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Religion is not for everybody

Published : Nov 14, 2015, 8:47 pm IST
Updated : Nov 14, 2015, 8:47 pm IST

Rapper Sofia Ashraf of Kodaikanal Won’t fame has released her first single titled Deen, in collaboration with Sapta. It speaks about how religion is beautiful when a person adopts it the way they want to, but turns bitter if it is forced upon people

Sofia Ashraf
 Sofia Ashraf

Rapper Sofia Ashraf of Kodaikanal Won’t fame has released her first single titled Deen, in collaboration with Sapta. It speaks about how religion is beautiful when a person adopts it the way they want to, but turns bitter if it is forced upon people

Organised religion is not for everyone; spirituality should be a way of life instead. It’s not a walk in the park to discuss such issues in a society that forces religion down people’s throats, but rapper Sofia Ashraf has teamed up with Sapta to create a single discussing exactly this. Titled Deen meaning faith in Arabic, this rap song deals with Sofia and the band’s perception of religion and social stigmas that have been thrust upon them as well as personal experiences, all narrated through lyrics. Using music as a tool to express their feelings, the youngsters talk about how moral policing by parents or society doesn’t go down well with today’s generation.

Sofia’s family and society’s interference got so bad that she gave up religion entirely because she felt she had the power to do so. “Tala al Badru Alayna is the song Ansari women sang to welcome the Prophet Muhammad into Medina. Religion is beautiful when you welcome it into your homes. It can give you peace and hope. But when religion is forced on you, it turns bitter. Deen is my response to people who’ve taken it upon themselves to tell me how to live my life,” explains Sofia. “I started forming the lyrics in my head over a span of two years, but it came together really fast after I met Sapta in Mumbai.”

“Sofia is badass. Each and every song of hers has a cause to it and it makes sense —Kodaikanal Won’t was simply amazing,” says Marti, a Sapta band member. “Collaboration was perfect because Sofia also likes to express herself through music — we all had an opinion which we combined, and then used music to reach out to the audience,” he adds.

“It’s a little known fact that Marti was a rapper himself! Working with him showed me that he knows exactly how to treat vocals when it comes to rap,” shares Sofia. So while Marti engineered the song and produced it, Maalavika Manoj rendered it with her beautiful voice. “Similarly, Shravan Sridhar (violinist and Sapta band member) added a very Middle Eastern touch to Deen and I think it enhances the track to a whole new level,” Sofia adds.

What does the artwork symbolise She says, “Marti and I were going through Avinash Jai Singh’s works and we came across this image that encapsulated Deen in a single frame — everything is beautiful and straightforward on the surface, but twisted, misinterpreted and ever changing according to people’s mood. We decided to ask Avinash to fine tune the image a little bit and finalised on it for the song.”

Marti also let us in on a piece of news, “You can look forward to much more — we’re bringing out a few songs over the next few months. Not all of them are serious, in fact one or two will be quite amusing to the audience,” he concluded.