Breaking headlines isn’t new to Bengaluru-based Kannada rapper Karthik Sundar Gubbi, whose track – Amma – was recently featured on BBC Radio as its Song of the Week.
With his new track, this 26-year-old aims to do something rather special for the city he calls home. Karthik has crowdfunded his next song – Song for Bengaluru – and has raised over `1lakh so far.
“It was unbelievable. I started the crowdfunding page online on July 7, hoping to collect `1 lakh until August 14, but I reached my target amount 10 days prior to that. I then updated the target sum and have now collected over `1,26,000,” says Karthik who performs under his stage name – Gubbi.
He says the song will be his humorous take on the hostility against non-locals in the city and will also talk about those who fail to respect the city’s culture, despite being in the city for long.
“Such issues are common in a fast developing city like Bengaluru where hundreds of people are moving in every day. The city has given me and made me everything I am. Its my attempt to return the favour,” he says.
The song will be his way of expressing his love for the city, he says.
“This song is my way of giving back to the city after all that it has given me. Except for the traffic issue which all of us complain about, I am sure every Bengalurean will agree with me when I say, the city is damn good! I love the city. I love the people and how open minded they are. This will be a song for the people, funded by them for our city,” he explains.
Making a music video is expensive business, he says and being not associated with a record label brings its own share of struggles.
“I made Outta this World with my own money. Amma was co-produced by Yogesh K Srinivas from Rectangle studios. Making a music video is expensive! When the untitled song or Song for Bengaluru’s script was ready, I knew I couldn’t afford it. That is when my video team and I decided to crowdfund it. It was also a reality check for me, if all those likes and share on social media was real support or not,” he says.
In 2009, Gubbi broke into Kannada rapping with Mangaru, a song that he made with singer Abhijeet. So far the song has been downloaded over 3,000 times and stays a favourite among most of his listeners, he claims.
Ask him what pushed him to take up rapping in his mother tongue and he says, “Once when I was having a discussion about rap in regional languages with a composer I work with, he said rapping in Kannada would not sound ‘cool’. He was a Kannadiga too. This offended me. This thought stayed in my mind and that’s how the song Mungaru happened”.
Song for Bengaluru will showcase parts of the city and will also feature some of the locals who donated to fund expenses for the music video.
The independent artist however refuses to share any more details as to what the song or music video would look like, but probe him a bit more and he says, “Ah! I am so tempted to give you the details, but I suggest you wait for it. All I can tell you is it will have parts that most Bengalureans will relate to. The song can be expected by the end of October or beginning of November”.