The Voice of Konkani Rap in Goa

18 Jan 2023  |   05:21am IST

The Voice of Konkani Rap in Goa

NFT, an acronym for ‘non-fungible token’, refers to a one-of-a-kind item that cannot be replaced. NFTs are created through ‘minting’, and they can be created on various blockchains, which are public digital ledgers used for tracking all activity related to ownership, sales, transfers, etc. Bongisio, the Konkani rap sensation of Goa, is transforming his music in NFTs while pursuing Konkani as his language forum for
all of his raps

Aalokshi Awade

“I want them to recognize me as a messenger than as an artist,” states Goa’s twenty-six-year-old Konkani hip-hop and rap sensation. Carisio Azavedo, popularly known by his stage name Bongisio is building his legacy for Konkani rap, where he addresses the social issues faced by the localities of Goa through Konkani rap. The rapper came up with his stage name Bongisio, by combining the ‘Bong’ of Bongo (an Afro-Cuban percussion instrument consisting of a pair of small open-bottomed hand drums of different sizes) and ‘Isio’ of Carisio. Initially, Carisio was a professor at Don Bosco Youth Welfare Centre, and the executive producer of the studio at Don Bosco College, Panjim. He has a bachelor’s in mass media and a master’s in social work.

The Merces-based rapper first started rapping when he released his first single, ‘Ketta’ in December 2020. ‘Ketta’ has been referenced to politicians making fake promises. With a total of eleven tracks being released in two years, Bongisio has been one of the beloved and admired rappers of Goa. His choice of making music and rapping in Konkani, while being fluent in three languages (English Hindi, and Konkani) is what makes him quite the sensation.

Embracing his ethnicity, as well as safeguarding the interests of the community, the rapper came up with the hashtag ‘#goanbyblood’ (GBB) to encourage the youth to be versed and be proud to make hip hop in their mother tongues. Scott Braganca, a line producer at ‘Goanbyblood’ Community says, “Bongisio’s music is very good and hearing rapping in the Konkani language is very attractive. He produces his music and reflects different styles in Konkani rap.”

Born into a family of musicians, his father, Antonio Azavedo, is a renowned saxophonist in Goa and played for the Konkani film ‘Nachom-Ia Kumpasar”, and is also a member of Lorna’s official band. His late mother, Bella Teles e Azavedo, encouraged him to find a spiritual path that makes him write his lyric. Carisio deeply expresses his gratitude to his parents for being one of the biggest inspirations and support for his music. Mentioning 2PAC (Tupac Shakur) and Russ (Russell James Vitale), the rapper adds, “They really hit me hard with their lyrics, when I was 7 or 8 years old. That made me realize what hip-hop was, and got me connected to it.” Elvis Mascarenhas, his cousin got him hooked on the music by asking him to come up with lyrics. That’s when Carisio discovered Konkani rap can be revolutionary, as it made him more confident. He describes ‘Freestyle’ as his rap style, where he develops lyrics as the beat progresses.

Carisio has previously been a drummer, and has performed live with notable bands like Blue Waves, The Cream and Vibes, and has hence been prominently experiencing music for almost a decade. His recent singles include ‘Aou Noko’ and ‘Taslo’, which is his first NFT drop by GBB. He also states that all future music of Bongisio and GBB will be released on blockchain first and then on internet platforms including Spotify or YouTube.

What is NFT music? If you own NFT, you are truly an owner of that music, and you can prove that you are an owner. Some people own things, because they like the creator/artist and feel connected to him/her or their music.

Bongisio thinks rap music is different from other genres as it ‘gets the sufferings and the reality of the world as well as situations in the spotlight and speaks for itself, whereas other genres imply more of the fantasy or imaginative side of the world.’ His production company (LSP), along with his teams’ sports company (BSC), aspire to get as many youths involved, thus creating a platform for budding sportspersons, and digital artists along with aspiring musicians, and rappers.

The rapper mentions, “‘Skiri Dob Dob’ is one of those tracks that is closest to my heart, as it is one of those songs I came up with after my mother passed away.” While talking about his upcoming NFT single, ‘Skiri Dob Dob’, he also announced his recent performance which will be held at Porvorim on February 4, along with Hema Sardesai, an Indian playback singer.

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