Published: 15th April 2020
#AageKiSoch: How upGrad's new anthem is here to inspire young Indians to upskill during lockdown
Bringing together a star-studded line-up of artists including Radhika Apte, Vikrant Massey, Aparshakti Khurana among other talents across different art forms, the song aims to inspire youth to upskill
In this time of panic, paranoia and uncertainty, where our lives are challenged, upGrad and Big Bang Music have come together and created what can aptly be called the upskill anthem of the nation. #AageKiSoch encourages the youth to spend this time at home productively and engage in activities that will upskill their existing knowledge base to prepare for the new world post the COVID-19 pandemic.
Written by reality show Dil Hai Hindustani 2 winner Akshay Dhawan, and composed by Shashwat Singh, whose melodies will be featured in AR Rahman's next movie 99 Songs, this never-seen-before collaboration also witnesses singer Jonita Gandhi rapping for the first time. The music video, made in three renditions, also consists of an ensemble star cast that includes Radhika Apte, Vikrant Massey, Naveen Polishetty, Anto Philip, Fatima Sana Sheikh, Shantanu Maheshwari, Rohit Raj, Aparshakti Khurana, Karan Tacker, Abish Mathew, Akansha Ranjan, Elnaaz Norouzi, and ‘Jordindian’ - Naser and Vineeth.
"The idea behind the song was to convey to the youth that there should be something to look forward to after all this is over. And so you should be productive in your own personal space, plan ahead, work on yourself and not sit idle. This is the time to create something and not waste it," says Shashwat, the composer.
Conceptualised by upGrad to drive the productive habit of learning from home during quarantine and produced by Big Bang Music and KWAN, the partners have joined forces to bring together this eclectic mix of pop culture icons across film, music, corporate, TV and comedy for the upskill anthem. The three renditions of the same song were conceptualised, written, shot and edited in all of 72 hours, being directed remotely on video calls. "Gaurav contacted us from Big Bang and they said they would need a melody for the verses Akshay had already written. And then we thought why don't we collaborate with a female singer and so Jonita came on board," says Shashwat, to which Akshay, the writer, adds, "Completing it in 72 hours was the beauty of the song. It can be called collaboration in its true sense and we used to be on the phone the entire time."
The writer and the composer also told us which lines in the rap song make the most sense to them or get them excited. "The hook lines - bahar nahi aage ki soch, ghar pe baith tu ab naya kuch khoj is what I like the most. It portrays the message we want to convey perfectly that don't worry about what is happening outside, it's our duty to stay home, maintain social distance and think of the future. And that's what catches my attention the most," quips Shashwat.
While Akshay's favourite lines are Kar tu kar tu ji chahe jo, bol tu corona ko tu side ho, shikh jo abhi tu taki bahar nikle haan banke tu 2.0 — Be productive and whenever you get out after this is over, you become a better version of yourself.
The duo also like the lines maan na maan tu hai Hanuman, which means that even if you don't believe in yourself, please know that you have the strength (like Hanuman) to get through this. The young musicians also added that this lockdown is a wonderful time for youngsters to work on their skills, work on themselves, to become better for the future and not let this be a pause but a fruitful time.
As a part of the campaign #AageKiSoch, influencers in the music video will tag their friends and urge them to "Bahar Nahi, Ab Tu #AageKiSoch" epitomising the future-forward thinking that, we need to do during the lockdown.
The idea is to create a chain of audience propagating the message of strictly staying at home and using this time to upskill oneself with upGrad's educational programmes in the areas of Data, Technology and Management. "While everyone is adapting to the new normal, it’s time, we are cautiously optimistic and look at the silver lining of the pandemic. With this upskill anthem, we want to encourage people to stay home and use the time meaningfully to enhance their skill set which otherwise would have parked in their to-do list. Preparedness for the coming economical storm is essential so that the youth and the working professionals can smoothly bounce back to their careers or make a new transition once we resume to our regular lives," concludes Mayank Kumar, Co-Founder and MD, upGrad.