Mehak Bandey/New Delhi
Kashmir-based rappers Humaira and MC Raa, whose duet 'Badalta Kashmir' is breaking the internet were driven by their passion to sing about what they see around them.
The rap song celebrating the positive changes in the Kashmir Valley after the abrogation of Article 370 touched 1 million viewers on day one and has been shared by leaders, celebrities and social media influencers from across the country.
Taking to Instagram, the Government of India also shared the song on their official page which they captioned, "The youth of Kashmir have spoken, that too through an energetic rap song! Listen to the song that encapsulates the emergence of #NayaKashmir."
Rapper MC Raa whose real name is Mohammad Rasik Ahmad Sheikh hails from Pirpora village of Shopian, south Kashmir. This 21-year-old rapper who is already a sensation on social media says, "This song tries to explain whatever developments are taking place in Kashmir. Scenes like the Smart City project, the success of G-20, etc inspired him.
A grab from the video of Badalta Kashmir
“I used to travel from Srinagar to Shopian and whatever development I saw on the way, I thought of making a rap on them."
Humairah Jan, 14, is from Margund, Kangan area of central Kashmir, and is an alumnus of the Army Goodwill School.
Speaking with Awaz-the Voice, MC Raa said, "When I was writing this song, it came to my mind that there should be a female artist in this song because now the biggest difference I have seen is that earlier girls were judged by their clothes, or how they carry themselves, but now that thing is no longer there. So I thought of keeping a female rapper with me."
Former India cricketer Suresh Raina also showered praises on the song and wrote on his X account, "This Kashmiri artist showcased pro-level rapping-- well done #JammuAndKashmir."
Union Minister of State for Electronics and Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar also shared the song and wrote, "Naye Bharat Ka Naya Kashmir. Young Indians are changing the landscape of #Kashmir!."
On the theme of the rap song, Humaira says, “I have heard from my grandparents that earlier Kashmir was not so developed, and it took a lot of time to travel from our place to Srinagar as the roads and bridges were not in good condition and today it takes only 30 to 40 minutes to reach Srinagar.”
“In my district (Ganderbal) the ongoing Zojila tunnel project and the Wail Bridge that is operational are some of the major connectivity-related developments that touch her life directly.
About her music journey, Humaira says, “When I was in Class II I was introduced to YoYo Honey Singh’s rap album Desi Kalakaar. I got hooked to it and started following hip hop artists and singing their songs.”
She didn’t take her newfound love for hip-hop music seriously. “I would sing without paying any thought to it.”
However, her life changed after she entered a rap competition in the Ganderbal district in August 2021. She was informed about it by her school authorities. Her parents too encouraged her to go to the competition.
Interestingly, Humaira was a body-double for Shahida, (Munni played by Hashaali Malhotra) in Salman Khan’s blockbuster movie Bajrangi Bhaijan.
She wanted to be an actor but there were no opportunities in Kashmir for her.
As her rap songs became popular on social media, Humaira collaborated with other artists. She says she dreams and hopes that one day she will be introduced to her ideal –Raftaar,
M C Raa’s several raps are already doing well on social media. He mostly focuses on the situation, the conditions of youth, and drug abuse.
M C Raa with Wajahat Farooq Bhat
“I started Rapping after listening to Raftaar’s Mera desi kalakar.. which was released in 2014. I wrote my first Rap in 2019.
M C Raa, who comes from a family with modest financial means, says he recorded his first song with a Rs 100 earphone with one earplug.
Soon his talent was spotted by Wajahat Farooq Bhat who heads the NGO Save Youth Save Future and he supported him.
M C Raa has won many awards like Young Achievers Award 2021. He made a song on the Indian Army Desh Ka Sipahi in 2021.
He is among a few persons from J&K and the second rapper from India (the first was Emiway Bantaii) to have spoken on Josh Talks.
Humaira said she never lets the opinions and remarks of others let her down.
An incredible rap by talented Kashmiri #Youth showcasing the positive #transformation and #Growth taking place in #Kashmir, #India.— India in Malaysia (@hcikl) December 6, 2023
Listen to the rap "Badalta Kashmir" (Transforming Kashmir) pic.twitter.com/6w8madP30q
“I love India with my heart and have put my emotions in this song. I am not an ideal or a sensation, but, I believe there should be no place for negativity.”
“Life happens only once and there should be no time for regrets,” Humaira summarises her philosophy of life.
The song Badata Kashmir is about the changes the rappers see around them and the aspirations of the youth of Kashmir.
It speaks of the G20 meetings, the unity of Kashmiri Pandits and Kashmiri Muslims, gender equality, equality of people guaranteed by the constitution of India, the success of girls, the end of terrorism, etc,