A new panel for rap
Sumit Roy talks about rapping in Bengali in his new track inspired by the Bengali comic-strip Nonte Fonte by Narayan Debnath
Rapper and visual artist Sumit Roy has had quite an eventful year so far. With a line-up of daring singles like Poorna Swaraj, Acche Din and Chaukidaari Hi Sahi, which released during the General Elections, it's safe to say Roy had managed to creep into many playlists.
Now, with his latest release called Nonte Fonte — named after the Bengali comicstrip (and comic book) by Narayan Debnath, originally serialised for the children's monthly magazine Kishore Bharati — the Kolkata-born, Delhi-bred art graduate is going back to his roots as he ventures into the Bangla rap space with this collaboration with up-and-coming fellow rapper Yungsta. "I grew up reading a lot of Nonte Fonte and Bantul the Great. Even the Tintin I read was only in Bengali because my mother wanted me to read those comics to get a basic grasp of Bengali reading and writing as we didn't have that in our school curriculum in Delhi," he tells us.
Sumit Roy's new song has been named after Nonte Fonte
The song, which has a compelling beat, and Roy's signature easy pace of delivering the lyrics, starts with a Rabindranath Tagore song reference, before going into Roy's take on hip-hop braggadocio that's seen in rap. "It talks about how the rest of the people are akin to Nonte Fonte, while I, the speaker, am Bantul the Great, who's this super-strong guy," Roy explains the reference. "We speak Bengali at home so I'm comfortable rapping in it," he says, adding that there's more Bangla rap coming our way.
Meanwhile, he's also working on an online art project on Instagram, where he's been posting white canvases you can slide out of to see subtle references, including one which points out the Kashmir region in a map of India. "It's a venting process, which is why White Noise seemed like an apt name," he tells us.
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