Vikyath Poojary: “Courage to start, Strength to endure and Resolve to finish”

5 fingers are not sized the same, yet when they come together, they form one strong fist that can punch through all the negativity in the world today. Every land on this earth has stories to share, and we are the narrators. It is great to understand perspective of different cultures as it opens up […]

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5 fingers are not sized the same, yet when they come together, they form one strong fist that can punch through all the negativity in the world today. Every land on this earth has stories to share, and we are the narrators. It is great to understand perspective of different cultures as it opens up the mind to new possibilities and expands creativity.

As a part of our series about rising music stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Vikyath Poojary.

Vikyath Poojary is a rare intersection of street and soul as an artist.

Colored by his Santacruz (Mumbai) roots and channeling a love affair with the likes of Jim Morrison and Bob Marley, Vikyath uses his ample talents in dance, graphic design, filmmaking, poetry and rap to tell stories that will make you think and feel simultaneously.

Breaking the notion of a jack of all trades, Vikyath has established a versatile kingdom in each of the arts he’s pursued; winning dance reality shows like Jhalak Dikhlaja UAE and Boogie Woogie UAE, launching a philosophical documentary channel called All We Do and cementing the desi Hip Hop scene in Dubai are but a few feathers in his cap.

His debut rap track called “Sab Khair Hai, that premiered on YouTube in July 2018, reads like the diary entry of someone who carries the pain of the common man. The successful video that presents the daily struggles of blue collar workers garnered over 12000 views online. Inspired by the work of Kendrik Lamar, J-cole, Childish Gambino, Kota the Friend, JID and Seedhe Maut, Vikayth’s ink has an activist tone with his track intending to inspire respect for these local heroes as opposed to cashing in on sympathy.

Vikyath’s rebellious lyrics and matter-of-fact honesty jumped out of the screen and inspired many local artists to reach out to him, forging some powerful collaborations. Wanting to establish Dubai as a legitimate seat of serious hip hop, Vikyath glued together the aptly named Shilla 050 bringing together 7 members including rappers, beat-boxers and a music producer. Their latest partnership with Shaikhspeare from Bombay Lokal puts them on the map and is an official nod and stamp of approval from the birthplace of desi hip hop.

Open to and inspired by artistic collaboration, Vikyath is also a part of another rap crew named Trikon, whose debut track, the critically acclaimed, Jaanchlo was released by Zee Music India and has amassed approximately 86,000 views on YouTube.

Vikyath’s vision as an artist is free-spirited, highly stylized and extremely unique. Those witness to his rags-to-legend journey believe they are about to see history in the making.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

Thank you for giving me this opportunity! I was born in a small village called Kaup in the state of Karnataka, India. At a very young age my family moved to Mumbai and there I lived with my aunt since my parents flew to Dubai, UAE in search of work.

I was raised by the streets of Mumbai as we lived in a small house in a community setup we call “Chawls”. Chawls are striking examples of an unconventional housing arrangement. Overcrowded living conditions in these dense neighborhoods promote habits like public sleeping in shared spaces, people bathing in the open, storing one’s belongings in common spaces, and even sharing water taps and toilets. At 16 I moved to Dubai once my parents were settled and continued my studies here.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

Well, my career path has had a lot of twists and turns as I am interested in so many different things. I have been dancing professionally for over 11years. Started a corporate job where I worked as a graphic designer and then quit that to work as a dance instructor for 2 years. About a year ago I finally mustered up the courage to release some of my music and I am enjoying the energy I get from it. Now I am trying to keep a balance between making music and designing at a firm to keep me afloat.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

I used to have a fear of public speaking, I would panic if I had to speak to a large crowd or go up on stage and address something on a mic. Rapping has given me a strange confidence to overcome that fear. I have managed to perform for an audience of over 4000 people in an arena without any hesitation.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

So last year was not the first time I released a music video in public. Around 8 years ago I had put up a music video on Facebook which was super cheesy and of very bad quality and it still exists, but the visibility is on private. Ever since, I have been writing on and off but had no courage to put anything out. Now I believe in “Quality over Quantity”, so that was definitely a good learning experience.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I work with a group of rap artists in Dubai — Shilla050 and Trikon. The projects that I am super excited about are all the collaborations that are lined up as these crews and individual tracks as well. We are taking the Desi Hip Hop scene to its roots back in India and working on songs with artists back home.

We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?

5 fingers are not sized the same, yet when they come together, they form one strong fist that can punch through all the negativity in the world today. Every land on this earth has stories to share, and we are the narrators. It is great to understand perspective of different cultures as it opens up the mind to new possibilities and expands creativity.

It will help us to truly connect and grow as humans. Music and other forms of art is the glue that can bind us together.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

Not sure about 5 but one most important thing I wish someone told me would be don’t doubt yourself so much, believe in yourself and do what you love. “Courage to start, Strength to endure and Resolve to finish.”

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Stay original, keep exploring and don’t be comfortable with what you are currently doing. Keep seeking more.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Most importantly a movement to stop discrimination based on color, religion, sex, status etc. Bring love back in the human heart. Stop the fighting that is orchestrated by a few who live for their own benefits and don’t care about the masses. One love is all we got.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My friends are the backbone to what I do. I have got my family support in other aspects of life. But when it comes to art and music my friends have always got my back and supported me from the very get go.

They are the ones showing up for my performances and screaming the loudest. Helped me with whatever resources they could provide without asking for anything in return. Shared my work with others and motivated me to carry on. I wouldn’t want to take any specific names as all their contributions, big or small, mean the world to me.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, Infinite.” It’s a quote by William Blake which inspired Jim Morrison and his band to name themselves “The Doors”. These words have been imprinted in my brain ever since. It is all in our heads at the end of the day. It’s all what you perceive in the ocean of infinity.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

Sadly, two of them on the top of my list have passed away, that would be Bob Marley & Jim Morrison. I think it would be great to have private lunch with Kendrick Lamar just so I could get a glimpse into how his mind works and maybe learn some things from him.

How can our readers follow you online?

Please follow me on Instagram @vikyath_poojary & Twitter @vikyath97 also Subscribe to my YouTube channel — Vikyath Poojary to stay updated with my music.

This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!

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