HYDERABAD: In a world that is producing child prodigies by the minute, it’s almost no surprise that a 16-year-old shines while keeping up his musician identity. But does it make you pause when you find out that his recent work made it to three books of records?
Are you sitting up in your chair as you read that it was the result of 7,500 hours of labour with 12 artistes from across the world? Have you peeled your glasses off your face in disbelief that with lyrics in 14 languages, it tops the multilingual chart in a clean sweep? Well, meet Ankith Gupta.
The mammoth project was the result of a lofty goal of taking Indian music to the global audience and bringing the international counterparts back home, says the Hip-Hop artiste, a Class-12 student at Sishya in Chennai. Sifting through the list of artistes he wanted to work with, it seemed to make more sense to bring them all together for one collaborative piece.
Then, the theme of music having no language just presented itself. “Not everyone hearing the song would be a linguist to appreciate the 14 languages. I constructed the theme to make sure that the person will enjoy the song as a song and not for its languages,” he says.
The single, titled 7500, to mark the amount of work that went into it, was released on YouTube, and other music platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play Music and JioSaavn on Wednesday. It has bagged a place in Asia Book of Records, Indian Book of Records and Guinness World Records for the most number of languages in one song. The track features lyrics in Kannada, English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Bangla, Arabic, German, Italian, Swedish, Spanish, Nepali, and Jamaican. That the song ends with verses in Telugu has surprised and delighted many, says Ankith. He credits Subramaniya Bharathiyar for the result. “The poet Bharathiyar has always called Telugu as ‘sundara Telugu’. In that language, every word ends with a vowel and sounds very lovely. I wanted the song to end with a beautiful chant and wanted a beautiful language for it. That’s when I came across Bharthiyar’s phrase about Telugu and so I incorporated it,” he narrates, adding that his mother tongue is Telugu too.
Ankith worked with regional artistes VAR!N, Almukhtar, Swat, Obeka, Loud Silence (Hindi and Bangla), Ilon (Italian and Jamaican), Yaaru, Filip Winther, Young S.C.O, King Sinister, Lay G and BFAB to make the song happen. Yet, through the making, the musicians had no idea what was in store. “I only told each artiste that ‘there will be more languages incorporated’. They really didn’t know what was happening. Once the song was released, they were super surprised about what I had done,” shares Ankith.
The youngster, who already has a range of work on music platforms, has grander goals. He wants to show the world the wealth of the untapped Hip-Hop talent that India has to offer. “India has a number of artistes but most of them are focussed on mainstream music. They are not focussing on the underground artistes who haven’t had a chance. If you see India with all the underground artistes, it will be on top of the Hip-Hop map. My goal is to make as many songs and get the heat map of Hip-Hop songs made in India high. It’s a long process but I’m trying my best,” he says. Between online classes and pursuit of higher education, he plans to release new content every month. So look out for Ankith Gupta’s work; you may never know what surprises you might land.