Published: 10th February 2021
How this 25-year-old rapper from Hyderabad went on to win one of the most prestigious awards ever
Rapper Nio Endo was a hit from his very first song and now, he has earned his stripes by winning The India Film Project 50 Hour Music challenge. This is all about his journey of becoming a rapper...
When Nihal Bordoloi, better known by his rap name Nio Endo, won the Platinum Song of The Year for participating in and winning The India Film Project 50 Hour Music challenge, he couldn't believe it. Not only did he think of skipping the contest altogether, but his entry was late by an hour. Plus, during the virtual award ceremony, he had lost hope to the extent that he shut his laptop. Just to let you know, this is the first time The India Film Project conducted the 50 hour challenge in the music category, wherein, they ask an artist to finish a track in 50 hours flat. So it's certainly big because Nio's track Cyanide was selected from the 1,200 odd tracks submitted from over 214 cities. But the 25-year-old sees it as not only a big win for himself, as he started rapping only in 2019, but also for the rap scene in Hyderabad, which is a "bubble waiting to pop".
Nio | (Pic: Nio Endo)
Nio arrived with his very first track, Winning, released in May 2019. Born in Guwahati, migrated to the city of Hyderabad in 1999, this 25-year-old picked up music because of the encouragement from his own parents. It all started with the guitar and slowly, rap became his medium. He nailed writing as well, "though my spellings are still questionable," says the youngster jovially. Since then he has released several tracks, played at several hangouts and in a way, worked his way to this award. "The lyrics of Cyanide just flew out of me after a good nap. That's when I realised the importance of good sleep," he laughs as he shares and adds more seriously, "The song itself is about how things are so easy nowadays, we get a cab or bond with a girl with a swipe of our finger, the art of really approaching things, that's what we have lost."
And if his name still doesn't ring a bell, he is the rapper who gave Hyderabad the term Deccan Rap. "As an entrepreneur, I noticed how there is a brand image or label for every city. Gully for Mumbai, Delhi Hood for Delhi. We needed an umbrella term for all the English and Hindi rap coming from this city. One that we could search for and a playlist would pop up on Spotify," explains the rapper. And that's how this term originated and stuck. "Hyderabad has a beautiful flavour and thus, the tag distinguishes it," he asserts. And that's why he thinks the award means so much more for the city as a whole. "A Hyderabad artists' song will play on MTV India and this has definitely put us on the map, if we weren't already," he says.
Nio as a child with his parents | (Pic: Nio Endo)
Talking about the Hyderabad rapping scene, Nio says that rapping is competitive and that there might be spats here and there but they are a united front. What about his personal goals? "My maternal grandfather left home to join the army while my paternal grandmother was recently awarded by the Chief Minister. All my father asks me to be is a kind person and what my mother doesn't want me to be is mediocre and that's my aim," he says and signs off.