Mirroring The Present With Yuvraj Mehra's Superpower 2020
Attesting to the common interests that the Gen-Z and millennials share with each other, music takes precedence over any other entity that might come to one’s mind. Being a vital, creative form of verbal and instrumental expression, many Indian artists have delved into using the medium to communicate with the masses. Adding to the immersive talent pool in the country is another young artist, Yuvraj Mehra, a multi talented personality dabbling in the fields of singing, rapping and music production.
Hailing from the capital city, Mehra got in touch with music right in his childhood when he picked the stream as his extracurricular activity in school. Having been involved in the band scene in his early days, Mehra tells us that his preferences gravitate more towards rock and metal music. Coming to talk about the tracks he has released, the artist mentions that he started working towards actualizing his music when the pandemic struck and he returned home from the Netherlands.
Mehra’s first track, 'Year Of The Rat' is a rather intense and personal experience for the artist as well as the listeners. The track talks about all the issues that Mehra has had to face, right from anxiety, to PTSD and depression. The artist is also working towards delving deeper into these experiences through more tracks that’ll be added to the album. Mehra also regards Year Of The Rat as the medium of his culmination into his own.
Coming to the artist’s recent most creation, 'Superpower 2020' talks about 5 rather important societal issues that India has been seeing and suffering from in the recent past. Focusing on 5 grave events and issues that came with them, namely Islamophobia, Covid-19 Worker Migration, Caste Discrimination, The Farmer’s Protest and Marital Rape, the track encapsulates the various emotions that protestors and various victims of caste and race based discrimination have faced, and the many institutional maneuvers that enable such atrocities. The track has been produced by Mehra's peer Arpan Kumar and has been mastered by the hip-hop duo Shoals.
Like many other protest songs out there, Superpower 2020 is power packed with various energies and vehemence, but what sets the track apart from the league is the honest and organic treatment that has seeped in through the hard hitting lyrics and the inclusion of voice samples and news clips that bring forth the pain, anguish and intensity associated with the realtime impact of such events.
Aiming to talk about the mentality of the country, Mehra mentions that he has been working on the lines and the instrumentalization for the last few months now. Having written all the verses rather organically, Mehra mentions the making process behind all of them is observational. The verse about casteism came into existence in the form of simple notes that the artist drew out while watching Article 15, an Indian feature film that talks about caste based discrimination that still takes place in the rural sects of the country.
The Punjabi verse that sheds light on the plight of our farmers came rather spontaneously. The artist has also incorporated the use of an alternate voice to denote a change in polarities, when the lyrics bend from the point of critiquing all things wrong to a man trying to justify marital rape, thus bringing to light the kind of regressive thinking a certain sect of the population still harbours.
Every creator has a different take on the concept of culture. When asked about his, Mehra says,