Rapper Tina Ghoshal talks about her experiments with dubstep & Bengali folk
We spoke to her to find out what's keeping her from venturing into the commercial industry.
It’s been a while that Kolkata based musician Tina Ghoshal set out on her unconventional journey with the hope of opening up musical horizons in her mother tongue- Bengali . Having eventually found solace in the Bengal folk culture, she ventured out into the world of rap and is now trying to bring in other genres like dubstep to give the vast musical repertoire of Bengal, a global appeal. She has already addressed several social concerns of daily wage earners, child labourers and sexual harassment of street children through her originals, and now passionately working towards voicing her opinion regarding soil degradation. We speak to the gritty woman to learn more about how things have progressed in the post-pandemic era, and what’s keeping her from venturing into the commercial industry.
Tell us about the social concerns that are making you create music at the moment? Are there any genres that you are experimenting with?
My most recent original revolves around the global movement “Save Soil”, and is an attempt to contribute to the environmental awareness associated with it. I have already composed and shot the music video, and plan to release it in the first half of 2023. The past year has also pushed me towards experimentation with new genres like dubstep and merge it with Bengali folk music. This project is one-of-a-kind and helped me expand my horizon beyond rapping. I am rooting for this project and hope to release it soon on my YouTube channel.
Has the audience in Bengal grown more accepting towards Rap and other experimental genres in the past one year, post pandemic?
Unfortunately experimental genres are still quite unpopular amongst the crowd here. Even though rapping is becoming a popular practice in Mumbai, and down in the Southern states, the Bengali commercial industry is somewhat holding back from creating a space beyond what is working with the audience already. Despite having received immense appreciation digitally, and from platforms beyond Bengal it is still a task to establish Bengali rap as a genre here. I have received the opportunity to work in other languages but wanting to work with my mother tongue has kept me back from grabbing any opportunities elsewhere. I am planning to soon start working with other languages as well and collaborate with fellow rappers. However, I truly hope both the authorities and audience eventually make way for newer genres so as to make the sound-scape more diverse, and provide a platform to new artists.
What according to you is the reason behind this rigidity?
I think there are two factors involved here, one being favouritism and the other being sentiments. While the first factor is self- explanatory, the second factor makes people criticise whenever an artist tries to bring in influences from the past in their work. We often open up to experimentations in the west yet criticise similar things happening here. It is important to step beyond what we are comfortable with.
What else can we expect from you in the coming months?
I am working on two original compositions, both of which are quite unusual for my music style. One of them happens to be a soft romantic number while the other is a peppy one. A young, aspiring musician named Baban Majumder has helped me with the rhythm section and music arrangement for the same.