Interview: Homegrown Rapper Vikyath Talks About Latest Track ‘Jaanch Lo’, Music Community In The UAE And Desi Rap Scene

A fresh wave of rappers are emerging in the UAE thanks to social media networking it easier for artists to gain recognition. Vikyath Poojary, a UAE-bred rapper and part of the desi rap crew, Trikon and Shilla050, is one of the many independent artists who rose to popularity through the internet and his group’s latest track, ‘Jaanch Lo,’ racked up a whopping 83,000 views on YouTube!

We recently caught up with Vikyath to talk through the making of ‘Jaanch Lo,’ its soaring success on the internet, his rap groups Trikon and Shilla050, the UAE’s music community and the Desi rap scene.

Hi Vikyath! Congratulations on ‘Jaanch Lo!’ How does it feel to have your music video racking up 80,000+ views on YouTube?

Thank you so much, it feels absolutely amazing. We have been working very hard to get here and hope to reach that 100k mark soon.

Talk us through creating ‘Jaanch Lo’s lyrics and the composition

The three of us met at an event we were working at for about 15 days and we instantly bonded through rap. Brahma (Pratik) had a melody and hook in his mind which he shared with us during our bus ride to and from the event. We worked on our verses individually and decided to make it an introductory track as it was our first as a trio. We then met DJ Rahul through mutual friends who produced the beat for us. As we had no access to a studio Nabeel and I recorded our vocals at my friend Ayush’s house and Pratik sent his part from India and that’s how the song was created.

Jaanch Lo Rap Scene Dubai UAE community Vikyath Poojary Zee Music Company Shilla050

The music video was quite a flamboyant one. Who is the brains behind the production?

We were confident we had a pretty tight track-ready, now the next step was to complement it with the perfect music video. I decided to get in touch with Mufaz, another friend who was my senior at Manipal University Dubai. I knew he had a lot of experience as he has already worked on music videos for various artists in the industry and has his own production company called M3entertainment. My Friends Allan David & Steve Abraham were kind enough to assist him and that formed a dream team. Now the challenge was Pratik being in India and us here. After a lot of back and forth, we decided to finally fly Pratik to Dubai specifically for the shoot and then we left the rest to Mufaz and his magic.

How did you reach out to the Zee Music Company to release your music?

Zee Music was Brahma’s blessing to us as he invited me to a party in Mangalore and introduced me to a friend who works for Zee Music Company. We pitched our song to him and he loved it and asked us to make an interesting and quality video. If they liked it they would release it for us on their YouTube Channel which was an amazing opportunity, so rest assured we wanted to put our best foot forward.

Tell us about your rap group and for how long have you all been making music

Through the release of my first single, I was contacted by many local artists here, so we decided to form a crew called Shilla050. We are 7 members together in this crew (Solo, R3P, Badri, Vardhaman, Inzen & Nabeel) and have been together for almost a year now. Apart from that Trikon is another rap trio I am a part of which is Nabeel, Brahma and myself. Individually we all have been writing and making music for a while now but as a crew its been a year.

What’s your take on the desi music scene in the UAE?

Desi music scene here is heavily dependent on commercial music that comes from Bollywood movies. There is barely a following for our type of music hence it’s a challenge to build something from scratch. We have had desi rap crews who have been rapping way before us but not able to penetrate the mainstream audience as such. Us entering the scene has definitely brought more attention to the underground independent music scene. It’s not completely out there yet but it’s a start.

Which rappers and musicians do you take inspiration from?

Some of my favourites include Kendrick Lamar, J Cole, Childish Gambino, Kota the Friend and Seedhe Maut in the rap scene but overall when it comes to music I am very inspired by Jim Morrison, Bob Marley, System of a Down & Alt J.

2019 saw a lot of indie desi rappers gaining traction thanks to ‘Gully Boy’ Do you believe there’s a need for more films and shows on the rap community in the region?

Yes, Gully Boy has definitely given a lot of traction to the community and now like other art forms in India people want to try rapping too. Movies and reality shows too like MTV Hustle are always a great way to help people understand more about rap culture and its roots.

The rap scene in the Middle East is still in its ground roots. What do you suggest as a roadmap for aspiring rappers in the Gulf?

Yes, the audience here is super hard to crack and we need to understand that the Desi crowd is mostly working-class who are very picky with what they want to spend the little free time they get on. The key is to keep putting music out there and let people know that you are representing the UAE. One of the best ways to build a solid scene here is unity of artists, everyone helping, sharing and supporting each other so we all get there together. Competition will just result in more locked doors, collaboration is key.

We’re sure you’re keeping up with the feud between Emiway Bantai versus Divine. Whose side are you on?

I am not really a fan of diss tracks but it is a vital part of the culture and definitely better to express yourself through art rather than physical actions. In this case, I would say I am more leaning towards Divine maybe because I enjoy his work. 

Check out Trikon’s latest mixtape!

Hot on the heels off the success of ‘Jaanch Lo,’ Trikon recently dropped a fresh mixtape with vocals and videos created entirely on smartphone! Check it out now:

To keep up with Vikyath, Shilla050 and Trikon’s latest music, follow them through Instagram.

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