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Guwahati Act Rain In Sahara and Liberia’s Nasseman Team Up to Take Aim at ‘Gangsta Bankers’

Global corruption and superficial sustainability measures come under fire on the sarcastically buoyant reggae-meets-rock track

Anurag Tagat May 12, 2022
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Guwahati electro-rock band Rain In Sahara and Liberian reggae artist Nasseman search for heroes in a world full of villains on their new collaboration, “Gangsta Bankers.” Released in late April, the track comes with a music video shot in Liberia and India, unfolding the tale of an incorrigible entrepreneur driven by greed even as he puts up a façade of helping the environment.

Packaged in a news bulletin format as they follow the businessman around his parties and resolute sense of apathy, “Gangsta Bankers” comes with a message to fight corruption. Rain In Sahara have teamed up with organizations such as Transparency International and the International Anti-Corruption Conference and also set up a page to spread awareness about the need to be vigilant.

The song was created around 2019 in Copenhagen, where Rain In Sahara and Nasseman met as winners of (and performers at) the Fair Play Anti-Corruption Youth Voices Award program. Co-vocalist, flautist and keyboardist Lain Heringman gushes about how they got to perform alongside hip-hop heavyweight Mos Def at the event and bonded with Nasseman at a “special workshop on censorship and art” conducted by the organizers. “Nasseman shared his harrowing experiences about receiving death threats for releasing anti-corruption music in his native Liberia. There was a creative spark when we first met, and we had the idea to see if he was interested in doing a live collaboration at the concert the next day. We’d just written a brand new anti-corruption song before we jumped on the plane to Denmark, and during a break in the workshop we played the instrumental to Nasseman, and he was totally in,” Heringman says.

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The song then went through some production changes and the pandemic caused most of the delay in getting “Gangsta Bankers” out in its present format. It also presents a different, satirical side to Rain In Sahara, who have previously released hard-hitting socially conscious songs like “YTOFIAJ (You Think Our Future Is A Joke)” in 2020. Heringman says their latest song was born out of an “octave synth riff which has this comedic sound,” one that reminded the band of Eminem and his hit song “The Real Slim Shady.” The band adds in a statement, “We just followed our creativity and experimented as the track developed and it eventually led us to a more synth-driven hip-hop/reggae/alternative track. We’re big fans of reggae, hip-hop, alternative, nu-metal and many other genres and we ended up cutting out some heavier sounding parts from the final arrangement, especially in the electronic drop section.”

Next up, Rain In Sahara plan to stir things up sonically once again, with the band hinting towards a “heavier and more orchestral [sound] with rock, nu-metal, electronic and even country” elements. There are three singles and their corresponding music videos ready for release this year as well. The goal, however, has always remained to have an activist approach with their music. “Something we’re really excited about is to further develop the educational outreach we’ve recently started doing to unleash the power of people’s voices and expression through art, poetry and music workshops.” The response has been encouraging, which means Rain In Sahara want to take it to as many places as possible. “Following this release, we plan to go on a tour spreading the anti-corruption message through live concerts and workshops,” the band says.

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Watch the video for “Gangsta Bankers” below.

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