When Utsaha Joshi aka Uniq Poet, donning an ‘Underdog’ t-shirt, came retired to conflict Asis Rana aka Laure astatine a Raw Barz lawsuit successful 2013, everyone was psyched.
There were astir 200 people, possibly adjacent more. This was the conflict everyone wanted to see: the underdog versus the pro.
And, it did not disappoint them. The rap conflict has been watched astir 16 cardinal times since it was released 7 years ago. Even Rana, who won that battle, looked impressed astatine however unfazed the past 19-year-old Joshi looked. It was evident that, similar his rapper alias, the dude (Joshi) was unique.
Fast-forward to now, Joshi has go a stalwart successful Nepal’s ever-growing hip-hop scene. He has released implicit 40 songs and is moving connected his debut album. But helium doesn’t privation to halt astatine that. He is determined to bash more.
Learning from Eminem, applying to ‘nep-hop’
Joshi got into hip-hop erstwhile helium was astir 16. But, the rapper successful him was awoken adjacent earlier that. Growing up successful a location with a poet, a young Joshi developed a emotion for writing. He regularly wrote poems and recited them astatine location and astatine school. But, his archetypal brushwood with rapping and hip-hop came acknowledgment to rap fable Eminem.
“I was browsing done MTV and stumbled upon Eminem’s Just Lose It,” helium says. “I was hooked. He was amazing. After watching that, I wanted to research much and possibly bash it myself too.”
He wanted to learn, but helium did not person thing to spell by. The rap country successful Nepal, which had made a mark acknowledgment to Girish and Pranil, DA 69 and others, was dormant successful 2010. So Joshi took to the net to larn techniques.
“I learnt a batch connected the internet. I was inspired by rappers similar 2pac, Biggie, Kendrik Lamar, J Cole and others,” helium says. “I was alert of Nepali rappers, but backmost then, their enactment did not truly entreaty to me.”
Learning from them, Joshi kept connected motivating himself to bash better. He kept connected posting videos connected a Facebook radical for rappers. Watching his video was Yama Buddha.
“I messaged him 1 day, telling him what I wanted to do. He was precise supportive and called maine to grounds a mix-tape astatine his studio,” says Joshi. “Soon after, helium shared however helium wanted to physique a assemblage for rappers truthful that it would beryllium casual for the aboriginal procreation and asked maine to travel to execute astatine Raw Barz.”
Joshi says Raw Barz has been immense not conscionable for him, but for ‘nep-hop’ successful general. He says it did 2 things: make a abstraction for caller rappers and springiness them the assemblage basal for the future.
“I deliberation everyone benefited from Raw Barz. The assemblage that me, Sacar oregon adjacent Laure get is acknowledgment to that platform,” helium says.
Tough equilibrium betwixt risks and returns
But, getting into rap successful a state similar Nepal wherever astir families are blimpish was (and is) not easy. Joshi soon learnt that.
When his rap conflict with Sacar was aired, idiosyncratic showed it to his mother. Watching her lad usage derogatory words upset her. His different household members were not pleased either. The concern got truthful retired of hand; Joshi had to inquire Yama Budhha to instrumentality the video down.
“He agreed. I deliberation the video was down for 2 to 3 weeks.”
Another situation helium had was to equilibrium his survey and his newfound passion. Growing up, Joshi was precise studious. Not wanting their kid to ruin his studies, his household ever told him to driblet rap and asked him to absorption connected his studies.
“Initially, they felt that this was conscionable a hobby. But, erstwhile they realised however invested I was, they got a spot agitated,” helium says. “I adjacent dropped retired of studying nationalist health. I felt I could bash better.”
In a bid to marque up, Joshi past near for Australia successful 2014 to prosecute an undergraduate grade successful exertion development.
Going to Australia, leaving rap behind, lone fuelled the occurrence successful his belly. He missed rapping. Having to negociate betwixt making a surviving and going to college, helium missed music.
“I realised however overmuch euphony meant to me,” helium says.
After 2 years, helium came back. At first, his parents were sceptical, but they agreed. He transferred his credits to Nepal and completed his bachelors. He adjacent went to Austria for an internship astatine an IT company.
“Balancing my studies and my passionateness has not been easy,” helium says. “There were times that I utilized to deliberation if I was making the close choice. Sometimes, I inactive do.”
But, helium has been getting a batch of emotion from his instrumentality base. Most of the videos helium has released person done well. Some songs person adjacent reached arsenic precocious arsenic 3.5 cardinal views.
One of the reasons for that is that his songs person large travel and bushed and are lyrically powerful. Unlike different rappers, his songs person a connection successful them. Some are truthful upbeat that you tin creation to them. Some are truthful articulate, it volition marque you think. And, that is what helium is trying to do.
“I don’t privation to bounds myself and bash conscionable 1 benignant of rap,” helium says. “I privation to bash antithetic things and propulsion boundaries.”
That is precisely what helium has been doing since helium started. He has worked with Albatross, Robin Tamang, Rohit Shakya among others. Recently, helium collaborated with 34 different rappers and did a rap cypher.
“I’ve ever learnt a batch doing these projects. It’s been large truthful far. But determination is much I privation to do,” helium says.
By more, helium says helium wants to larn the creation of accumulation and besides enactment connected his hooks. “I person immoderate flaws that I privation to enactment on. I’m ever unfastened to learning.”
Then, helium wants to amended the civilization of unity successful the Nepali hip-hop community.
“There is simply a ‘dis-culture’ prevalent successful the hip-hop country successful Nepal,” helium says. “Someone volition not similar thing and dis the other. But, I consciousness that bully successful a mode due to the fact that I consciousness hip-hop is precise ego-driven and sometimes we request that kick-up the backside.”
He believes that has pushed rappers to nutrient much songs and albums.
“If you look astatine the euphony manufacture successful Nepal, different genres aren’t producing arsenic galore albums arsenic america rappers. Yodda released a caller album, I’m releasing mine, and I deliberation Nasty’s coming up with a mates truthful I deliberation we’re evolving slowly.”
When asked if helium felt Nepal had originative freedom, helium says it does. But, helium is alert that erstwhile a contented scales up and reaches the mass, past things tin spell south.
“I deliberation we request to beryllium astute erstwhile releasing songs. If we privation to criticise the government, we request to bash it successful a subtle way. There is definite to beryllium friction betwixt america and them due to the fact that they person a batch much powerfulness than we do. This has happened adjacent successful the developed countries,” helium says.
He does accidental helium is simply a spot anxious astir what the aboriginal holds for hip-hop. He says that for hip-hop to scope the adjacent step, Nepali rappers mightiness person to motion up with an planetary grounds label.
“We are making a sanction internationally, particularly successful India. But, for america to scope the planetary level, a batch of enactment needs to beryllium enactment in.”
You tin pre-order his debut medium Kaalo here.