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Decoding Desi HIP-HOP: Kru172

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Calling their sound “desi reggaeton”, they made a smooth transition to commercial music. Kru172 is known for rapping to reggaeton beats with a dash of Punjabi folk and bhangra. Based in Chandigarh, India, the duo Navdeep “Nottotune” Singh, and Harsimran Jit Singh “Lucky” are brothers by blood.

The Hip-Hop duo officially started delivering music in 2007. Their tracks Dil Di Rani by Nottotune, and L.U.C.K.Y. by Lucky, both got great response from the audience.

As they began to develop their sound and started to have a deeper understanding of music, they began to include social messages in their songs. Over the years, Kru172 have been producing brilliant music for various artists across the globe.

Their next release Love Is Gone was about the love vanishing from the society, and people becoming materialistic. Kru172 artists have been collaborating with several other Underground MCs from India and Pakistan, including a major collaboration project named O.N.E.-The Album, which was an Underground Album with Roxy, a rap artist from Pakistan, with the aim of promoting peace and unity across the two nations, and bring the youth together through music. The duo produces, mixes, arranges and performs most of their music themselves. They have also been producing for various artists across the globe. That includes a single named “Talk My Way” & “Taking My Time” for Dee MC, a female rapper from Mumbai, Laurie Webb, Rita Rose (Pittsburgh, USA), Rdikulus (NY, USA), 2Shadez, Desi Beam, AD Singh, Tyson Sidhu, Sukhpal Channi and several others. In addition to that, Kru172 have been involved in directing music videos as well, making videos for several fellow artists apart from self-directing most of their music videos Kru172 always try to experiment with new topics and new sounds in music, while making sure to give out a positive message in their songs.

 

What’s the origin of your band’s name and how did you form your band?

Well, “Kru” is just “Crew” spelt differently. “172” happens to be the telephone code of Chandigarh, the city we are based in. We have been making music for the last 10 years, and we had so many common interests musically. Back in high school, both of us used to write music, and took part in Punjabi poetry competitions. We started off by trying to remix songs on virtual DJ when we bought our first computer, and we started rapping soon after. Both of us made our solo tracks. We are brothers, so it wasn’t long before we realized that we need to make a crew.

What inspired you to make music? What is the theme of your songs?

The fact that music can alter your mood, it can uplift the people, make them happy and positive. Well there are various themes, but in general we like to keep our music clean and positive. So we refrain from any drugs or alcohol references, as both of us are clean ourselves, and try to give out positive messages in our songs.

How has your music evolved since you first began playing music?

When we started recording, all we wanted to make was some hits, a song that would click, but as we grew as artists, our music became less commercial and more of music with good vibes, and lyrically solid. Because we grew as artists, we didn’t want to talk about the same things that we used to talk about when we started.

What has been your biggest challenge as a crew?

The biggest challenge has definitely been reaching out to the masses. I guess, this is one of the biggest challenges for every indie artist. Well, most of us have limited resources and finance. But there are several artists coming up with new songs every day. Then, it becomes hard to compete with labels or groups who have way more resources.

How do you see the approach of independent musicians in our country?

Yes, it is definitely growing. In the last 5 years, it has come a long way, especially when we talk about hip-hop. We have had a number of Indie artists go mainstream, but now that we are in the limelight and many people want to capitalize on it. All these big production houses and labels are trying to commercialize it to a large extent which is good for now, but not in the long run I guess.

Your biggest achievement?

One of the biggest moments in our career was definitely sharing the stage with Vishal Dadlani of Vishal-Shekhar duo during their gig in Chandigarh. We went to see them as we are huge fans of their music, turns out they had heard our music and they really liked it. So Vishal asked us if we wanted to come on stage with him for one of his songs, and we grabbed the opportunity.

Any upcoming project that you are working on?

Yes, we’re working on our album, which will have around 8-10 songs. After all these years we finally think that we can pull this off.So, the album is coming out later this year.

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