HYDERABAD: Arecent entry into my playlist, ‘AstrA’ by Adusumalli Pramod Seshi Roy, aka AsurA is a socio-political rap album in Telugu that contains nine songs and five skits.
The album which has received over 19K listens across various platforms has an over-riding theme of social consciousness, and is targeted towards the youth.
AsurA, who is a member of the 14-member hip-hop and rap group ‘Nawab Gang’ from Hyderabad dropped this solo album on August 15.
Commenting on the release date, he states, “I wanted to celebrate independent music on Independence Day.” On the name of the album, Pramod shares: “AstrA means weapon in Sanskrit. For me, my pen is my weapon, which helps me liberate myself from the ‘society’s soch’ and allows me to do what I love.” He calls it a ‘Tolly-Hop album.
’ He says, “Tolly Hop is the genre that we accidentally created while fuzing hip-hop, reggae, and Tollywood music.” He adds, “My music is targeted towards 18 to 30-year-olds, and towards those who are interested in social and political topics. Within an hour of the album drop, I was flooded with messages from people saying they could so relate to it.” Pramod, 25, recounts that he was 13 when he first heard the hip-hop track Yeah by Usher Five years later while studying Engineering, he says, that he and Chaitanya aka Waker, started writing lyrics to instrumental tracks from artistes such as Rakim, 2pac, Snoop, and N.W.A. “I drew my inspiration from the legendary Ice Cube; his brutally honest opinions, political rap, bold lyrics, and attitude inspired me to talk about the problems that we face,” expresses he.
The self-taught rapper, music director, and lyricist is more comfortable writing in the Telugu language. “Well, I started as an English rapper, but then realised rappers use slang to keep the story going. As Telugu is my mothertongue, I emote better in this language,” says he. The young artiste’s goal is to “hustle and motivate,” and he hopes that one day he can sustain by just producing music. We ask him about his choice of a stage name, AsurA. Pramod comments: “Since everyone is becoming a hero doing evil things these days, I want to be a villain doing good things.”
BATHUKUDAMA FROM ASTRA
(translated into English)
- Raithu ku panikirani sarkaru endhuku
- Bathaku-teruvu nerpaleni patashalalu endhuku?
- Prema unna chota nuv moham vetheke enduku?
- Inni telise adege nuv aathma hatyalu enduku?
- Why do we need governments which can’t help farmers?
- Why do we need schools which can’t teach living?
- Why do you search for lust where there is love?
- You are aware of all this yet you ask why people commit suicide?
— Tamanna S Mehdi tamanna@newindianexpress. com @tamannamehdi