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Rapper Big Deal Crowdfunding Debut EP

Bengaluru-based hip hop artist and producer Samir Rishu Mohanty rhymes hard against racism and stays wide-eyed on ‘One Kid With a Dream’

Anurag Tagat Jan 20, 2016
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Big Deal. Photo: courtesy of the artist

Bengaluru-based rapper Big Deal. Photo: courtesy of the artist

The rap game might almost always be boastful, but Bengaluru-based rapper-producer Samir Rishu Mohanty aka Big Deal is more of an idealist than a braggart. That’s probably why he’s crowdfunding his debut EP One Kid With a Dream, with plans to raise Rs 2.5 lakhs that goes toward production and promotion costs. Says Mohanty just before he’s off to Bengaluru’s Resonance Studios, where he is recording the EP, “I did my research and figured that I will be the first hip hop artist in the country to be taking this route, plus it seemed like the perfect solution to my problems.”

A rapper for over a decade, Big Deal went fulltime in 2012, collaborating with local artists such as Smokey the Ghost, Young Dirrt [who were together part of rap duo Two Much] and Blaaze. Last year, Bollywood composer Sneha Khanwalkar roped in Big Deal for a verse on “Bach Ke Bakshy,” the title track off 2015 Bollywood film Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!

Mohanty, 24, is hoping that when One Kid With a Dream comes out, it will have an universal appeal. He says, “Everyone is a kid with a dream and I am doing this EP to inspire each and every kid to pursue what they love, do more than what’s expected of them ”“ a job, marriage, kids. If I can do it, you can do it too.” The track “One Kid,” for instance, talks about how Mohanty, born to an Indian father and Japanese mother, could never fit in. He raps, “Growing up in Puri, I felt so confused/ Why do I look like no one else in the school? I mean I got small eyes, also a flat nose/ Which is why all guys happened to crack jokes/ Even the teachers treated me like a foreigner/While all I ever wanted to be was an Oriya.”

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While he’s been performing regularly in Bengaluru, his recent set at the Vans New Wave Musicfest was a study in what happens when an enthusiastic musician meets a near-empty venue. Mohanty, with Mumbai’s MC Kaur on the decks, performed to just a handful of people at the festival in December. He brushes off the experience and says, “I have performed from audiences of five people to 5,000, hype-as-F audiences to sitting ducks, and what’s really important for me to do there is put on a show. I make sure I put on a show, every single time.”

Mohanty also has plans to take his music to Japan later this year. He says, “The incredible thing about music though, is thay it has no language. Only a handful understand English in Japan but we have artists like Big Sean, Katy Perry do sold out concerts there. So I don’t really know what’s waiting for me out there but I’m ready to find out.”

Contribute to Big Deal’s EP here.

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