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Thursday, July 11, 2024

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Riar Saab’s latest Punjabi hip-hop track ‘Obsessed’ gets the nation grooving


Riar Saab on Punjabi hip-hop path
| Photo Credit: Special arrangement

‘Obsessed’ was a banger right from the time Riar Saab dropped it last month. Now, he has no respite from it, as enthusiastic crowds repeatedly request him to perform Gaddiyan Ucchiyan Rakhiyaan on his stage shows. The 23-year-old is more than happy to oblige. The recently-released Punjabi hip-hop number got a boost from actor Vicky Kaushal’s cool moves to the song that went viral. So popular is the track that even the Bollywood actor gets requests to perform this song during his own film promotions.

”Vicky paaji has a cult-like following and his love for the song meant a lot to me. His fans enjoyed the music and got it to where it is today,” admits Riar.

Tarun Singh Surjeet Riyar aka Riar Saab is currently on The Obsessed Tour that began in Dubai on June 17 and went across several Indian cities.

Speaking to us during his Hyderabad leg of the tour, Riar says the Obsessed Tour so far has been a ‘crazy experience’. “Every city has shown massive love. Hyderabad’s energy is truly incredible, they know their Punjabi music,” he says and promises similar excitement in Chennai and other cities. “Music breaks all barriers and language is a very small one. I make music in Punjabi and have been playing an all-original set during my shows.”

Riar’s music reflects his upbringing on the farms of rural Punjab as well as the urban streets of Mumbai. He started to perform as a member of a hip-hop quartet Aavrutti, which signed under Divine’s Gully Gang and became a part of tracks like ‘GG Cypher 1’, ‘GG Cypher 2’ and Divine’s debut album Kohinoor with verses on ‘Vibe Hai’. The crew went on to drop their debut album Naya Zamana which was cross promoted by Mass Appeal India and Gully Gang.

A trained singer in Punjabi folk, Riar experimented with his native sounds and carved a unique sonic rapping blending modern and traditional singing. As a solo artiste, he came out with ‘Area 06’ followed by ‘Obsessed’.

Obsessive note

About the process of making ‘Obsessed’ that he co-sang with singer-songwriter Abhijay Sharma, Riar says, “Abhijay and I were in the studio together and we wanted to create something that fuses Punjabi and Hindi. Abhijay crafted a fire beat in the session and we just composed the melodies together.”

Revelling in the success of the track, the singer says, “Every artiste makes music for people to enjoy and understand their vibe. I am just glad I could do it at the scale that I have achieved. There’s no feeling like seeing people vibe to the music that you created in a studio.”

Riar used to sing at family functions while growing up, before being introduced to hip-hop in college. “I think music just happened to me. Both my family heritage and my friends who I hung out with during school/college happened to be deep into music which influenced me a lot.”

Riar says that Punjabi music is too diverse to be boxed into one genre. “As an artiste, I experiment with multiple genres but my songwriting remains in Punjabi and it always will.”

Riar will perform in Chennai on August 5 at The Flying Elephant. Tickets on Paytm Insider.

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