Watch: Tarik Take on BJP President Amit Shah with “New Green Thing”
The Shillong rock band team up with rap duo Cryptographik Street Poets in their new music video
When the Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah visited Shillong in April, residents protested the dominant political party’s beef ban by consuming beef and raising slogans to arrest Shah for his alleged involvement in encounter killings in Gujarat. Members of the Shillong and Delhi-based rock band Tarik were also part of the protests. The band composed a song called “New Green Thing” and shot footage from the protest to include as part of the music video.
Directed and edited by Tarik’s vocalist and bassist Wanphrang Diengdoh, the track also features biting verses from Shillong rappers Andrew Lyndem and Ratul Hajong from Cryptographik Street Poets. In addition to singing about escaping the 9-to-5 work culture, Diengdoh sings in Khasi and English about suppression of free thought in Shillong and religious exploitation. “New Green Thing” was recorded with producer Tirthankar Ray in Kolkata’s Blue Monk Inc. studio earlier this year. Diengdoh says they’ve just finished recording more songs for a full-length album and that the band is working on a nation-wide tour to release the album later this year.
Luckily for the band, their political leanings have never been a setback as far as being booked for gigs is concerned. Says Diengdoh, “We’re simply addressing what’s going on and I don’t think our outspokenness has affected us professionally. There are promoters who still book us for their shows and that’s a sign that there is hope in the music scene in the country. For example, we played to a packed audience in Delhi at our last gig [in March] and you know it’s a good sign when even the venue staff say it’s the best live gig they’ve ever had.” The frontman adds that they’ve even received offers to play at state-sponsored events. “But since these go against our ideological grain, we usually decline,” says Diengdoh.