Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Gully Boy fame SEZ on the Beat doesn’t want to be part of ‘Diss Culture’

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Music producer Sez on the Beat, who is soon coming out with his first single #DevNagri, gets candid with The Pioneer about his formative days, producing music for Gully Boy, the revolution of rap music, and more.

SHIKHA DUGGAL

What makes an amazing producer? It’s Sez on the Beat’s technical know-how, or his innate musicianship. An ear for a hit or a knack for the commercial! The ability to faithfully reproduce an artist’s sound, or steer them in a new direction is Sajeel Kapoor for you. Known as the man behind hip hop music today — he’s one of the music producers behind the popular tracks of Gully Boy.

Hip-hop was born as a response to the class exclusivity of the growing gang culture in inner-city New York. It provided a cultural and recreational space for the poor and working class black and Latino youth. A similar trend can be seen in the rapping culture that flourished in the underground scenes in our country.

In an exclusive interview with the one who brought out the hip hop music in the limelight with artists like Divine, Nazey, and Badshah reclaims, “I was just like another computer science student — and in those days, when you jam with a group of friends from college you get to know about some really cool stuff. One of which was a software, a complete and correct portrayal of my geekiness! If there’s a genre of music I will defend within an inch of my life, it’s the mashup. I came of age! In the height of the late aughts and early 2010s mashup craze, I dared to create my own beats.”

These underground scenes have not just been recreational spaces but also served the purpose of raising voice of contempt for the living conditions of the economically marginalized youth. Due to a democratic medium like the internet, even Sajeel gained popularity! It gave him a new space to create an agency.

So, “When I did Gully Boy as a music producer — I was so interested to see how my music would legitimise a subculture art form. What happened after the track’s release was something that shook the team! Instantly, the recognition came in and that subculture art form actually turned out to be a mainstream one now. Everybody wanted to be a rapper, dude! Gully Boy changed the definition of, or perhaps the brackets of conventional nature of music. Another interesting thing to be noticed here is how the music tracks kept up to the director’s intellect and gave that purpose, and social commentary at the same time. Social activism, you see? Sick awareness!”

After so many years of wrangling here and there, the music producer now actually gives us a sense of hope and aspiration for being successful in life and overcoming the economic and social problems that he faced. He continued, “Producing music is a dream scenario for me till date. I have a really poor sleep schedule now. But I want to continue doing this because it’s coming from a point of view of passion! I am always working. This is our fantasy world as an escape from making us accept that our living conditions are changeable anytime, anyday. It can be a mainstream profession for many youngsters, beyond a doubt.” He has an agency over hip-hop which made us really know the inside-abouts of how this genre actually changed his life, even in a personal context.

He begins to recall, “My track actually made hip-hop public to the whole country, and overseas. Mere Gully Mein, Gully Mein! I produced the opening track of that film during 2016 — can you imagine? These tracks inspired the Bollywood format to go beyond those mainstream movies and actually make a documentary on street rap! I am not growing alone in this space since then, there’s a community of street artists and music producers with me growing along and that’s pure satisfaction for me today.”

The music producer is really happy to see how once upon a time rap music was looked down upon but now gained popularity for having a potential to bring about a political and social change! In fact, “MTV Hustle is another catalyst in making hip-hop public, increasing awareness to ten fold. Female rappers are coming up, sick! That reality show made so many big names today. What moves me is when a rapper is using their regional language to communicate, that’s the uff moment. It was a brilliant move for the makers to telecast it on television because a middle-class family also now knows something about the rap scene and it can be inspirational. Even to me personally, producing music is going to be my legacy! I don’t go to the shoots, the artists come over to my studio. And I just don’t want to be a part of diss culture!”

SEZ has just released his first single #DevNagri form his upcoming album with rapper #Dakait.

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