Spitfire — Paathshala EP

(This piece originally appeared on The Bangin Beats in June 2019)

Hailing from Madhya Pradesh, one of India’s fastest rising hip-hop star Nitin Mishra aka Spitfire was launched into the spotlight following his valuable contribution to the blockbuster Bollywood flick ‘ Gully Boy’ earlier this year, and most notably for ‘ Asli Hip Hop’ which continues to remain as one of its OST’s most influential cuts. And with his highly anticipated return, Spitfire has now finally shared his debut EP, ‘ Paathshala’ with the world. Released via IncInk, a music collective founded back in March of this year by filmmaker Navzar Eranee and actor Ranveer Singh, ‘ Paathshala ‘ marks the second release to come out of the recently launched label.

An emphatic 4-track effort from the hip-hop prodigy who has steadily gone on to hone his craft with every verse, his newest release sees him work alongside producer duo Nuka (Anushka Manchanda) and RĀKHIS (Shikhar Manchanda) to exhibit the depth of his craft and technical prowess as he provides meaning to his work fueled by his passion for the genre and the power of the spoken word. Brought to life by ‘ Akaash Vani ‘, the striking intro switches between naked introspection and his determined outlook towards life before the action moves into the titular cut. A superlative creation highlighted by its blitzing instrumental, the lethal delivery of Spitfire’s verses pierces into the murky and glitch-ridden sound of the production which draws influences from genres like electronic, hip-hop, drum n bass, and even metal music.

On the EP’s penultimate cut ‘ Tum Jaano Na’, Nitin seems methodical with his approach yet again as he stays in sync with the electronic aggression of the proceedings, while providing listeners with some of his strong rhymes on offer. And before ‘ Paathshala’ disperses into thin air, but not without leaving a lasting mark on the audience, the unmatchable focus of Spitfire shines through ‘ Vartalap ‘ as its dark, forbidding soundscapes allow him to cement his spot as a formidable young force to be reckoned with.

With the arrival of Spitfire’s debut project, at last, he makes sure to do justice to the attention surrounding his undeniable talent that has been the talk of rap circles around the Indian subcontinent. And if there’s a singular takeaway from this ambitious effort, then it’s his fierce yet poetic take on hip-hop that is poised to stand the test of time.