Published: 02nd April 2021
Why these former SFI activists in Kerala created a rap anthem asking the youth to vote for the Left
The song titled Urappu Pattu is created by an association of the left-leaning alumni of the Government College of Engineering Kannur
Politics is a topic that someone who is even minutely associated with Kerala cannot afford to ignore — at least until the Assembly Elections on April 6. However, there might be some who are living under a huge magmatic rock that has soundproofed all the sloganeering and the prime time news debates. The allies of the ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) have now come up with a way to get those millennials and the Gen Z kids (the ones above 18) to listen to them, get to the polling booth and vote for them. What, you may wonder.
EnLeap - GCEK, an association of the left-leaning alumni of the Government College of Engineering Kannur have come up with a rap anthem titled Urapou Pattu (Promise Song), asking the young people of Kerala to vote for the Pinarayi Vijayan-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) and bring them back to power in the state for another term. The song talks about the government's relief measures during the Okhi cyclone, the 2018 floods and the COVID-19 pandemic.
We spoke to Nidhin OC, who penned the lyrics of the anthem. A mechanical engineer in Qatar, he says, "We were thinking of ways to support the election campaign. The party (CPI (M)) is already doing much for the people's development. We thought of bringing a way to highlight this and at the same time, get the youth on board." That was when the idea of performing a rap came up. In the past few years, the Kerala society has seen the rise of a few popular rappers like Vedan, ThirumaLi and Fejo. "We thought this is the right platform to attract the youth," says Nidhin, who graduated from the college in 2007. The video was directed by Prasoon Kiran.
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EnLeap's is a team of 250 people and 15 of them took part in the production of the music video. All of them were SFI activists at some point. The video shoot, Nidhin says was done in almost three days. "Most parts were shot in Kannur, while we took the file footage from the floods," he says. While most parts of the production was done in Kerala, the mastering happened in the UK and the composing was done by Shabin MP, a musician from Bengaluru. Dabzee, a Kochi-based rapper was the one who rapped the entire anthem.
The song's video is devoid of any popularly known faces. Nidhin says that it was a conscious decision. "Our message is about the common man and we needed faces representing it. We feature a blacksmith, a toddy tapper and the people you see around you every day," he says. The song was unveiled officially by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday.