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Meet the rapper taking the genre beyond hip-hop

San Francisco-based performance poet and rapper George Watsky has built on the strength of four studio albums, with introspective lyrics on everything from the meaning of life to the perils of fame. We caught up with him just before his three-gig tour of India to promote his latest album, All You Can Do.

 

Why tour here in India?1601AfterDarkAnchor1
My approach is not always to go to places where I already have a massive fan base, but to take the opportunity to see new countries. It’s also an investment for the future.

What can we expect on Friday?
Performing with my usual nine-person band wasn’t feasible as it is a long way to travel. But I will be playing with producer-DJ Mikos da Gawd. I’m taking the opportunity to do 25 minutes of spoken word, before moving on to a mix of all my albums and give audiences a broad sense of the things that I do and have done.

Social media and success.
The Internet allows people to bring themselves to the table and not fit into an existing mould. Now you can do exactly what you want to, and the audience finds you.

What next?
I’ll be staying here for a month, and hope to visit Kerala and Goa, although I’ve left my schedule pretty open. As soon as I get back, I’ll start working on a collection of essays, as my deadline from my editor at Penguin is March 1! I’d also like to start writing for a new album, but I want to travel before I begin, as I’ll only write if I have something different to say.

`400. January 16, 8 pm. At The Humming Tree, Indiranagar. Details: 9886618386

— Maegan Dobson Sippy

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