Voices In My Head: These inner demons will give you a heavenly feeling!
Updated: Jan 17
Imagine if you ever suffered from depression, followed by inner demons and hearing voices, how would that have been? Scary, right? Well, TW1NQ, GRAVITY, Kaala, Sai, Himangini Puri, Tushar Kejriwal and Simran Oberoi along with a bunch of other great artists have created a masterpiece where they visualize a story of a young boy growing up with his inner demons (negativities) and put them into visuals which qualify to be one of the world's best music videos ever watched.
Although for the hardcore, real Desi Hip-Hop listeners, this concept is not very new; as Mumbai-based MC The Siege's reputed album 'Bubblecars' with music produced by Anand Iyer also stated the concept of depression and inner demons, in their case, leading to self-harming and suicidal tendencies. (Especially if you remember the intro track 'Welcome to Bubblecars' which has a line 'I got voices in my head, and they're gonna need a mic each./' as well as the track Mere Shaitaan Azaad and the mention of inner demons in various places throughout the album.) However, the way the Voices In My Head's artists deliver the concept of inner demons with the story of a child growing up with one, and how it impacts in adulthood, is commendable and entrancing.
Challenging the traditional hook-writing style of having a four-bar hook being repeated once - so as to follow the standard eight-bar hook style - by creating a normal-time 12 bars hook on a trap beat, along with a provision to get the hook committed to the listeners' memory; TW1NQ comes up with an intriguing hook with a two-syllable rhyme scheme in most places and yet creating an engrossing chorus backed by Kaala's ad-libs on Kaala and TW1NQ'S music, thus creating an iconic masterpiece. The very beginning of the hook, 'Mo-ther, do you know the reason why I'm feeling kind of fucked-up?/ Mornings with Bacardi, evenings end with an old-monk./' is enough to create a strong impression of the artists' skills on the listeners. Moreover Kaala's diverse stacks in the last four bars of the hook; and especially his stacks and spot stacks when the hook is repeated for the last time at the end of the piece leaves a remarkable impact on the listeners.
TW1NQ has performed an undeniably marvellous job as an MC, with bars such as
Mom told me rules that was made by my Pops,/
Me? I grew up like my Father, I break 'em.
creating an exemplary antithesis; as well as
You show me what's good and I'll show you what's not./
Learn from mistakes so much that I would plot,/ The perfect way for me to do something wrong,/ Way to confess when I'm writing these songs./
display the exact emotions of someone who has been through a lot in life and is surrounded by a lot of negativity and hopelessness. The bars Wish to exchange, all of the pain,/
I gave you with all of the joy you gave me./
beautifully explain the innocence and love of a child for their mother even in adulthood. Moreover, TW1NQ creates an interesting pattern by using triplet-half notes with mostly ten syllables in two double-time bars - or one normal time bar - in both his verses.
GRAVITY, founder of Death Clutch Music and co-founder of Bombay Lokal, who has featured on the record, has excellently displayed his skills in his verse. GRAVITY has created phenomenal rhyme-schemes in his bars,
Yes I'm fucked-up, I'm a drunk-monk, /
With my red eyes and my dead-lungs,/
Red-rum, in my red-cup,/
And back-wards, my head-runs./'
as well as in
'No attach-ments, I am too fond of the black-ness,/
Truth be told my life's been thank-less;/
I'm a saviour to be saved, I'm hap-less, gone-ma-gic;/
Gone-sta-tics, wrong-ac-tions, wrong-tac-tics, black-ness./ (Rhyming words underlined and multi-syllable rhymes explained with a hyphen in the above explanation). Moreover, his bars,
I was born without no name, won't die without my pen./
I won't wait for my revenge, I just take whatever's in,/
Like a saint against the wind, I just paint it with my strings./
are sure to leave a prodigious impact on his listeners.
