Apna Time with Azadi
Just when every Indian was wondering about the current state of Indie music and artists in India, this Indian Indie label scored a home run. Azadi Records offers a platform for South Asian artists to release forward-thinking, politically conscious music. Founded by music entrepreneur Mo Joshi and journalist Uday Kapur in 2017, this record label debuted with delhi based rapper Prabh-deep only to have his album ‘Class-Sikh’ on several best-of-the year lists. In an attempt at putting together the story of the country through artists, Azadi Records has been following up a narrative that is quite different from that of the mainstream Media.
“Whether that’s through talking about songs that deal with politics, economics, discrimination [or] love, it has to represent a narrative from places or people we don’t usually hear from,” said Kapur in a conversation with scroll.in.
It is safe to say that the label is seemingly a conscious representation of range of voices thats stays unrestricted by language and location. Focusing on revolutionary music, it has the Gully Gang under its umbrella striving to impact the society not just culturally but politically as well. A platform for artists to talk about issues rampant in the country, it represents Ahmer, who hails from Kashmir, raps about the violence and dirty politics that has plagued his state, Haryanvi duo Seedhe Maut and many more in a journey to exercise the freedom of speech effortlessly without being under the pressure of delivering numbers and making figures. To be able to get signed under Azadi, it is imperative to have a story behind what you’re putting out, for it will be sonically magnified to be heard and understood by listeners across the nation.
Standing apart from the mainstream record labels even in terms of what it has to offer to its signee, Azadi overs 50 percent royalty rate to its artists.
Bringing the Indian rap scene to a state of being more nuanced, personal, and empowering in the face of political and adversities, this record label has been successfully making people hear it all.
Well, this is only the beginning of what would seemingly become a massive underground music revolution in years to come.