Guwahati-based band Rain in Sahara recently came out with a thought-provoking video ‘Black Water’ that became the talk of the town for using music to put the spotlight on a serious issue plaguing the society. We talk to the members to find out more about the band and their plans to use music to change the world, even if it is, a little at a time.
Tell us a little about how Rain in Sahara came to be.
Lain, originally from Spain, had been in India for a few years and wanted to combine his passion for conscious poetry with his music background to start a conscious hip-hop fusion outfit. Rocky Glock and Sikdar had been rapping in the Guwahati scene for quite some time and when we all met we instantly gelled sharing a passion to make music with a positive message. This vision to focus on issues surrounding us and writing in a way which could make a positive impact on our communities and societies has been a driving force behind Rain in Sahara from the outset.
How would you describe your sound?
That’s a really tricky question as we incorporate a lot of different genres into our music. We describe it as conscious hip-hop fusion but to understand what that really means you have to let your ears do the work. Our musical foundation is rooted in hip-hop which as a genre has an incredible lyrical ability to delve deeply into conscious and political issues. Rapping in Hindi and English, we bring our individual influences and style to our sound to fuse other genres with hip-hop.
Sikdar is inspired by rappers such as Tupac, Immortal Technique, and the band Rage Against the Machine, while Rocky is inspired by new school rappers such as Lil’ Wayne, Drake, and Machine Gun Kelly. Lain has a western classical music background but is inspired by a multitude of genres ranging from hip-hop to Latin music to EDM, and even punk rock. Throwing all our individual influences into our creative melting pot, we have a hip-hop foundation and elements of EDM, rock, Latin music, and even Indian and western classical music.
Tell us a little about your latest music video ‘Black Water’ and what message you want to share with the listeners through the song?
This was our debut music video and we had a blast making it, as we did the whole thing ourselves within our crew. We’re super lucky to have the amazingly talented Ankan Sunuwar [A.Void] rolling with us. Ankan and Lain directed, edited, shot and produced the video together. Since this was our first music video together and Lain’s first time working on a music video, it took us a bit of time to figure out the process to be able to properly execute the vision and messages we wanted to visually bring out from the music.
The inspiration for this track came from a polluted river in Guwahati. People call this river a drain and it breaks our hearts to see youngsters throwing trash in it and seeing the ecosystem getting destroyed. We took this as a starting point to look at issues surrounding water pollution to how that affects the food we grow and eat to the harmful effects air pollution can have on our bodies. Air pollution is a huge problem in our city especially for the youth who are suffering from asthma and we tried to bring forth these messages lyrically in the music and visually in the video.
We also tried to explore the deeper reasons behind these problems such as corruption, greed and structural problems in our economic system. While location scouting and shooting the video, we experienced the elements of the song we are trying to highlight on a personal level. For example, standing on a mountain of garbage in the landfill at Boragaon while a portion of it burns adding to air pollution is an experience etched into all our minds.
How has the response been?
We were quite unsure if people would vibe on our conscious hip-hop fusion since we have experimented with many different sounds but the response has been incredible! Since releasing the video not even a week ago, it has been an absolute whirlwind, from numerous radio interviews to performing on live television on several channels, free styling on live television with Bollywood singer Ash King, free styling with Mumbai based rapper Divine and performing at the Rongali festival in Guwahati. We are also performing at the Karbi Youth Festival in Diphu.
Do you want to talk about or spread awareness about more social issues through your songs in the future as well?
Absolutely! We actually just finished writing a track about child labour and human trafficking. We’re inspired by the things we see in our everyday lives from social injustice to climate change, to poverty and unprecedented levels of income equality. We’re all extremely concerned with the direction the world is currently heading in and there are many important topics we’re keen to write about in the future.
What can fans expect from you guys in 2017?
More music, videos and concerts for sure! We’ve almost finished writing our debut EP so we’re planning on releasing that at some point this year. We’re also developing our live set to include a full light and video experience, exploring some interesting collaborations and experimenting with some new musical fusions.
Thanks to everyone who has supported us so far on our musical journey!
Watch their debut music video here