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Hear Rapper Xenon Phoenix’s Fired Up Collaboration with Forxst ‘Twisted Turns’

With an effervescent but wise charm, the new single has already racked up over 80,000 hits

Anurag Tagat Mar 06, 2017

Back in school in Siliguri, a 16-year-old boy who loved chemistry ditched his real name (Subham Ghosh) to use the moniker Xenon Phoenix to rap about difficult people and a complicated life. He says, “I like keeping this alias, it’s just another superhero untold story, two personalities in one figure conquering music and daily life.”

Churning out rhymes since 2014, the latest in the Pune-based rapper’s conquests is the hugely popular “Twisted Turns,” a collaboration with Polish producer Forxst. The beats are a retouched version of the experimental bass music artist’s 2014 single “Awake,” with Xenon adding his flow about “relationships, with a supernatural touch of a mysterious girl trying to haunt my dreams.”  There’s some dark humor evident, but Forxst says he rarely works with rappers, but Xenon was an exception. He adds that it opened his eyes to the genre’s rise in India, “I guess the hip-hop culture is widely spread around the globe but I couldn’t imagine how it looks in India. Because of our collaboration I got into the scene more.”

Xenon’s put his words to everything from trap beats to bass music to dreamy synth pop by the likes of fellow Siliguri-bred and Pune-based artist Debo Sanyal aka Dreamhour. He explains his process, “I listen to the track first and start freestyling over it in order to catch up with the groove and rhythm after a pattern is stuck in my head. I start up with a particular theme and adjust my lyrics after every four bars.”

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The rapper has taken his show live several times, from his early days in Siliguri in 2011 to a few gigs at Blue Frog in Pune last year, with help from DJ Karan Kanchan and sound engineer Hanish Taneja. There’s an increasing spotlight on Hindi and regional rap, but Xenon believes that “good music will find its way up.” He adds about his own plans, “I have so many tracks with me right now, I’ll make an album out of it. But I’m thinking I’ll drop one at a time to keep the engagement buildup with lots of surprising collaborations this year.”


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