Tamil hip-hop legend Yogi B on returning with Natchatra and worth of tangible music in a streaming world

Tamil hip-hop legend Yogi B on returning with Natchatra and value of tangible music in a streaming world

With heat and an infectious smile, Yogi B, inarguably the pioneer of Tamil hip-hop, speaks about how excited he’s to carry out in Chennai. “There’s simply one thing about coming again to my motherland that makes it soulful and refreshing. Even whether it is nearly sitting with a pal and sipping chai.” This time, nonetheless, it appears like moving into a unique world, says Yogi. “Coming right here after the pandemic appears like a reset; to my life and the world as I do know it. Seeing how individuals are residing now, after surviving the pandemic, makes it really feel like a brand new world to me.”

This Thursday, Yogi is acting at Phoenix Marketcity, Chennai, together with Emcee Jesz and Dr Burn. Popularly referred to as Yogi B & Natchatra, the Malaysia-based ensemble is returning to carry out in Tamil Nadu after virtually 15 years, and Yogi says that it was the music consumption traits in the course of the pandemic that gave them the push to do that. “There’s a demand amongst followers to see artists they grew up with; it’s a retro wave that’s occurring everywhere in the world.

Emcee Jesz, Yogi B, and Dr. Burn, collectively called as ‘Yogi B & Natchatra’

Emcee Jesz, Yogi B, and Dr. Burn, collectively referred to as as ‘Yogi B & Natchatra’
| Picture Credit score:
Particular Association

“In the course of the pandemic, when there was silence throughout, folks thought ‘ mavane, what is efficacious in life? Which music stored us going and captured these useful moments?’ And there got here a worth in wanting again. We, Yogi B & Natchatra, are fortunate to nonetheless have a spot within the hearts of individuals.” There’s one more reason for the live performance as properly, one that’s near Yogi. The artist rightfully wears it on his sleeve — and on his T-shirt with ‘Authentic’ written on block letters — that he’s referred to as the godfather of Tamil hip-hop. “That comes with a whole lot of weight to hold. A creative duty. Tamil is as large as a galaxy and hip-hop is an unlimited artwork type. So bringing them collectively for a fusion is one thing complicated and I wish to ensure that there’s a steadiness.”

Emcee Jesz: For a full-time artist like myself, the pandemic was a calamity like nothing else. It took away quite a bit from me, pushed me into despair, and a whole lot of buddies from Chennai requested me to return right here. However I made a decision that if I come again, it ought to be with a bang. The love that the followers showered on us in the course of the pandemic reunited Yogi B & Natchatra., and that is us returning that love.

Dr. Burn: This new technology hasn’t witnessed Tamil hip-hop like us. Vallavan got here out virtually 17 years in the past. Since then, the understanding of hip-hop has modified, as has music tastes, and so, it’s necessary to inform this new crop of audiences what we’re all about. That’s difficult, and thrilling.

In his 30-year-long profession now, Yogi has seen the recognition curve of rap music develop exponentially. “The turbo enhance in expertise and the life-style of individuals merged, and it has made everybody a content material creator; there’s a tsunami of content material on the market and this has given a whole lot of alternatives to rap music skills.” The expansion of music streaming, nonetheless, has birthed a brand new argument that has divided music lovers — that the lack of tangibility has diminished possession of music amongst listeners. Gone is the technology that carried music cassettes or music gamers with painstakingly-curated tracks on 100MB SD playing cards; the curve of the Vinyl-cassettes-music system turned in direction of one thing intangible. Yogi says he stands with these arguments and that this is because of commercialization with out understanding the cultural values of the commerce.

“When socio-cultural values are disregarded throughout commercialisation, it turns into plasticky. While you bodily personal music, there’s a realness to it; however a stream is an illusionary factor, one thing akin to a wave. The tangibility of music is one thing that key gamers of the trade aren’t bothered about as a result of they don’t have a cultural centre of their organisations.” If these firms do worth these cultural points, Yogi says, they might provide each streaming and bodily merchandise. He additionally factors to a discrepancy amongst generations of music customers. “There’s a giant technology hole in music consumption as a result of we don’t have good documentation or insights into this tradition, particularly in India. We’ve got viral icons, however not many socio-cultural music icons. No one taught the youth what the very best decision of music listening is and why streaming can not provide what CDs can.”

Technological developments can’t be blamed altogether. Yogi cites examples of how america, a rustic synonymous with technological development, nonetheless has Vinyl gross sales. “An artist like Adele offered thousands and thousands of CDs up to now few years. The demography of her viewers is usually ladies over 30s, and most of them go to this explicit grocery store the place a giant stall of Adele’s CDs is put in. As soon as they begin shopping for, they begin realising the worth within the tangibility of music.”

Yogi B

Yogi B
| Picture Credit score:
Particular Association

Being a musician who has all the time juggled indie and movie music effortlessly, Yogi is blissful to see the 2 faculties intersect and discover mutual respect. “Folks now perceive what indie music is. After I began, I needed to repeatedly clarify that to folks. The youth are extra conscious now, and I’ve been ready for this ‘woke technology’ that likes to really feel with their coronary heart, assume with their thoughts, and never take standard concepts with out questioning them.”

The Katravai Patravai-rapper additionally stresses the significance of social activism in rap, and he roots for the rise of artists like Arivu, OfRo, and Da-Lit boy. In reality, he’s even important of his personal repertoire for not having extra social activism. “These artists are much-needed for the tradition of the shape as a result of it’s all about high quality and preventing in opposition to injustice. I sit down and hearken to them as a result of they converse of a world, and struggling, that I won’t know of.”

Tracks set to be carried out by Yogi B & Natchatra on the occasion: Hip Hop Period, Mov Dat, Iru Mugan Settai, Dangerous Boy, Naduvan, Engeyum Eppothum, Vaazhkai Oru Porkalam, Thani Vazhi, Indian Women, and Madai Thiranthu

Yogi now hopes to place out new music. Not having sufficient new music can also be why Yogi will get bored with the tag — ‘the Madai Thiranthu singer’ — that looms giant over his head. Madai Thiranthu, which featured in Yogi B & Natchatra’s debut album Vallavan, was their breakout monitor, and like is the case with artists who discover large success early on, Yogi has been preventing to return out of his personal shadow. “I do agree that it will get tiring. I don’t blame the followers, however I’m attempting my greatest to interrupt it.” And his upcoming album Manthrahood is an try to try this. “This 12 months, I’m positively releasing a single. This new album can be an enormous leap from Vallavan.” Yogi, nonetheless, isn’t focussing on movie music for now. “In the case of movie music, I’ve a couple of phrases and circumstances: I received’t do any songs that glorify violence, alcoholism, or something adverse. Naan uthaman nu solla varala (‘I don’t declare to be an important individual’), however I’m an impartial artist, and if I say one thing adverse, it could possibly change into a mantra of types.”

Catch Yogi B & Natchatra stay at Phoenix Marketcity, Chennai, on January 26 from 6.30 pm onwards