Mu­sic Jour­nal­ist, Artist Man­ager, Co-founder Azadi Records

India Today - - COVER STORY -

There is a lot of un­fair stigma at­tached with the word azadi. The mere use of the word tends to de­monise all agen­das. Azadi Records, a Delhi-based in­de­pen­dent record la­bel, was founded in April 2017 and in­tends to nur­ture and sup­port artists from the over­looked and un­der-rep­re­sented parts of the South Asian so­ci­ety. When Chandigarh-based mu­sic pro­ducer Dub Sharma cre­ated a dub­step mix of the azadi chants from Kan­haiya Ku­mar’s speech at JNU, we knew what we wanted our la­bel to be.

Azadi Records rep­re­sents artistes such as Sun J, a hip hop mu­si­cian who grew up poor in a Delhi slum. His lyrics de­scribe the life and times of a so­cial seg­ment that most In­di­ans choose to ig­nore.

This la­bel is for the cul­tur­ally con­scious. Our phi­los­o­phy is to bring into lime­light artists that are ig­nored by main­stream me­dia. We in­tend to do that with pro­gres­sive and pow­er­ful lyrics. We are cre­ators of sto­ries, the ex­plor­ers of new sounds, new vi­su­als and new medi­ums that ini­ti­ate di­a­logue be­tween dif­fer­ent com­mu­ni­ties around the world.

We’re a priv­i­leged lot, so it’ll be un­fair if I still look for com­plete free­dom. In­stead, I would want to bring these same priv­i­leges, rights and op­por­tu­ni­ties to peo­ple who haven’t tasted it.

Pho­to­graph by M ZHAZO

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