We have recently interviewed the crew. ThaElite is coming back after 4 years of loooong break. ThaElite is a crew of two friends with a common goal and equal passion for giving out quality music in bd. Yalmai & Sharod, met each other at North South University and decided to form ThaElite when they were working for a leading mixtape with DeshiMCs and BCF back in 2011. Tha Elite is leading the movement to begin a new breed of Bangla Rap.
Tell us a little bit about the Elite and why you stopped making music all of a sudden.
Elite was born out of the mutual love for music, especially hiphop, that we shared. Whenever we hung out or chilled after class at university conversation almost inevitably used to shift towards hiphop. So, the fact that we would end up making an album was inevitable. However, after the successful launch of our debut album, the realities of the world soon caught up and we decided that completion of our education was the first priority as, however unfortunate, music in Bangladesh is still not a viable career choice especially a genre as experimental as hiphop. Music literally does not pay in our country and most of us do this out of sheer love for music. So, we decided to put music on hold, finish our education get started with our professional careers and then if we feel we have more things to contribute to music, we would make a comeback.
So why coming back now?
As I mentioned earlier, we promised we would return only if we felt that we had something significant to contribute to Bangladeshi music. We cannot make another album just for the sake of making another album. It has to be worthwhile for us to make it and for the listeners to listen to it. So after months of discussion on the direction of the new album I think we have come up with the right ideas for the types of music we want to make and thus the ‘comeback.’
The album comes out in 2018. Tell us something about it.
One of the biggest ways we have approached this album is that we stopped thinking we would make a ‘hiphop’ album. Don’t be alarmed though, the language and grammar of the album is still undeniably hiphop but it’s not bound by the type of musical and lyrical arrangement that goes along with hiphop albums. Instead we have identified several topics we want to talk about ranging from depression, social issues, peer pressure, the journey towards success and several more. Then we decided what sort of music and lyrics does justice to these individual topics. Should the lyrics be veiled for poetry or more direct for maximum impact. We are also looking to make the album sound more diverse musically this time by including sounds like Jazz, Blues, EDM, certain tonal aspects of Ranbindra Shangeet and lyrical aspects of Nazrul Geeti along with some familiar tunes of traditional Bengali folk music all tied together with the grammar of Hiphop. It is an ambitious project but if we can pull it off I think it might be a new direction not only for bangla hiphop but for Bangladeshi music in general.
How many tracks each of you will have? and total how many track there will be?
The album right now is in the writing and composing phase. We write a song, compose it, record it and make a draft mix of it. If we like the song we keep it and if we don’t we are saving it for future commercial work or online releases. As of now though, we have decided we would have 10 tracks in it which includes collaborations from several international musicians.
Lately there has been many buzz in BDHH. What ThaElite will do from it’s place like doing events and other movements?
Yes, Bangla Hiphop IS buzzing, it’s absolutely true and TheElite does thank wholeheartedly everybody who is working so hard behind it. From RJ’s to event organizers, from artists to producers everybody has been working so hard for so long and it feels really good to see their hard work pay off and watch this industry grow. And as you know TheElite has been an integral part of this movement since the very beginning and we would always be. If there is any opportunity to take this movement more, TheElite will always be there at the forefront. We also want to contribute to this movement by showing that a hiphop album does not need to be a hiphop album only, it can strive to be greater, it can be a piece of art that Bangladeshis can cherish for generations to come. With regards to events, given our packed schedules it does not seem like a possibility at the moment but once the album is released we would see how things go from there.
When can the fans expect any singles from the Album?
As we said, the work on the album is going on full speed and we are working on a brand new song for the fans, to hold them off till the album releases. This is just to give you guys a taste of what the album is going to sound like. It’s going to be released online sometime this month and hope you guys like it.
We are very much excited about their album. Let us know in the comment section below what you think about their comeback. And don’t forget to use the hashtags #ThaElite #EklaCholore