Ashima Sharma, Keekli Reporter, 4th July, 2015, Shimla
USM has always been praised for their unbiased promotion of Himachal-based young and independent artists, ranging from rock to rap and folk. The second day of the Shimla Fest belonged to the genre which has recently reached its zenith, ‘Rap in India’. Rap and hip hop has become a rage among the youth in India. The proportion of rap artists even in small town like shimla has increased.
Today’s event began with a special performances by Armaan & Brothers and Surma Dohar who had come all the way from Calcutta to perform some incredibly unique qawaali and sufi songs. Then came the turn of the budding rap artists from G-Motives group — Ankush Bhardwaj, Pankaj Sharele, Sahil Chaudhary and DTDSR, who set the stage on fire with their groovy performances.
Talking to some of these artists, DTDSR, who sang some original rap compositions with sheer perfection said, “I am a very big fan of Eminem, I believe he is rap god in true sense. Rapping is very difficult and requires special set of skills especially when it comes to pronunciation of words, timing and clarity”.
Ankush Bhardwaj says, “Rap has become very popular form in recent years but opportunities to perform on stage, if one is a rap artists, are very less. It feels great to have gotten an opportunity to perform here today as it works as an encouragement to work even harder and do better each time we perform in front of an audience”.
Expressing his happiness Sahil Chaudhary says, “Only by performing live on stage, we can get an honest feedback from the audience which plays a very important role in improving our skills”.
The event concluded with Rock, Jazz and Himachali Folk performances by Mahadev Vibes, The Bodhisattwa and Trio Souls Reign. The original composition by Mahadev Vibes, Kathmandu, dedicated to the people of Nepal and their strong belief in Lord Shiva was a hit. The Trio Souls Reign made the audience swing to the tunes of Himachali Folk. One of its one kind Jazz band from Calcutta The Bodhisattwa played a few complex traditional jazz tunes, that brought back the memories of the classic jazz era.
Another attraction of Day Two was a photography exhibition by several local photographers from Shimla City, the prints were also available for sale. The young photographers who displayed their exceptional work included Kshitij Jassal, Abha Chauhan, Varun Chaudhary, Suvit Gupta, Shashwat Chadha, Rohan Kalia, Naveen Chandra, Lovepreet Singh, Gandharav Mehta and Anurag Pandit. Beautiful craft work by excelled craftsmen from West Bengal who belonged to Rural Craft Hubs of West Bengal was also displayed during the exhibition.