Shan Vincent de Paul combines Carnatic music and rap

Canadian artiste Shan Vincent de Paul combines Carnatic music and rap

His latest single talks about the South Asian community’s ideas of masculinity

Toronto-based Sri Lankan Tamil rapper Shan Vincent de Paul was a teenager when was introduced to rap music. He enjoyed the genre so much that he invested all the time he had in learning and understanding it. 

In a few years, along with four of his friends, he released his first EP. Things have only picked up for him from there. 

He released his debut album ‘Saviors’ in 2016 and his next ‘Tigger Happy Heartbreak’ along with an EP ‘SVDP 1’ in 2017.

Shan was in Bengaluru last week where he performed at Fandom At Gilly’s Redefined, Koramagala.

His latest single ‘Best Friend’, featuring Mrithangam Raps collaborator and singer/producer Yanchan, has been doing so well on music platforms that they felt the need to perform live. 

The track — the lead single from their collaborative album called ‘Iyaa’ — has AR Rahman’s iconic song ‘Mustafa Mustafa’. 

Shan tells Metrolife, “It’s a song about best friends. But our intention was to bring out society’s ideas of masculinity, especially that of South Asian community. When Yanchan sent me the beats, the song immediately started writing itself in my head.” The rapper doesn’t really have a background in Carnatic music.

He says, “I have always only listened to rap songs and maybe a bit of others here and there, but to learn the nuances of classical music, better yet, Carnatic music is all new to me. Yanchan has been recommending artistes I should listen to. It has been quite a journey.” 

Upon recommendation, the rapper has taken up the request to listen to Bengaluru’s own Carnatic-fusion band ‘Agam’. 

This is his maiden Indian tour. “After I started releasing my music on platforms, I realised that there’s been a demand for me to come down to India and perform. When I came down here to shoot music videos, I realised that I could probably make it happen. So here we are now,” he notes.

He also feels like the music he puts up reaches to his audience on a different level. 

Shan says, “Be it in India or anywhere else in the world, I think the movement that we support with the music has been a unique one.

People are also impressed that there’s heavy mridangam involved with someone rapping along with the beats — it’s new and exciting for people.” 

The artiste is working on releasing more songs in the coming days and directing more music videos. 

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