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Gangtok Rapper UNB’s Dedication to Gorkhaland in Jai Jai Khukuri

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Ugen Namgyal Bhutia, who raps under the moniker UNB, has always had the spirit of a rebel running through his music. ‘I was in 10th standard when I heard about Gorkhaland Movement for the first time. But I knew little about the matter. After I came across the news of three individuals who lost their lives during the protest recently, I went through the history of the Gorkhaland demand. I did my research on internet. By then, I realized whatever is happening with them is not good. I wanted to contribute something to the movement. So through my music, which is all I have to offer, I wanted to encourage my people to be strong and fight for their rights.’

The want to express himself through songs came after dating a girl in the sixth standard. He frequently expressed his emotions of love through music. ‘Every girl that came into my life, made me write songs for them.’ However he took music seriously only after completing high school. His father wanted him to become an engineer. Thus, he was juggling roles between an obeying son and a passionate musician. ‘I wanted to be an artiste; I wanted to do something in music.’

He is now a rapper, producer and sound engineer by profession. He made his first stage appearance in 2016, where his audience was only his best friend and two sisters. ‘It was the New Year’s Eve. I was thrilled to know that my first performance as UNB was going to be on a big stage with a crowd capacity of at least 200 people, as I could see during my sound check. But at the time of my performance, there were only three people cheering me on. ’

Most of his songs are a reflection of his experiences. Call me Indian has a strong message on racism and nationality. ‘I keep three things in mind before I write a song – how to write? what to write? and when to write? It is very important to know these. Besides that, you should feel what you write and write what you feel.’

Keeping faith in karma, he wants to continue learning and mould his craft. ‘Nobody knows about the future. All I know is that I am going to keep making music.’

By Mrinal Paul

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