Published: 23rd July 2020
Odisha's very own Ustaad is shaking up the scene in Bhubaneswar for rap and hip-hop artistes. Here's how!
He pursued his Mechanical Engineering from Synergy Institute of Engineering and Technology, Dhenkanal. But life has got him to hip-hop and rapping and he is very happy with his choices
There is a proverb that goes, 'If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together'. This perfectly sums up the philosophy that Krishna Mistri stands by. This is why the 28-year-old has earned his stripes on the battlefield of rap — he has been helping upcoming rappers earn their own street cred too. No wonder he goes by the stage name Ustaad, the Urdu word for 'mentor or teacher'. Quite fitting, don't you think? This glowing description is not coming from just us, this comes straight from young rappers like MC ToR and Chota Ojha who have been under Ustaad's wing before taking solo flights of their own.
Krishna always knew that writing was his forte. A poem here, a short story there was the norm for him. But in the year 2010, things changed. "American rapper Eminem's Recovery album shook my world," says Bhubaneswar-based Krishna and the tremors that resulted from it continue to inspire him. He was helped along the way by Good Samaritans too, his friends and roommate encouraged him, taught him how to make and record songs. And though he started out as a Hindi rapper, he quickly switched to Odia and came out with his first song Jagi Utha. It conveyed the same message that he had learnt, to always remember one’s own motherland and mother tongue. And though he has released five to six songs since, it is his first song, which features a snippet of the great Biju Patnaik's speech as well, that remains our personal favourite.
Ustaad | (Pic: Krishna Mistri)
But what has this Sambalpur-born youngster done for the scene, you ask? Krishan has organised two cyphers that served as a melting pot for rappers, hip-hoppers, beatboxers and others who met and jammed. The first one was on the rooftop of Synchrocity Music School and the second near Janpath Road. It was the first cypher that led to the popular rap song Utkal Cypher. About 10-12 participants turned up, the figures might not seem as much but remember that the youngsters of the city are yet to take to this artform. Currently, he mentors youngsters and likes to think of himself as a Big Brother. "I tell them that my moral support and mentorship is always there," he says and continues, "Youngsters just want the limelight and think about nothing else, they want to get noticed. It's not wrong but I remind them to be mindful of who they are collaborating with and the steps they are taking to advance in their career."
Next up, Krishna, who is also the founder of Indie Hip-Hop Label and YouTube channel Urban Utkal, that he started two years ago, is planning to come out with merchandise! Think posters and T-shirts inspired by the hip-hop culture. Here's looking forward to it.
For more on him, check out instagram.com/__ustaad____/