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News |  15 Jun 2020 16:21 |  By RnMTeam

Swadesi's 'The Warli Revolt' goes viral on TikTok and WhatsApp

MUMBAI: Mumbai-based multilingual hip-hop crew Swadesi 's seminal single, The Warli Revolt, has been found going viral courtesy TikTok and WhatsApp statuses. The anthemic single that became a rallying cry for the Save Aarey movement proved to be a career defining moment for the crew who quickly found themselves becoming the voice of socially conscious hip hop in the country. Over the last month, the track has seen a resurgence amongst folks with a clip of Swadesi's live performance of the same at the 2019 edition of India’s largest crowdfunded music festival Control ALT Delete going viral over WhatsApp statuses and TikTok. Swadesi has amassed well over amillion organic views on user generated content and over 500K on the original track itself.

In February 2019, Swadesi released The Warli Revolt , a collaborative piece with Adivasi tribal chieftain Prakash Bhoir that became an anthem for the Save Aarey movement.

The video views on Swadesi’s YouTube channel shot up from around 16th May 2020 to over 846.5K views as of 13th June 2020. Both the videos crossed the half million mark earlier in June, with the official music video at 637.8K views and thelive video at 634K views. The channel’s subscribers went up by 10.3K in this 28-day period.

As for search engine results, the most popular sentence that picked up was ‘Aaj nahi udyala maraycha’ (Death will come today or tomorrow ). On TikTok, the popular search phrase became a hashtag, bringing in videos from across Maharashtra. These videos are focused on the pride of Adivasis and people in general about ‘never backing down’, like the second line of the chorus goes (Mag kashala maga sarayacha ). Many of these became WhatsApp status videos from knowledge of what led people to looking for the phrase on YouTube and the song’s lyrics. There has been a burst of 150+ videos using the song, and a fresh wave of local DJ mashups with it still coming out every day. The sound was extracted from the live video and uploaded by a TikTok user. 

Swadesi’s management has concerns about the usage of the track and the retention of its message. 4/4 Experiences co-founder Nikhil Udupa said, “It's encouraging to see the sudden virality and reach a platform like TikTok can provide to a song. At the same time, there are concerns that due credits to artists and the message of the art gets diluted, and there are scant safeguards for that. We hope that appropriate steps are taken to address the same.”

Swadesi relays a simple message in all of this. “We're very grateful and humbled by the massive amount of love and support showered on The Warli Revolt even after being released more than a year ago. We remind you to always listen to the song as a message; as a clarion call to always stand up to protect nature, wildlife and the environment. Keep doing your bit as individuals, and most importantly, think!”

One of the few artists from the Indian hip-hop scene that has built its brand on offering 'outspoken and bold' political viewpoints from the heart of the Indian youth - Swadesi are relentless in their pursuit of speaking truth to power. Swadesi released their debut album ‘Chetavni’ in February 2020, almost five years after the release of the seminal ‘Laaj Watte Kai’.