Adding their own twists to every innovation in the sector, the varying Indian advertising formats have never failed to amaze us. The buzzing trend that has hit the ad world most recently is undoubtedly the rap culture. From Puma India to Tata Sky, some of the most popular brands have gone an extra mile, taking up the rap route to stand out amidst the competition.
But what if you are at the dawn of your venture and are unable to get Divine or Eminem to rap for you? Well, Shuja Hasan, founder of Brand Raps, has the perfect solution.
In an exclusive interview with TSW, Shuja Hasan laid bare his motivations behind pursuing rap as a full time career and the turbulent yet inspiring journey behind it.
In the year 2015, Shuja was pursuing his bachelor’s degree in commerce. Along with B.Com, he was also pursuing a career in CA. However, he failed to clear IPCC in three attempts, one of the hardest and most competitive exams in the country. As a result, he decided to move forward and start afresh.
The fresh start came with the launch a real estate auction startup along with some friends, which unfortunately failed to take off as well. As a side hustle to keep the lights burning, he started conducting workshops and classes for CS. All this while, his passion for scripting rap songs remained limited to the pages of his notebooks.
Beginning the journey towards Rap
His journey as a rapper started when he began sharing his written raps on social media. Impressed with his writing, friends and followers alike urged him to make videos and record all his raps.
I shared one or two videos and received an incredibly positive feedback. After that, I decided to take this up full-time.
He officially made his debut in the corporate world with a rap for ArGo: a startup working on decentralized hosting for websites on the block-chain. The company hired Shuja for his skills and purchased his rap which was used for marketing and promotional activities.
Creating Viral Videos in the world of Startups
Youtube music played a significant role in the early months as beats would be played in the background and Shuja read the lyrics from his copy. The confidence though was lacking both in his pen as well as his videos. He was hesitant to rap about topics that had the potential to create a backlash.
Initially when I used to share videos, each of them used to get comments suggesting names on which the next video should be made but I lacked confidence.shares Shuja
However, after receiving positive responses from people who came across his craft, he mustered up his courage and started making videos on trending topics in the world of startups and corporates.
From relatable raps about beloved companies like Zomato, Lenskart.com and Dunzo to raps dedicated to some of the biggest statemen in the ecosystem such as Ankur Warikoo, Nithin Kamath and Nikhil Kamath, he has blurred the line between the corporate world and music to create a truly compelling art-form.
From scripting for zomato with,
Maggi ke 2 packet par dimag pe shaahi kofte
Delight Ka chicken burger aur Al-baiq Ka special roasted
To tuning in for lenskart with,
Ankhon mein sapne haan aur sapno mein aag wohi
Nazar se nazariye kaa fasla bacha kuch khaas nahi
Shuja has maintained his steady wordplay in the native language adding an Indianness to an altogether Western genre. Furthermore, mixing the world of corporates and the world of rapping has created a unique blend of relatable content and music that captivates the audience.
Influences and Evolution
Eminem being one of his greatest influences, Shuja initially used to write and listen to English rap. American rapper NF, is also someone Shuja looks up to especially when it comes to flow patterns and the delivery.
However, discovering underground Indian rap artists played a major role in the shift toward incorporating multiple languages, as he could visualize the immense possibilities multiple languages offer. Gradually he felt the urge to distort the traditional images associated with rap music and decided to take up Hindi as the primary medium for all his songs.
What the coming years hold
Shuja, though an ardent fan of corporate raps, is open to all kinds of opportunities. As of now, he is mostly focused on the lyrics to make each line relatable and hard hitting to the audience.
With the growing adoption of rap music in everyday life, Brand Raps and Shuja have managed to created an exciting blend of corporate rapping that is very effective as a marketing tool, specially for the younger audience.