SOME’N UNIQUE MAGAZINE, LLC
ADY PRADHAN ~
INDIAN RAP ARTIST/PRODUCER
Our guest today is a bright young talent from India, Ayad Pradhan, or as he likes to call himself, “Ady.” Ady is currently pursuing an Arts degree, but devotes a better part of his time to writing and composing music–his passion. Don’t let me tell you, let’s hear it from the man himself.
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Sa’ad Ahmed/SUM: S.U.M is delighted to have you, Ady. Thank you for agreeing to the interview.
Ady: Delighted to be here, too. It’s wonderful what you’ve started here. I really appreciate it. Thanks for having me over.
Sa’ad Ahmed/SUM: Thank you. Let me first start by asking… Why do you prefer Ady instead of Ayad? That’s always a good story.
Ady: Honestly, I didn’t even think about it. We were just sitting, me and my brother, thinking about starting something, you know, compose our own rap. And my brother just called me Ady out of the blue, no prior reference. I don’t know why he did so, but it appealed to me at that time, and it was simply a shorter form of my own name. It felt sort of, perfect.
Sa’ad Ahmed/SUM: Why don’t we do a little digging, a bit of flashback. What drove you towards music? More specifically, towards composing it yourself? When did you first realise that you wanted to be a rapper and composer?
Ady: Composing… well, we are all attracted to music right from our childhood. My brother– who’s not with us anymore; he, uh, passed away– he played a large role in shaping me as a rapper, and then as a composer of my own original work. It’s because of him that I’m here today. So the two of us, like I said, we decided to compose our own music. I mean, alright we’ve been listening to all these songs and stuff made by others but why not do something ourselves? Make our own music, write our own stories instead of listening to others’. I was around 15 at that time. That’s when it started.
Sa’ad Ahmed/SUM: We’re sorry to hear about your brother, truly. You started quite young… When did you compose your first song?
Ady:(smiles) Oh, yeah. The first one. It was around a year and a half after I got obsessed with rapping and had already started performing. I shouldn’t call it my first song as I collaborated with my teacher on that one; he taught me when I was doing a course in sound-engineering. I turned to him, as I wanted the song to be professional because anybody can cook up a composition of sorts. But to make it well-rounded and complete in all aspects, you need someone like him by your side. Most of my songs are about love and the first one was no different. It was titled ‘Pehli Pehli Baar’ (The Very First Time).
Sa’ad Ahmed/SUM: It is the general opinion that the current rap scene in India is in a dismal state. What are your views regarding the present crop of Indian rappers?
Ady: Yes, well, I agree with the general opinion wholeheartedly. It’s not music which has lost its charm, but the artists who have lost music. Lyrics don’t make sense anymore. There are no sentiments attached to the song and all that matters now is; how long the song will be played at functions and programmes. Rap once meant something, it stood for something. The misogyny and sexism which is rampant in today’s songs is appalling and reflect the sorry state of our society. I don’t think we here realise what rap actually is. The general impression created is that you mumble some lines in some local language and that’s it: your rap is ready to be served!
Sa’ad Ahmed/SUM: Your music videos– especially the latest, “Bhiga Sama,” has a great look and feel. You personally edited this video also. Can you tell us how you acquired those skills?
Ady: See, the general population has little or no idea about editing; about what happens beyond wrapping up with the shoot. With me, it so happened that OK, here’s my rap. I have shot some scenes for it, too. But assembling them together? And doing it in a way that doesn’t seem hastily put together just for the sake of it? And after that comes the learning part. Where do we learn how to do it?
That’s where YouTube came in. I went online, saw the tutorials and stuff, and then worked my way up from there. Of course, it didn’t happen overnight, or even in a month. It took me 4-5 years to get where I am today with my skills. I had to devote a lot of time to be capable in my own right. Before I reached this level, though, I was really sloppy. It’s visible in my early videos. So I learned it all on my own, no help or professional assistance with this one.
Sa’ad Ahmed/SUM: That’s highly commendable, I must admit. You have also directed your music videos. Did you take any special course for that, or was it the same as your editing skills?
Ady: Same as editing. I didn’t direct all of it. I had help from a lot of quarters, but I didn’t attend any classes. It was all by watching movies and other music videos.
Sa’ad Ahmed/SUM: A self-taught man, indeed. I know it’s a rather silly question to ask any artist… but where do you get your inspiration from?
Ady: It’s all from my heart. My main concern is that I don’t wish to mete out negativity. My works have to be positive. Yeah, there are some sad ones, but those aren’t entirely tragic. There’s still a hint of light and brightness in them. My inspiration comes from… my friends, most of the times. And then some special ones, those come from my girlfriend.
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Sa’ad Ahmed/SUM: You are already a celebrity in your hometown, Darjeeling, India, but who does Ady Pradhan look up to? Who are your favourite rappers?
Ady: Well, none of them have been permanent all the way. They keep on changing, you know? The first one would definitely be my brother who introduced me to rap as a genre. He used to rap in Nepali (Nepal is a country near India). Then there’s Kendrick Lamar, Lil Wayne, 50 Cent, Kanye West, these guys.
Sa’ad Ahmed/SUM: We noticed that your latest video has ‘A Bekalakaar Production’ written over it instead of only your name. Can you elaborate on that?
Ady: Bekalakaar began quite informally, actually. We didn’t know what we were doing until it became corporeal. We came together; a group of friends and started thinking about making more videos. I mean, why stop at one song? Why confine ourselves to music videos only? And so it began. We are currently six of us, three guys and three girls. We’ve jokingly defined ourselves on our social media page as ‘conceived by idle minds with no better thing to do.’ The latest video wouldn’t have been possible at all if not for the ‘Bekalakaar’ team. They made it happen, all of it.
Sa’ad Ahmed/SUM: That sounds like a great initiative what you’ve started. So what are your plans for the future? Where does Ady Pradhan see himself 5 years down the line?
Ady: On television. When you would see me there and go, “Oh I interviewed this guy!” There’s a long way to go, I know. Have to put in a lot of hard work but will surely get there.
Sa’ad Ahmed/SUM: We believe so, too. S.U.M is grateful to have had you over, Ady. All the best for your future, we certainly expect to see you on the global stage in a few years. You’re always welcome at the Some’n Unique Magazine, LLC!