Sun Deep: How a Hindi rapping producer found a space in Oklahoma
This is Songwriters & Tour Riders, a music podcast from KOSU and Oklahoma State University and hosted by Matthew Viriyapah.
Sundeep Sharma has only been making music for maybe three years — really only two if you ask him. But under the name, Sun Deep, he has already produced songs for many different hip hop acts in Oklahoma, is part of the bilingual hip hop duo Finite Galaxy.
Finite Galaxy released their first album in 2021 and another EP earlier this year, and while his rap partner, Flo St8, raps in English, Sun Deep raps primarily in Hindi.
His upcoming release, Will Rap For Change, is his first producer album where he got sixteen other artists to join him. It is set to come out on March 19 with an accompanying release show where the proceeds for the show and album will be going to charity.
Listen above to hear Sun Deep talk about being a late-blooming artist and how his background affects his production and rap style.
On rapping in Hindi
I've met a lot of people along the way that have been incredible friends. But what was missing through producing for other people was a sound I was looking for. And I always liked poetry, and just understanding that rap is poetry— it took a minute for me to understand that in my own head.
I always wanted to do it, but Matt (Flo St8) who is part of Finite Galaxy now, I met him at a studio session, and he said 'I love your beats. We should link up.'
So I linked up with him and I just in passing mentioned that I would also like to do rapping. But I didn't care for the English rapping as much, just because I already have a weird accent to begin with. Just because I was born in India, went to a British speaking school, came here weird compilation of accents... When I go on the mic, I don't know what comes out. Hindi is my mother tongue, so it naturally comes out.
So when I told him that, he was the first one that to be like 'Bro, I need to hear it. Let's do a song together.' After that, [the] rest was history.
There was a time I was like 'yeah, we did this song, but who's going to want to listen to it.'
But then I think of myself, as someone who listens to a lot of different languages, and I was like 'okay, it might not be Oklahoma, but we can keep doing it and hopefully with the power of social media and the internet we can reach people who do like a more international sound.'
At the end of the day, notes are sounds too, and people can have emotions when they listen to certain notes. So I guess I have to somehow flow properly on the beat that people can at least get the energy off the track. The thought process of capturing the emotion on a track really made me not think about the language thing as much after a little bit.
On Will Rap For Change
When I was producing for a lot of people, one of the thoughts that I had was that I wanted to do a producer album. I wanted to have an album under Sun Deep and what my theme is. And then have all these incredible that I had the pleasure and honor to work with.
And Original Flow actually gave the name, Will Rap For Change. He was the first person I contacted. And then the thought process about the whole giving back to my community came after that— that's when he named it Will Rap For Change. He was like, 'if I'm doing this album with all these incredible people, I want to have a theme for it.'
One after the other, people came and recorded their stuff. I gave everybody just one question. What does change mean to you?
All the money we're going to get from the album sales, ticket sales, random miscellaneous donations we're going to take that, and we are going to match it and give it back to Asha for Education. What they do is any NGO back home in India that has an education component, they'll provide stewardship to them. There's an NGO from the western part of India where I was born that's doing woman empowerment movement and helping women get educated in small villages. There's so much influence of India you hear in my beats— I wanted to give back that love.
Will Rap For Change is out March 19th. Buy tickets to the release here.
Music featured in this episode:
- Finite Galaxy - Prologue
- Finite Galaxy - Finite Galaxy II
- The Roots - What They Do
- clipping - Story 2
- Finite Galaxy - Third Eye
- Deca - Breadcrumbs
- Prabh Deep - Amar
- MF DOOM - Accordion
- Finite Galaxy - Ruh Meri (My Soul)
- Finite Galaxy - The Getaway
- Thomas Who - Flight Risk (feat. Sun Deep)
- Thomas Who - Gouda (feat. KO, Tonii2much & Sun Deep)
- Finite Galaxy - Two Days
- Sun Deep - Power Moves
- Sun Deep - Spare Change
- Finite Galaxy - Drifting Away (feat. Dark Gnome)