2016 was an interesting year. i got to do a lot of cool stuff. some tv, some ads and some independent music.
in February ’16 i released Azadi which got a lot of attention from all around India. it didn’t get any support from National Radio channels but made its way to BBC Radio UK. surprisingly, it got big in a very short time. i received a lot of calls from journalists wanting to know my ‘intention’ behind making that track. some thought i was supporting Kanhaiya, some called me #AfzalPremi on social media. some really influential people from a certain political party started following me thinking that i support them. i think i confused a lot of people with that release including some of my die hard India-loving friends.
it felt great to meet some new people on social media who understood what i was doing and supported me through my post-release silence while some illogical humans were trying to paint me anti-national the way they paint every other person who speaks for freedom these days.
some of them thought i made a controversial song. well, i can’t do much if someone enters the cinema halfway through the movie to judge the filmmaker’s vision.
my entire effort really was to document something important. something that every second artist should do and has been doing for ages. i picked freedom as my subject because it caught my attention. someone who knows acting, makes a play about it. someone who talks well, goes to the radio or podcasts. someone who paints well, makes a painting. i am into music so i made a song about it.
it makes me sad to see where my country is heading as far as freedom is concerned, but i see that the song only becomes stronger as it gets worse.
no artist would want you to forget about their song but i hope we enjoy ‘true freedom’ someday and forget about this song. then maybe clean the dust off this track and play it to remember that one time in 2016 when we went through shit.
people don’t want to talk about ‘freedom’ properly because it is very convenient not to. even though most of them know how big this problem is but choose to stay lazy when it comes to expressing themselves. we need to talk about freedom as much as we can. we need to wake the lazy ones up. this isn’t the time to do what’s easy, it is the time to do what is needed.
amidst all this, i believe we as artists have a role to play. we should make content that helps amplify the reality so people cannot ignore it anymore.
one good thing about 2016, i didn’t have to do anything other than music to buy food. thank you all for your great support.
happy new year to all of you.