I came across this video on Facebook and I started nodding my head from the word go. I personally biased towards story telling but I am pretty sure anyone who will listen to it will agree with me that this is something really meaningful.
Story telling has been a very important essence of HipHop and while it is very often criticized for promoting gang culture and violence, Saint Soldier dropped something quite the opposite. The track depicts how certain consequences force youth into gang life. The lyrics are simple and at certain points even give goosebumps.
I have been a fan of Saint Soldiers work since ‘Farmers Suicide’ and it was quite the pleasure to talk to him. This is how it went :
Q1. The message on ‘A stray’ is hard and the way it has been put is fantastic. Is the involvement of Desi’s in gang culture actually big ?
Sure it’s big. If you live in BC, you know it’s big. I know of so many families who have been devastated or destroyed by it. Mostly middle class families.
Q2. It is good to see Desi’s in foreign countries doing some dope story telling, in current times when Hip-Hop is now so much oriented towards trap what do you think is the relevance of story telling ?
I like to use empathy as a tool to try to understand how someone might be feeling. This encourages me to write a story for them. This is also how I wrote Farmer Suicide. For “A Stray”, I wanted to convey that contrary to what many people think, nobody is “completely evil”. We are all subject to our circumstances and conditioning. Empathy is important, and story telling helps others walk in the shoes of those who they might be misunderstanding. At the same time, it provides a connection for those young gangsters who might feel isolated from the rest of us. We need to give them love, not hate.
Q3. What do you think about the current state of Desi hip-hop ?
I think Desi hip-hop is killing it right now. I can only see it expanding in all directions. I’m so proud of my friends Humble the Poet and Mandeep Sethi who put in non-stop work on unifying and inspiring humanity through hip hop. This is the direction I hope it takes.
Q4. Your new album “Duality” is expected to come out soon, tell us a little about it.
I have never worked so intricately on a project as this one. This album is to be a spiritual journey for the listener. It will provoke thought, and I hope it will lead to insight. It has both dark and light. DJ Hark has been a vital part of this project and inspired me so much. I’m looking forward to sharing this with you all and I’m hoping to inspire you to find peace within yourselves, if you haven’t already.
Q5. What message do you have for your fans and followers ?
Thank you all for your ongoing support, and thanks for hanging in there. I know that I’ve taken a long time to come back with some music for you, and I’ve gone through a lot in the past few years. I’ve never stopped writing, and I think it’s time to share with you again.