The music is produced by TW1NQ and Kaala in collaboration, and both have done an exceptional job at the production. The dark vibe of the trap beats perfectly suits the theme of the piece, while Kaala's ad-libs, stacks and end-rhyme spot stacks in TW1NQ's verses and GRAVITY's end-rhymes spot stacks in his verse add to its beauty. The rap song is mixed and mastered by Ozzwin, who has beautifully blended all these elements together. The audio version of this record on music-streaming platforms like Spotify sounds really intriguing, and proves this can be a standalone audio record apart from being one of the best music videos the industry would have ever witnessed.
The video is conceptualized and directed by writer, poet, director and choreographer Himangini Puri, who claims to be a debutant music video director, i.e. debuting with Voices in My Head - something really hard to digest for anyone who would have seen this video even once. The scenes in the video are beautifully captured by the director of photography Tushar Kejriwal, who is also the video's editor, and has done an incredible job at editing as well. Puri and Kejriwal have collectively shown spellbinding work as the video progresses in each and every scene, right from the protagonist (GRAVITY) waking up with his inner demon (Sai) and fighting with his mother, where the background plays the initial part of the hook which says: Mother, do you know the reason why I'm feeling kind of fucked up?/ , to the young man and his inner demon dancing together in his head and in the dark, showing their undesirable and disagreeable - yet inseparable bond, while at the same time showing the same man wearing a cassock - as if he were a Church Father - and dancing on the streets in broad daylight; where a remarkable and magnificent pictorial antithesis is displayed, giving an idea of the sense of wit of the artists. Also, the entire sequence of the child (Nevaan Saxena) playing with his doll and his mother (Geetika Saxena) playing with him shows the intensity of the theme; and the scenes of the hens to be slaughtered, the group of insects, and the fish being chopped add to its beauty. The little three seconds' sequence of GRAVITY's shadow as his own inner demon right before his verse starts, his monk apparel and TWINQ's T-Shirt which says 'Woman with grieving spirit, she was stranded.' - which is a reference to the belief of grieving the holy spirit in Christianity - show the skills of the duo. Sai's make-up as the demon by body make up artist of international acclaim Simran Oberoi is so apt that Sai looks unrecognizable in the video. Puri, Kejriwal and Oberoi - the trio are sure to give goosebumps to every viewer of any video they are a part of.
A still from the official YouTube video of 'Voices In My Head' showing GRAVITY's inner demon in his shadow
The acting in the music video is brilliant; Sai with his perfervid demon-role, and the way he hugs the child, embraces and dances with GRAVITY, is prepossessing and bewitching.TW1NQ as the shopkeeper and the man who gets engaged in a road-rage with the protagonist, Geetika Saxena's tenderness and grace as the mother, Nevaan Saxena's innocence as the child, everything was on-point. GRAVITY's acting as the protagonist is really flabbergasting, as if he were a professional, full-time actor. His expressions throughout the video, along with his demonic dance create a Horrorcore Hip-Hop Music Video kind of impression on listeners.
Overall, Voices In My Head is an astounding, breathtaking and awe-inspiring piece of art; with the passion and dedication of the artists involved proven through the grandeur and the glory of the piece. As the video director Himangini Puri says, "It taps into a lot of unspoken topics, topics that may touch an unwanted chord within us but that's exactly why we're tapping into it - because it EXISTS within us."
(Critical review written by MC $anskriti,
Published on: 16th January, 2020)
This is an opinion-piece created to appreciate the dedication and hard work of artists, written completely on a non-profit purpose. No rights have been claimed on Voices In My Head; the rights lie with the original producers.
ORIGINAL PIECE CREDITS:-
Piece title : Voices In My Head
Written and performed by: TW1NQ x GRAVITY
Music produced by: TW1NQ x Kaala
Audio mixed and mastered by: Ozzwin
Visuals written and directed by: Himangini Puri
DOP and Video Editor : Tushar Kejriwal
Make-Up : Simran Oberoi
GRAVITY as the protagonist
TW1NQ as various characters
Sai as the Inner Demon
Geetika Saxena as the Mother
Nevaan Saxena as Geetika's child
Hoodie Courtesy: Notorious Apparel
Special Thanks: Shweta Motwani