Amit Naik aka the Waking Grunt has become a celebrated sensation among the youth of Goa. Amit's Konkani rap songs are not just entertainment. He can do what most young rappers fail to achieve through their songs ie Amit tends to touch the very psyche of the Goemkars and takes up issues which Goans face daily. The Waking Grunt’s Youtube Channel has 18.5k followers with over 70 Konkani rap music videos. Amit Naik spoke to the Gomantak Times and revealed details about his musical journey.
Q: How did your musical journey begin? What inspired you to venture into Konkani rap?
I had a dream from my childhood days to do something in music, but due to some circumstances, I was unable to pursue that dream in those days. But in a later phase, when I was studying in secondary school, I came across a scheme wherein a corporate company would bear my educational expenses for taking a mining-related course and a job placement was assured. I did that diploma course in mining operations and took a job in a mining company. But unfortunately, mining was shut down in Goa and all of a sudden I was unemployed. I had no idea what was to be done at that point, so I enrolled myself to learn guitar. Other friends of mine were learning drums, etc, and we would often meet and start exploring music. We gave a name to this group – Waking Grunt – and started making creating rap music in Konkani, based on some social issues.
Q: How have you made your YouTube channel popular among Goans?
My friend Vaibhav was taking a course in DJing, so we use to meet and discuss the themes for a song and compose songs in this manner. But all of a sudden, once again some mining activities started in 2017, and again I joined the mining sector. But by that time YouTube had come up with a policy where a content creator had to create content frequently and consistently. Therefore our group decided to make Konkani parody rap songs which we uploaded whenever it was possible for us.
During this time, the state government officially denied matka gambling activities were taking place in Goa, which was false. Therefore I made a rap song “Maka Matkya number di”. There was also a parody song on the famous international hit “Shape of You”, and we uploaded this parody song on YouTube. It became an online sensation in Goa and went viral on social media.
Then came the parody songs “Pedro tuka governmentar Vishwas na re” and “Khaddyan Padlo”, based on bad road conditions. These again became a hit on the internet.
Q: Which was your first Konkani rap song?
The first song was “Mining Patrao”. It was meant to criticise the state government for the mining closure and the hardships that the mining dependent were going through.
Q: How has taking on the persona of Waking Grunt helped you in any way?
The rapping has helped me to gain peace and channelise my energy or frustration in the right way. If not, then definitely it would have come out in an aggressive way, which would have been wrong.
Q: What inspired you to come up with parody and humorous songs?
There is nothing in this world that doesn't inspire an artist. I observe people and situations, and how people react in a given situation. I feel people should follow rules and should take up their duties as responsible citizens. My songs are meant to highlight the wrongs in society and pass on the message to make it right.
Q: Do you get the opportunity to sing publically and perform commercially?
Mostly, no. This is because my songs are on social issues and parody songs. But I do perform at Rap Cyphers, etc.
Q: How many people do you have giving you a leg up in your endeavour?
There are friends like Pranav Morajkar, Vaibhav Tari, Prajyot and Vasu who contribute to making videos. I do the scripting of the videos, writing of lyrics and rapping.
Q: What are your expectations from Goans at home and abroad?
I expect support and love from all Goans. This will play a driving and inspirational force for me to make good music.