The face behind the craze of the ‘systumm’ fad, DG Immortals, gets candid with The Pioneer about representing Haryana, bringing a revolution, and more.
The systumm fad has reached overseas—some of the praise, alright, alright, goes to Elvish Yadav, but hey? DG Immortals is also the face behind this craze that’s brought numerous admirers on board! This group has actually blurred the lines between hip-hop and Haryanvi hip-hop for us. But it wasn’t the same nearly two decades ago, perhaps?
The pop music was slowly fizzling out. But these guys brought it back to mainstream culture once again, with their own ‘tadka’ in all forms of representation. All of a sudden, we see the success of Haryanvi hip-hop music just because both of them laid the groundwork for it. Elvish is extremely busy absorbing all the success he’s been getting from Bigg Boss, but we do have DG Immortals on board! Shall we? “I have been a sound engineer for the past fifteen years, and Haryanvi hip-hop brought us mainstream success. Despite the unique new sounds we have brought to the forefront, I do rap too and have never foregone my classical music roots. But it’s important for me to represent Haryana right now, especially with the groovy hook lines we have! ‘Sabhi gaano ne syshtumm hang kar rakha hai’ (he laughed out loud),” he says, originally known to be Digvijay Mehra, aka DG Immortals.
He continued, “We are all aware that hip-hop wasn’t encouraged in my state in the initial years; there was no awareness. But we wanted to kickstart a revolution! I’ll tell you something: hip-hop is the music of the oppressed, so why can’t we express our emotions and sometimes our angst through our songs? The scenario has changed so much today that Haryanvi hip-hop is being played in all the clubs! Kaleshi Chori was trending.”
He has struggled a lot to inspire on his own rather than ape what international rappers are doing. During his college days, he got the opportunity to attend a concert that made him inclined towards rapping! You know, when they rap, it gives them a certain amount of confidence. It is helping several rappers to aspire and inspire coming from small communities. So he dropped out of college and did sound engineering! There was still a long way to go for him to be that independent rapper dedicated to hip-hop. So he joined a BPO centre for almost eight years! His family wasn’t able to understand what he was doing or why he was struggling so much in spite of having a white-collar job. How will they understand that his ultimate goal was to dominate the country with his hard-hitting lyrics and the use of his own Haryanvi slang? There were so many who ignored him and demotivated him, but as an underground artist, he was just looking to give Haryanvi hip-hop its own identity, and he did, finally!
“All the songs that we have released have inferences from personal life (he giggles). Assuming listeners connect to us a little more because we are the ‘extras’! I know it for a fact—listeners are fed up with listening to those same old Bollywood tracks that are being remade! They didn’t want to do the hard work, but we did. We do need the support of big labels. As an independent artist, we have released the song, and a big label can give us the required backing for popularity purposes. You know what I mean? My aim is to develop as an artist and make something unique as a release; now a label can look at it as a product for mass orientation, and that’s what we request,” added the Kaleshi Chori fame. They have never hurt anyone’s feelings. They respect all the communities, especially the languages. The whole country knows his culture, and it’s so fiery that they love to connect with it, feels the artist. He was talking about the “lath-maar” language! When they sing, they are not singing in anger, but that’s his way of expressing the roots he comes from, and he has never seen anyone misunderstand them.
“To break the myth here, we are not glamorous artists! We are up to date with the trends, but we are not glitzy-blitzy. At the same time, the artists who can afford these huge labels are not showing off, which makes them feel good. It’s their time to shine! Fame has still not hit me, and I am humbled. I am just building a legacy because Bollywood and Tollywood are getting their due push, but we would like to have the same accreditation. Both of them have their own genres, and we want ours! We’re trying to garner as much spotlight as we can.”
His brother Elvish is the one who brought his “syshtumm” to the forefront—but Alia Bhatt gave them a shoutout! So DG admitted how Elvish has always been so supportive of him throughout his career. The former can recall Elvish, and he was on some shoot, and in a very synchronised manner, all of them pronounced “syshtumm”. Then it struck him that this was going to be the title of their new song! DG was in his studio, and Elvish had gone on vacation to Manali, so DG immediately rang him up and asked him to send the recording. When it was released, even then it was a rage, and now it is an even bigger rage because of Elvish’s presence in Bigg Boss. The trophy is theirs!