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    As his new song nears release, the versatile rapper talks about the future, balancing projects, and staying personal.

    TWO years after he rapped alongside Anirudh Ravichander in Kaaki Sattai’s song, Shake That, Vignesh Shivanand is back in action again. The 26-year-old independent rapper from Bengaluru, who performs under the moniker Brodha V, is currently shooting the music video of his next. One of the country’s best rappers, he has been teasing fans for quite a while now—with micro audios from the new song (one of them features freestyle rap with tabla beats in the background) and selfies from his studio. Well known for mixing devotional phrases and classical elements in his songs, he says, “It took me about a month to finish the song. It’s a fun and interesting piece and will be out this October. You can watch it on YouTube, other streaming services and TV. I will also commence my country-wide tour, after its release.”

    Fusion forward
    Making it easy listening even for those into classical or pop, Shivanand uses realistically-themed lyrics and experimental fusion, borrowing elements from traditional music. “My next song is a mix of South Indian folk and hip hop. It’s one of the many fusions I wish to keep trying, be it African, European or Chinese,” he says, adding, “The lyrics talk about having faith in one’s abilities, fighting the odds and standing up against mainstream ideas of success and stardom. It is, in fact, a song for the underdogs.”

    High notes
    Shivanand’s moment in the spotlight began with the music he had produced with the hip-hop group Machas With Attitude (MWA). They split three years ago, but not before having participated in front of the who’s who of Bollywood music, at Times Music’s Supastars in 2010 and, three years later, winning the Best Hip Hop Track award for Indian Flava, at the Radio City Freedom Awards.
    So far, the rapper has had a year-long deal with Sony Music (producing singles like Aigiri Nandini), contributed songs for movies like Mujhse Fraandship Karoge and Chennai Express, and has drawn significant commercial attention with his collaboration with Benny Dayal (music video, Round Round) earlier this year. With his new song, he is back to his solo act. “I wanted to do something hardcore, yet personal. I wanted to return to my roots,” he says. He quickly assures that he is still open to collaborations, even if they are for mainstream music. “I’d love to collaborate and produce music for artists commercially. But I’d do that only on my terms,” he concludes.
    On Twitter @BrodhaV.  Details: facebook.com/BrodhaV

    —Karan Pillai

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