AFKAP releases his debut EP and it's layered and emotive

As hip-hop artiste AFKAP AKA Panini Pandey releases his debut EP — 'Parat', we chat with him to dive deep into his musical processes and opinions

Music helps translate emotions. A notion that rapper-songwriter AFKAP AKA Panini Pandey adheres to strictly. This is also reflected in the recently released debut EP called Parat. The self-reflective nature and the various peelable layers of the songs have become a talking point for indie music lovers.

Our chat with the talented artiste reveals the various layers and themes that have been explored in Parat. In our conversation with AFKAP, he compares songs from the EP with the concept of letters, what the common element among all the songs is, and much more.

Tell us about the inspirations behind your debut EP, Parat.
Musically, I’m inspired by a lot of sounds although of no particular genre. It’s a confessional EP, the content was inspired by my experiences and my urge to articulate them in a certain way. There’s mixed inspiration from both East and West. I can’t pinpoint particular artistes, but I listen to Bollywood, Sufi, rap, rock, indie, etc. It’s just a cocktail of everything I absorb with my personal touch to it.

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How would you describe your music to first-time listeners?
It’s very authentic, it’s sincere and I feel like I want to be heard so I try to make my music speak to the listener. Sonically, I try to disrupt — I like to believe it’s fresh without being forced to sound fresh. I think it’s delicate and adventurous at the same time.

Do you feel that music helps listeners express some emotions that we otherwise find hard to express? Absolutely! To me my music is like letters to my loved ones to let them know who I am because I’ll probably communicate it directly… and in this effort, if I can gather an audience then it means everybody has something they want to say but cannot.

Do you feel good songwriting can only be achieved with the utmost truth and honesty about writers’ experiences?
I think everyone is capable of being creative, which means everyone can imagine. Good music in my vocabulary is something that shuts down the noise in my brain and brings me close to the present and reminds me that I’m experiencing and I’m alive. It also reminds me of the pain or happiness I’m glad to be experiencing.

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How were you able to converge so many themes or layers, as you call them, into an EP? What seemed to be the common factors among these?
I think we are all complex, I just decided to talk about the complexity. The common theme is — feeling alone, feeling suppressed, feeling some sort of a void… just sombre chaos… but it’s life and it’s a phase and the acknowledgement of this fact is the other common theme.

No two songs on your EP sound the same. How important is experimenting for you?
If I’m not having fun listening to my music then it’s not worth putting out. I enjoy the music I curate so I just decided that now my standard of creation must match with my standard of curation… or aim to match that and it’s how the EP came together. It wasn’t planned to be this way. I just tried my best to give a sound that I would like to listen to in my own time.

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