The first Odia rapper from the state, Big Deal aka Samir Rishu Mohanty (26) is back with a bang and this time with his very first Odia rap song ‘Mu Heli Odia’ that was released recently. And, not just Odias, everyone seems to be in love with the song already! ‘Mu Heli Odia’ is not only Samir’s first Odia rap song, it is a first for Odisha too.
Samir, who became a sensation with his last release ‘One Kid, With a Dream’ in January last, was born to an Odia father Bidhyadhar Mohanty and a Japanese mother Michie Araki. He went to Darjeeling for his high school education before moving to Bengaluru for his graduation. With his first release itself, he won the hearts of rap music lovers, not only across India but also abroad.
Unlike ‘One Kid With a Dream’ which was completely based on his personal life and experiences he gained from his life in Puri, Darjeeling and Bengaluru, ‘Mu Heli Odia’ highlights what he loves about being an Odia guy. Through his latest song, he talks about his favourite sweets Rasagolla, Puri, Jagannath temple, beaches, abhada, pakhala, and other beautiful aspects of the state, which every Odia feels and knows.
The versatile rapper talks about his musical journey, inspirations and future plans with My CityLinks! Excerpts:
Share with us your journey and experiences of growing up with music.
I am a ‘Khanti Odia Toka’, born and brought up in Puri. My childhood was spent in the holy city where I completed my schooling. Later, I went to St. Paul’s School in Darjeeling for my secondary education. That is where my musical journey began after watching the movie ‘8 mile’. Influenced a lot by the film, I started watching YouTube videos and tried learning music on my own.
I then went to Bengaluru for higher studies, doing my Masters in Computer Application. I even had a placement offer from Indian IT giant Infosys. But I did not to take up a corporate job because of my overpowering passion for music. I have realised that music is more important to me than a high paying corporate job. I have now decided to pursue a career in music.
What was your parent’s reaction when you decided to pursue a career in music and not in the corporate world?
They did have initial apprehensions and were reluctant to extend any support to me. But after watching me on MTV with Blaaze, they realised that their son has what it takes to make it in the music world. Once they were convinced, I had their complete support.
How was your experience while working with Blaaze?
MTV was preparing a show named MTV Sync. I was fortunate to have been selected by Blaaze to perform with him. It was an opportunity of a lifetime. Blaaze is a big name in Indian music industry, he being the official rapper of A.R Rehman. So, working with him was like a dream come true for me. Even, people started recognising me after that video.
What do you have to say about your hit video ‘One Kid With A Dream’?
So far, this video has been the biggest hit in my career and has brought me closer to my Odia fans. I had tried to depict the journey of my life. I had never thought that Odia people would appreciate it. The video has crossed 144,000 views on YouTube. That gave me inspiration to do an Odia rap song for the people of my state.
Who is Big Deal’s inspiration?
Eminem. I admire him a lot. He has been a great influence on me during my time in Darjeeling. Apart from Eminem, I also admire Hardcore, Raftaar, and Badshaah.
How did the name “Big Deal” come about?
There are many reasons for this name. People generally say, “What’s the big deal?” But nobody uses the phrase as a name. So, I decided to go with it as a name.
What are your plans?
I am in touch with some musicians in the United States. I am planning to go there for a few projects. Currently, I am working for another rap video in Odia. I hope itreleases by December this year. I certainly want to do more videos in English and Hindi, but my focus will be more on Odia.
There are also some renowned music brands in Odisha willing to work with me. Ever since "Mu Heli Odia" video released, two labels are eager to buy it. Yet two other brands want me to endorse them, while some reality shows are looking forward to give me direct entries. I am yet to decide what to choose and do. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to these offers.
Watch the video here:
Inputs by: Avilash Panigrahi & Monalisa Patsani