Musician Darwin Dev blends old-school rap with Indian music
In its nascent stages, rap music was known as the voice of disenfranchised youth.
As the style trickled down into the mainstream and diverged into subgenres, some of it has become mere syllabic squabble; even in India where it became popular in the 2000s.
The releases from this UAE-based artiste with roots in Mavelikara, however, announce winds of change.
“People think that fast rapping makes a good artist. For me, it’s more about content, lyricism, delivery, and to use the words to convey your personal experiences to people,” says Darwin Dev, whose recently released single The Indian Struggle, addresses various issues such as corruption, was featured by Delhi-based counter-culture media platform Sbcltr.
An aeronautical engineer turned rapper, Darwin fine-tuned his art after he met music student and multi-instrumentalist Netherlands-based Elz Bowe at Kingston University, London.
From converting their apartment into a studio to producing music together after Darwin quit his job in 2015, the duo goes way back in time.
“We blend Indian music from across languages with old school rap. We’ve used instrumental sounds including those of flute and violin in our tracks,”, says the 30-year-old.
Also a certified football coach, Darwin decided to give music a chance and flew to India in 2015. Since then he’s collaborated with cinematographer Anson Titus and vocalists including Kochi-based Shirin Riyazuddin (for the track Aa Mere Paas) and Delhi-based Vassundhara Pandita.
Busy in the studio for a Punjabi influenced release in February, Darwin plans to increase his output and release a Malayalam tune for Mother’s Day next year.