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‘The Train Song from Gully Boy My Current Favourite’: Zoya Akhtar

Zoya Akhtar opens up about Gully Boy, Me Too in Bollywood, and being a woman filmmaker in India. 

Updated
NEON
2 min read

(Editor: Deepthi Ramdas)

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Speaking to The Quint ahead of the big release, Gully Boy director Zoya Akhtar told us how she feels relaxed after the overwhelming response that she got in Berlin, but she may not sleep tonight.

I was really nervous before Berlin, but I am really relaxed now. Relaxed now because I am so tired, but I am not going to sleep.
Zoya Akhtar, director

Starring Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt, Gully Boy is loosely inspired by the life story of street rappers Divine and Naved Shaikh, aka Naezy. They are most famously known for their song, Mere Gully Mein. The song also features in the movie.

Several underground rappers expressed their happiness when Gully Boy was being made. Rap music is often termed as the most ‘misunderstood genre’ of music. Rap started out as a form of protest music/poetry by African-American performers, as a non-violent means to fight racism and discrimination.

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I love hip hop, I love the genre of music, I’ve been listening to it while growing up and I had only engaged with international artistes, whether it was Tupac or Eminem or the Fugees. Those were the artistes I would listen to.
Zoya Akhtar in an earlier article to The Quint

She then stumbled upon Aafat by Naezy and got immediately hooked on to the Indian underground hip hop scene.

I got so hooked that I kept watching that video again and again, and then, I found him. I traced him and I had a meeting with him. I was just compelled to meet him and the minute I met him, I knew that there’s a story, there’s an entire sub-culture, and I am big on sub-cultures. So firstly, I was shocked that I didn’t know that it existed and I had to know more of it, and then I took time and now I’m talking to you.     
Zoya Akhtar in an earlier article to The Quint

The movie has been garnering interest since the release of its trailer because of its authentic portrayal of the street rap scene in India. It has piqued interest in that genre of music even for people who don’t usually listen to rap. Here’s wishing all the best to the makers of the movie!

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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