Our guests today are members of the rap metal band ‘AMBUSH’ from Karbi Anglong, Assam. We chat about their recently released track ‘Corruption Choke’ and the message they want to send out through their music. The band members Risim Rongpi (Vocal), Amarjit Bey (Guitar), Jitu Tokbi (Bass), and Deowinson Bey (Drums) have been performing together for 7 years – and counting, and hope to keep raising powerful voices against corruption through their music.
“Corruption erodes trust, weakens democracy, hampers economic development, and further exacerbates inequality, poverty, social division, and the environmental crisis. We have long been witnesses to social suffering as a result of political violence and domination. The invisible wounds of our people and the traumatized survivors of many terrors and conflicts keep us going.
We dream of a society – and life in general, that is free from political dominance by dishonest politicians. Only then, can we improve the quality of our life.That’s what we want to convey through our music.” ~ AMBUSH, Karbi Anglong
R&L: Hello! Excited to be having this chat. Please introduce us to your band.
AMBUSH: Greetings to you from AMBUSH from Karbi Anglong. We are Risim Rongpi on the vocals, guitarist Amarjit Bey, bass guitarist Jitu Tokbi, and Deowinson Bey on the drums.
We came together as a band on February 2015 with the primary goal of representing the voiceless. The situation in Karbi Anglong (Assam) spawned a new environment filled with angst, hope, disappointment, and violence. These four elements became the inspiration for our rap metal band ‘AMBUSH.’
We would continue to demonstrate what it represents using tools that do not require 9mm artillery, but rather amplifiers, cables, and instruments. Ambush will not stop until corrupt governments that poison the soil of Karbi Anglong are eradicated, and the protest songs will not stop until the agonising noise of bullets is replaced by the enchanting sound of music in the Karbi Anglong hills.
R&L : How long have u guys been together? Tell us how you guys started your journey as a band.
AMBUSH: We’ve been together for seven years. When Amarjit and Sarmon (ex-drummer) decided to form a band, they brought bass player Jitu (who went to the same school and played in a metal band with Sarmon) and frontman Risim ( he was their senior in school). We are fortunate to be able to make our debut at one of India’s oldest ethnic festivals, “Karbi Youth Festival.” It was a dream to play in front of a sea of people. We would like to express our gratitude to Late Lunse Millick for the opportunity.
R&L: What keeps you going? What is the message that you guys want your listeners to take away from your music?
AMBUSH: We have long been witnesses to social suffering as a result of political violence and domination. The invisible wounds of our people and the traumatized survivors of many terrors and conflicts keep us going.
“Our songs have a strong and direct message. It is usually a story about a specific incident wrapped in music in an attempt to reach out to people and help them understand the issues better.”
For us, rap is about message delivery (on topics we strongly believe in) through rhyming lyrics. As a band, we want to come together to make a speech and spread our message – through our music. We believe that the most sophisticated style of poetry is one that uses rhyming words to catch people’s attention. Heavy metal instrumentation combined with political rap lyrics equals AMBUSH.
R&L: You have recently released a new single ‘Corruption Choke’ Tell us more about it, and the message behind it.
AMBUSH: Amarjit came out with the riff and Risim came out with the lyrics. The video was directed by Kirsan Ronghang, better known by his stage name Koldskin who is also a rapper from Diphu. DOP by Lison Tisso, edited by Utom Timung and MUA Milibon Tokbipi.
Corruption erodes trust, weakens democracy, hampers economic development, and further exacerbates inequality, poverty, social division, and the environmental crisis. Corruption can happen anywhere, to anyone, and it always takes place in the shadows. This is the message we want to convey to the public.
R&L: Powerful message. More power to you guys in keeping those voices alive!And before we wrap up, share some fun facts about each band member 🙂
AMBUSH: Apart from music, our other passions involve food and plants. Risim Rongpi enjoys cooking and owns a cafe called ‘POOR MAN’S KITCHEN.‘ Amarjit Bey is an animal and plant enthusiast, and is the owner of ‘MAMAS GARDEN OF LOVE.’ Jitu Tokbi is the undisputed king of ethnic cuisine, and run ‘FOOD KORN.‘ Deowinson is a painter and the owner of ‘ROCKSTAR KITCHEN.’
Checl out AMBUSH’s new single ‘Corruption Chokes’
- “We Dream of a Society Free from Political Dominance by Dishonest Politicians.” – Rap Metal Band ‘AMBUSH’ from Assam - November 5, 2022
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