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The evolution of Seedhe Maut

“We make music for ourselves first, and that’s the reason we’ve never confined ourselves to any specific kind of sound or theme. Our music evolves with us.”

LiFTED | Sean D [Photos by Kyabc courtesy of Azadi Records] | 18 Dec 2023

Seedhe Maut are the undisputed Indie Hip Hop champs of India. In fact, the New Delhi duo is actually so big that the Indie label doesn’t fit them anymore, but they still maintain that aura due to their IDGAF-look and attitude. Both are excellent MCs who touch on subjects like politics, romance, Indian society, and the education system. All of which have gained them a fiercely loyal fanbase across the country. Their tour numbers are on par with much bigger, more traditionally-famous artists. Their songs, mixtapes, and albums have won over a generation of disaffected kids. When Seedhe Maut rolls into town the ticket sales are big. Their rise is on a parallel with the rise of Indian Hip Hop, starting in 2017 with ‘Seedhe Maut Anthem’ produced by Sez On the Beat, who incidentally also produced DIVINE’s ‘Mere Gully Mein’ – the track that blew Desi Hip Hop wide open and began the new era of Hindi rapping.

While the Indian Hip Hop scene has evolved so much since then, with Bollywood films and big international sponsorship deals jumping on board, Azadi Records’ Seedhe Maut has remained much the same, even though they have almost 300,000 Instagram followers and 1.2 Million monthly Spotify listeners. They are still themselves rapping about the issues and life problems they care about. Seedhe Maut are real ones who have been on the radar for a while, and now Calm and Encore ABJ get LiFTED’s final cover of 2023.

YO! What’s good fellas? We’ve been meaning to do this for a while, so it’s great to finally get down to it.

Hey LiFTED! Thanks for having us. Tera Bhai Seedhe Maut.

Your real names are Siddhant Sharma and Abhijay Negi, also known as Calm and Encore ABJ. How did you guys meet and decide to team up?

We met at Spit Dope Inc. in Delhi, where all the Rap battle artists used to participate and come together.

You’ve been together since 2017, which was a very pivotal year for Indian Hip Hop. You guys and Sez on the Beat all come from New Delhi. What do you think of the explosion of Indian Hip Hop since then?

Currently, Hip Hop is close to its peak in India, with several Hip Hop artists being all over reality shows, stage shows, music videos, and more. It’s a well-deserved spotlight that the Desi Hip Hop community is finally receiving. Our community has been making some of the best music in the country and this is just scratching the surface. The spotlight is a result of hard work because previously Hip-Hop wasn’t taken seriously, and now, instead of being a trend, Hip Hop is an important part of Indian music.

You also signed with arguably the biggest indie label Azadi Records in 2017. How did that come about?

Label Azadi Hai , Mo apna saathi hai.

What was the first music you released when you realized you had struck a chord with fans, and you knew what you were doing was working?

We consciously try to push ourselves and embrace new sounds so our music is constantly evolving. We don’t do it with the intention of staying relevant, though. We do it because we want to continue sharpening our biggest weapon - our pens.

When we hear the music we’ve made, and even with the tracks we’ve produced, the aim is to constantly become better at it. One thing we have always said is that we make music that we like. We make music for ourselves first, and that’s the reason we’ve never confined ourselves to any specific kind of sound or theme. Our music evolves with us.

How much time and energy do you devote to making music in your daily lives?

We make music as if our lives depend on it because, to be honest, it does. It’s our outlet, our way of processing things, and genuinely our favorite thing to do. Our sound will change as we do, but we’re never going to stop making music. Our sound will change as we do, but we’re never going to stop making music. There’s a reason TBSM4L is a thing. [#TBSM4L is a viral hashtag in India meaning Tera Bhai Seedhe Maut For Life]

Who were your Rap heroes growing up? Which artists made you realize you wanted to write rhymes and perform for a living?

Eminem, Tupac, Biggie, Kendrick Lamar, Drake, and more. There are many to list. We enjoy the tension and the nervousness of Hip Hop, and we’ve learned how to use it to fuel us on stage. It’s about giving our best to the people out there who constantly show up for us.

As Indie rappers, do you ever feel any pressure to make your music more mainstream?

We don’t care if what we make is mainstream or not because we’ve never tried to fit in. We always experiment with new ideas and different influences, but we refuse to put our music in a box. We make music for ourselves and put out things that we are satisfied with regardless of what is trending or even considered mainstream.

Tell our readers what 2024 looks like for Seedhe Maut.

So many exciting announcements are lined up in 2024 for us as well as our fans. We’re going to continue working on our next album for sure and Seedhe Maut isn’t stopping. Rap is an instrument for us to speak about things that matter and mean something to us.

So ‘Kavi’ and ‘Kehna Chahte Hai’ from our recent mixtape Lunch Break are two preludes to our next album that give a glimpse into what’s coming in our next project.