Watch A Blue Skinned PAV4N Roam Holy Ground on ‘STASIS’
The U.K.-bred Indian origin hip-hop artist from erstwhile group Foreign Beggars has now made Goa his home and has a new avatar
Just before the world effectively closed its borders and heavily limited travel, rapper PAV4N (born Pavan Mukhi) was in two minds about where he should hunker down. Born in Dubai, raised in the U.K.’s hardcore grime and hip-hop scene and now living in Goa, he decided to pick Dubai. Safe and sound, over a call from his home, he mentions that he actually moved to Goa in January this year. “It was the first time in 20 odd years that, well, we weren’t touring and I didn’t have to be anywhere in the world,” he says.
As Orifice Vulgatron, PAV4N ran rampage with pathbreaking hip-hop group Foreign Beggars for nearly two decades. They called time in 2019, which all added to PAV4N having the opportunity to think about what’s next. He says, “Everything kind of converged at the same time; moving country, the group finishing, starting a new project. This is the first time I’ve actually got a stretch of time, where I can actually go and be on my own, be shanti and set up the new chapter.”
In addition to Foreign Beggars, PAV4N has worked behind the scenes as well, for labels, festivals (including Vh1 Supersonic, as co-founder of Arms House) and events, which has all regularly brought him to India. But now that he’s moved here, he’s clearly making his presence felt as part of India’s burgeoning hip-hop space. Part of that apparently involves being painted blue all over, inspired by Hindu deities such as Vishnu, Krishna and Kali. On his debut single “KARMA” which released in March, PAV4N is seen in and around holy sites in the country, delivering distinctively U.K.-meets-India rap. He’s now followed it up with “STASIS,” a short but power-packed tune in which the rapper provides several reality checks. “A big part of this whole project is about self-empowerment. But then, there’s a fine line between humility and self-deprecation,” he says.
Watch the video for “KARMA” below.
At a time when the music industry – like many other industries – is staring at a looming crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic, harsh truths are more necessary than ever. PAV4N notes that the music industry isn’t often set up with musicians’ best interest at heart. “There’s always a lot of organizations and entities that have their agendas, who’ll use musicians to further their business,” he says. With support systems being exposed as near negligible in the music industry at large, even PAV4N adds that he had “big shows” planned in Mumbai, Dubai and London to get the project off the ground. But he’s resilient, he’s stayed afloat for decades and he believes most musicians know it’s a “sink or swim” situation.
The rapper adds, “Everybody’s at home, everybody’s having some time to really look at the long term strategy and their plans for their musical career. But also, people have got this time and space, so they can actually create.” “STASIS,” produced by London-based rapper and beatsmith I am Still Truth aka Param, is a reminder from PAV4N to himself about staying grounded. Offered with a video shot in Mathura and Vrindavan by creative firm Bombay Arthouse, PAV4N once again emerges in blue skin, bearing glistening grills with a hook that goes, “Satyanash!”
He says about the video, “We originally wanted to shoot in Jodhpur, but then [actor] Priyanka Chopra announced her wedding there. But we just showed up there [Mathura and Vrindavan] and freestyled it and everything fell into place. That for me was a blessing.”
There’s more songs coming up and then a separate album project from PAV4N expected in the coming months. Keeping with his visual image, PAV4N says he’s definitely going to go into “the Krishna masti side” and his next single – produced by U.K.’s seasoned DJ-producer Sukh Knight – goes into a “Shiva power” dubstep space. He adds, “The track after that is like a half time drum and bass thing.”
Visually, the blue skin is going to carry forward into his live shows whenever they take place, which PAV4N describes as combining elements of theater, rave and hip-hop. “It’s going to be informative and cutting-edge but it’s also going to bang.” Will people actually just assume he has blue skin now? PAV4N laughs and says, “It’s looking like it. Like, I am [blue-skinned] most of the time now.”
Watch the video for “STASIS” below.