Versus Verses with Kainto
How did you start with rapping? What inspired you for the same?
I think a better way to answer this would be to tell you how I started with music. As someone who has always loved performing, I always gravitated towards art. I actively participated in singing, dancing, sketching, etc. I still vividly remember performing ‘Smack that’ by Akon when I was 12, in the school assembly. The entire school was silent while I was there on the stage passionately singing Akon’s masterpiece, not even knowing what those words meant. All this escalated to a whole new level once I came to Delhi for my college, joined the dramatics society, and started performing, acting and creating music, which involved writing songs in particular. While it started as something I had to do, it evolved to writing during the lectures by jotting down lyrics in my notebooks, albeit they were pretty trashy and then I was exposed to Delhi’s underground scene. That’s how it came about. I think the process was something that inspired me and it felt as if I had been doing this all along. One time I had to write a folk track. I sat down for 3 days, 8-10 hours a day, but I couldn’t come up with a single idea. Then suddenly, on the third night, it came to me, and the entire song took less than 10 minutes. Obviously, it has only been possible because of those 3 days and the time I put into it; and this is something I still believe in. Whenever I get an idea for a track I start thinking about it, I let it rest and then I wait for a beat to come to me and by piecing it together, the track comes into being.
What do you like to rap about? What does it mean to you?
What I started writing about is pretty much that every amateur starts with, “tu ye, mai ye , etc tere jaise bahut, meri league alag”, the tracks I have put out currently are just better versions of these, what you call braggadocious tracks. But the tracks I am working on currently and what I want my music to stand for is what I call mood music, tracks that suit a particular mood, a certain setting, or a certain incident. For example, there is a reason you prefer Arijit Singh over Siddhu Moosewala when you go through a heartbreak. That’s just the kind of music he works with, right? My acting background helps me here because it lets me put my emotions in my track so it could be felt by the listeners. Your favourite track is not just your favourite because of what was being said, it is your favourite track because of how it made you feel. That’s exactly what I am going for.
Who has helped you along the way? What keeps you going ?
Although I have just started, I definitely feel my songs are what keeps me going. Just being able to make music and put it out keeps me motivated. Also, when I play any of my tracks for my mom, and she enjoys it I can see her smile, how proud she is, and that’s one thing that I think is going to keep me going for the rest of my life . It’s a constant thing, you need to put in the work, and you have to love the process.
What are your future plans?
I have been working with my friends, Vibhu, who’s a producer and Vikram on their project “kalbaisakhi”. I have my own tracks which I have self-produced in the pipeline. I have a project planned for next year too but currently, I am focusing only on finishing tracks and will be putting them out as soon as possible on all the platforms. Talking about making a career out of it, right now my priority is to make music, hone the skill, learn as much as I can. Putting it out smartly, understanding the game and playing the game.
How difficult it is to take up an unconventional career path?
I don’t see it as unconventional. Like we are probably at a junction right now, more people are pursuing arts because of the opportunities being created in this space. But it’s nothing unique. If you think about it being unconventional, it’s just playing into the hands of the stereotypes that the society has created, and doing that would take down a lot of work done by people who came before me. If I could just say one thing, it would be that there is no such thing as something being conventional or unconventional, it’s just how you as an individual see it. It’s about what you want to do and feel strongly about. I know for a fact that we like to group similar things together, take the odd ones out but clearly, that’s not the case here.
Any message for the students?
I am no one to preach, so let’s call this a message for myself and anyone reading it is free to take it. You might think now is not the right time, so you keep waiting for that perfect moment. But believe me, you got to do it to now, without trying you won’t know if you have the ability to enter a room full of people and surprise them all. And in the end, the person who is the most surprised, turns out to be you. Because you never know if you have it in you, unless you try. So just do it and do more , learn more, collaborate more and put out more music. They say that nothing can be taught but everything can be learnt. So let no one tell you what you should be doing. Do what you like with all your heart. Be grateful to the people who help you.