‘Kya karta hai, kidhar dekhta hai. Ghar pe ma-behen, phir bhi idhar ghoorta hai… Mere kapdon se tujhe kya fikar. If I want to, I’ll show my kamar.’
Who would’ve thought Major Lazer’s song Lean On, ridiculed for its weird Indian dance moves and costumes, could transform into a parody on eve-teasing? This is exactly what two friends in Mumbai — teacher Natasha Vakil and rapper Princeton Ugoeze Aguocha — decided to do with it. The result, Creep On, has lyrics such as ‘Chumma, just for one. All I need is somebody to creep on’ and the oft-heard ‘Arre bas dekh to raha tha’.
Since July 2015, Vakil, 30, under the stage name Gangsta Gudiya (GG) and accompanied by Aguocha, 23, has been parodying popular English numbers featuring their own lyrics. They’ve released seven videos, starring their friends and a few celebrity acts such as Band of Boys who sang in Desi Swagger, sung to the tune of Maroon 5’s Moves like Jagger. “This gives us a chance to talk about serious issues without being serious, and in a way that people will respond to it. It is funny but also makes you focus on what is being said,” she says.
The topics covered are just plain fun - a tribute to Maggi or talk about a subtle social message - Creep On. Stand Tall was their first original composition, based on a poem written by Vakil’s 12-year-old cousin, and focused on bullying. Out and Proud, sung to the tune of Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud, spoke about being proud of one’s sexuality. The song was a collaboration with singer Nikhil D’Souza and Humsafar Trust, Yaariyan and the Gaysi Family and starred members of the LGBT community.
Lester Fernandes has been a fan of Gangsta Gudiya since their first song Bhaji Shop, that spoke about going vegetable shopping. “They are a super fun outfit. I like how fluid the rap verses are. On the whole, GG is very irreverent, yet they still know how to make a point with songs like Out and Proud, and Creep On,” says Fernandes, 31, who works in advertising and is based in Dubai.
After the popularity of their first song, Vakil and Aguocha tied up with production company Owl by the Window to release their other songs. The venture is self-funded — they have a beer budget where they pay their friends in beer for their services.
Sahiba Sawhney, 26, owner of dance company, Dance Design, has sung in two songs. “GG is voicing what she and her peers think about what is happening in society. She’s doing it in a way that is fun, familiar and will compel people to listen,” she says.
What: Gangsta Gudiya – a group that parodies covers of English songs, with lyrics featuring fun and social messages
Where: Gangsta Gudiya