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Shayan Roy Steps Into the Ring with Debut Solo Hip-Hop Single ‘Bubbles’

The Mumbai-based actor, singer and content creator holds his own, rapping about a past relationship

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Anurag Tagat Apr 20, 2020

Mumbai-based rapper-producer and actor Shayan Roy. Photo: Shashank Uchil

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Since 2018, Mumbai-based actor-singer Shayan Roy has been inching closer to the goal of becoming a rapper and producer. Collaborations with Bengaluru-based producer Malfnktion led to songs like “Vincent Chase Slippin” (2018) and “Charlie” and he worked with Kannur-based beatsmith So Fire and American-Tamil singer Rolex Rasathy for an EP called Triangles: Exes & Whys, both of which released in 2019.

In the case of “Charlie,” Roy says he began to understand the value of colllaborations. He worked on the initial idea for the song, which was then carried forward by Malfnktion. On his debut solo single “Bubbles,” Roy is producer and rapper, employing appropriately lightheaded beats to his “self-therapeutic” monolog on a past relationship, his style inspired rappers like Vince Staples, Mos Def and The Pharcyde. Roy says he took inspiration from Bengaluru producers such as Oceantied and Raka Ashok, whom he’s been collaborating with. “I find myself being drawn to producers who are deeper into the electronic scene rather than hip-hop, and I see that influencing my musical aesthetic a lot in the future. I think we’re gonna be dropping a lot of collabs apart from my solo stuff through this year too,” he says.

Nevertheless, Roy does admit that it took him a “hot minute to build up the confidence” to get into music fulltime and quit his job. The former BuzzFeed staffer, who has previously been in blues and alt rock bands in college, adds, “I’ve struggled with self-belief ever since I started trying to write and make music as a teenager. I feel really good about the transition though — I’ve spent the last few years slowly figuring out what my sound is, working my way into the industry in my own way and surrounding myself with musicians and producers who constantly influence and inspire me. This is my first release that’s essentially all me, and I’ve waited a really long time for this. It’s a good feeling.”

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The single leads up to Roy’s debut EP, which he says will feature mostly his own production. “I’ve got a couple of collabs in there which I’m geeking out about and keeping strictly under wraps for now. I’m sitting on a good amount of unreleased material, but my work process is pretty chaotic and I keep waking up with a brand new vision for the EP every other day. I need to figure out what makes the most sense as a collection of tracks to showcase what I’m about,” he says.

The creative processes, despite the lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is something Roy is enjoying and the rapper says he’s excited about “what it amounts to when this phase comes to an end.” He adds, “There are more pressing things to worry about other than my musical career right now, but the amazing thing about this lockdown is how artists are just reaching out to each other extensively […] We’ll figure out what comes after when the time is right.”

Listen to “Bubbles” below. Stream on more platforms here.

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