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Toronto-based Shan Vincent De Paul, a Tamil rapper, collaborates with Usha Jey, a hip-hop and bharatnatyam enthusiast, on Savage, the new song off his album “Made in Jaffna.” The 14-track album is set to release on August 27th of which Savage is the first of 12 singles.

“‘Savage’ was a purely cathartic creation for me where the expression took precedence over ‘accessibility’. I wanted to write an ‘anti-hit’, something that didn’t pander to any kind of audience, sound or trend. It was a gateway to tap into a darker side without having to keep up the facade of a glossy, perfect world that we often see on social media. The title is also a tongue-in-cheek reference to the term colonizers used to describe us for eating with our hands,” he says. 

When asked about Usha’s performance, he said, “Her style is so unique and innovative while perfectly capturing elements of the East and West. I knew she had to be the star of the video when I saw her style. It was a perfect way to respond to the derogatory title of ‘Savage’ that was often used against us. I also wanted to take Bharatanatyam as far away from the realm you would expect it to be in.” 

Usha Jey, a Paris-based hip-hop dancer and Bharatanatyam lover whose hybrid combination of two dancing genres has made her a social media star, matches Shan’s vocal intensity in the video for the new song. The video was shot in Berlin and depicts Usha in two different avatars doing her signature hybrid Bharatanatyam. Made In Jaffnawill be released on maajja, an artiste-centric platform and label founded by AR Rahman.