forth over finalising the story, we shot the video in three days,” Yadav says.
Examining cruelty in relationships “beyond lovers,” the video called for method acting, according to the rapper. Shot over sleepless nights, Yadav says he bares real marks from the shoot. “I had actual bruises from having my head banged and pressed against the hot hood of the car too many times. I was barely able to move my wrists thanks to injuries resulting from having on the chains filming too long. Had we toned down on the method acting, we wouldn’t have had seemingly real violence on screen and that’s exactly what we needed there,” he says.
The rapper has had to push back plans for a full-length album (tentatively titled Born, Raised & Transferred) to 2021 due to the pandemic stalling work, but he’s likely to put out more bilingual singles with music videos.
Watch the video for “Bad Blood” below.