The COVID-19 pandemic led to governments imposing lockdowns to check the spread of coronavirus. With the economy grinding to a halt, the worst hit were the migrant workers and daily-wagers who struggled to make ends meet. Most of these migrant families covered thousands of miles on foot bearing with hunger, scorching heat, and the fear of catching the virus. This scenario moved many, a few crusaded while some initiated campaigns.
Perpetuating the very same spirit, rapper, music composer and producer Raftaar has roped in film composer Salim Merchant and rapper KARMA for a brand-new single that pays an ode to the migrant workers who lost their lives owing to the COVID-19 induced lockdown.
Titled ‘Tu Phir Se Aana’, the swoonily alluring drop with its’ deeply personal lyrics will be released on leading independent hip hop label Kalamkaar on 8th December 2020. It has been co-produced by Raftaar and Salim Merchant with lyrics co-written by KARMA and Raftaar with a special contribution by Budapest Art Orchestra.
The rousing record navigates around the crux of while the artists attempt to make an earnest plea to audiences to continually don their superhero capes and inculcate the art of being a good Samaritans in their daily lives on a consistent basis.
Raftaar states, “When the lockdown was announced, thousands of migrant workers were compelled to flee for their homes and begin their journey of hundreds of miles on foot. They worked at construction sites, ran food stalls, drove taxies and other small businesses to respectfully earn a livelihood like each one of us. I was really touched when I saw the story of Jeeta Madkami and that visual haunts me till date. More than 1000 migrant workers have lost their lives on their journey to their hometowns but I’m surprised that this issue has lost its’ sheen and isn’t broadcasted anywhere anymore. I’d like this song to be a gentle reminder that heart wrenching stories like these need to be retold and not publicized momentarily to rake in TRPs. Let’s not forget the chapter of humanity and compassion that the universe has forced us to revisit this year.”
Salim Merchant states, “Tu Phir Se Aana is an ode to the children who have and are going through the harsh cruelty in this world. They deserve a better world, a better life and only we can make that change & give them the life they deserve.”
KARMA states, “It’s true music makes us human. This song seeks to raise awareness about those affected by the pandemic and motivate people to pitch and contribute for the cause mindfully. The aggressive lockdown has particularly affected the poor and this is the Kalamkaar family doing their humble bit.”
In April earlier this year, amid the nationwide lockdown in view of the COVID-19, a 12-year-old girl, Jeeta Madkami, daughter of migrant labourers who worked in chilli fields, died after walking nearly 150 kilometres (km) from Telangana to reach her native Bijapur district in Chhattisgarh. Similarly, 39-year-old Ranvir Singh, collapsed and died after walking 200-km from Delhi, where he used to work as a migrant worker, to reach his village in Morena district of Madhya Pradesh. In the last six months, India has witnessed a unique, but extremely painful reverse migration where hundreds of thousands migrant workers suffered innumerable hardships to get back to their village homes as they lost their livelihoods in the longest ever lockdown in the country.
As a socially accountable artist, India’s rap royalty Raftaar has always made it a conscious effort to create and publish music that goes beyond the conventional glitz. From Alla Ve, a song that he performed for Season 4 of MTV Coke Studio, which talked about humanity and world peace to ‘Mother Nature’, a commentary on global warming and ‘Aurat’ that highlighted sexism and objectification of women. More recently, he released‘Mask On’, inspired by the United Nation’s Pause campaign under the umbrella of the verified initiative and aimed towards generating awareness around the snowballing surge of misinformation in the wake of the unprecedented global crisis.
Youtube Link: https://youtu.be/cyUS0OLqyQM