Leading rap artistes from Kerala are featured at the fete streamed on the Foundation’s YouTube channel
Rap musicians from Kerala are going places. Kochi Music Foundation (KMF) has put together ‘Para’ (Say), a digital hip-hop music festival on its YouTube page.
“KMF was formed with the intention of promoting indie artistes through annual music festivals. But the pandemic didn’t let that happen. So we decided to go for a digital event,” says composer Bijibal, one of the founders of KMF.
He adds that hip-hop/rap is evolving as a movement in Kerala. “Music is synonymous with tune. But you can’t insist on that when you rap. That’s why we called it ‘Para’, as the artistes expressed their thoughts through verses. I was taken aback by the talent out there. To rap about a subject in rhyme and rhythm is not an easy task,” Bijibal says.
Actor-DJ Sekhar Menon and actor-musician Sreenath Bhasi were the curators. “We did some research before finalising the line-up. Working with these artistes has been a rewarding experience. They all are professionals and we just had to give the stage to them. There were solo as well as duets, which was decided by the artistes themselves,” says Sekhar. He adds that they could not feature all the rappers from the state because they were not sure how the show would pan out.
The line-up has MC Cooper, Vedan, Street Academics, Fejo, Blesslee, Aditi Nair (Rap Kid), Marthyan, Irfana Hameed, Manushyar, Neeraj Madhav (NJ), A.B.I, Indulekha Warrier and Vaishnavi Avees (Vivzy).
The videos were shot at a studio in Kalamassery near Kochi. Filmmaker Aashiq Abu was the show director. “We finished the shoot in a day adhering to COVID-19 protocols. It was like a live show and besides the artistes we had an invited audience to watch the event,” Bijibal says.
Check out the 11 videos of the festival on KMF’s YouTube page, Kochi Music Foundation.