Graffiti artists have been lowkey spreading the hip hop culture across South Asia. They are no less than unsung heroes who do not pursue their passion to seek limelight. NME from SlumGods is no exception to this. He has been tagging the city since almost a decade now and his passion has taken him to new heights recently.
A first of its kind graffiti workshop has begun under the Dharavi Hip Hop Project run by Universal Music Group in association with Qyuki. Kids as young as 7 to 8 years old are attending these workshops, getting to learn about the art of graffiti. DesiHipHop.com had earlier let its readers know about SlumGods teaching these kids bboying, beat boxing as well as emceeing. They are bound to become all rounders when it comes to hip hop culture!
We got in touch with NME to know in depth about the workshop and this is how it went.
How did your interest in Graffiti spark? What inspired you.
I was searching for a platform to express myself and I came across graffiti and street art. My interest sparked because I think it is a good way to put your thoughts in front of everyone through colours and creativity. And for my inspiration, some creative ideas and designs were there to keep me motivated and the appetite to do more.
How has the journey been so far? What new steps are you taking from here on.
My journey so far was great, a life changing experience. I got a chance to collaborate with many great artists both national and international and learn many things. Currently I’m working on Dharavi Project, it’s a product of Universal Music and Qyuki digital media.
They’ve taken the initiative to introduce kids in Dharavi to hip hop elements. My role here is to teach those kids what graffiti is and give them some tips and techniques used in graffiti.
Can you give us more insight about the workshop?
When Qyuki digital media approached me regarding this project, I was more than happy to be a part of it. It feels good that someone is taking an initiative to spread the graffiti culture. This workshop is great for these kids and for me as well. It gives me an opportunity to create next generation graffiti artists. These kids are wonderful, they are very eager to learn everything. I share my knowledge about calligraphy, some drawing principals and tips for spray can control.
Have you had any run ins with breaking the law during tagging? Any incidents you can recall that shook you?
To be honest, I never faced such incidents. The main reason for this is lack of awareness for Graffiti. There were some incidents where the cops caught me while painting, then I had to explain them my work, even they appreciated me for my work which was very encouraging. Such moments gives me more positivity to continue with my work.
What do you think is the future of Graffiti in South Asia. Why aren’t many young bright people picking up this form of art?
Graffiti was never seen as a career option. That is the main reason there are few artists here. In India people generally don’t support art as their living, that’s the main reason there are many hidden talents which needs to be discovered. This workshop serves as a platform for the future generation to come forward and show their interest into it and we are here to support them thoroughly.