Hear Artists Rover and Rasp’s Ode to their City on ‘Agra Ka Dabra’
‘I want to make hip-hop mainstream throughout India with my music,’ says rapper Rohan Verma
For a New Year’s Eve gig in 2019, Agra-based rapper Rohan Verma aka Rover (also known as Rover Raps) really had to prove his worth to the organizers. “I had to perform beforehand in front of the owner and his friends to impress them. That’s how I got my first live gig. People will listen if you are willing to tell. You just need to pitch to the right set of people,” Rover says.
So far, Rover and his producer counterpart Rasp aka Pratham Agarwal have performed two gigs in Agra out of the original 12 spaces they had pitched to for gigs. A full-time musician, Rover says every little step counts. “Convincing two out of 12 was also a win for us. Now, I get invites for live gigs for some private/public events, open mics, cafes. That surely feels good.”
That sort of hard grind is something Rover shows off in his music as well, releasing a slew of singles through 2020 and most recently, “Agra Ka Dabra” with Rasp on the beat. The producer got in touch with Rover after coming across his Instagram videos. “Rasp dropped me a text saying: ‘We are from the same city, let’s make some originals and distribute them across platforms.’ He told me he has learnt production and we jumped to making something together. Rasp is my go-to guy here, we share the same enthusiasm while creating something new and it’s a big advantage especially in the beginning stages.”
Following the release of “Agra Ka Dabra,” Rover also teamed up with producer Stenfer aka Adarsh Yadav for a more electro-hop concoction called “Kush.” Rover says about the track, “I hiked to a mountain top and sat there during sunset. All I could hear was children playing somewhere far, birds chirping and silence. The mood was set. I wrote this track in 30 to 45 minutes. The beat was groovy, I wanted to keep it less lyrical as the drop is super chill.”
Whether it’s references to Hollywood actor Adam Sandler or hyperlocal shoutouts to Agra localities, Rover Raps gets at it with a sharp tongue and neat delivery. “80 percent of the stuff in my tracks, I write it for the listeners. 20 percent of it, I keep to satisfy myself,” he says.
Up next, there’s another collaboration with Rasp called “Ye Hindustan Hai.” Rover says, “It’s about the harsh realities of this country.” As someone who grew up listening to Linkin Park and Eminem, future material from Rover is going to switch up styles. “There is an acoustic one coming soon, one with a rock artist as well,” he says.
Watch the video for “Agra Ka Dabra” below.