From tinkering with his guitar hero during his teenage years to releasing singles with some of the biggest stars from the Urban Desi music scene, rapper Abhisting is making great strides with his music.

The young Indian-American rapper fell in love with the music making process while experimenting with music mixing programs as a teenager. With the support of friends, he took his passion a step further to release his first mixtape, titled “Next Chapter.”

Though his parents struggled to get on board, the rapper continued to pursue music along with studying at Northeastern University. His junior year of college, he released the mixtape “Next Generation,” which managed to impress the likes of popular urban desi artist Raxstar. Abhisting and Raxstar collaborated on two tracks, “Patience” and “3AM.”

Since gaining the support of Raxstar, Abhisting has been releasing new music and new music videos, the latest being his ninth music video for a track titled “Waves.”

Though he may still be new on the scene, Abhisting is slowly making his way up the latter from performing at local events to opening for the Urban Desi Conference and Concert in New York City.

We spoke with Abhisting about how his music career began, how he incorporates his culture in his music and his future aspirations. 

The Teal Mango: How did your love of music begin?

Abhisting: During my sophomore year of high school, I had discovered Mixcraft, which is a recording interphase and started recording songs for fun. I hooked up to my guitar hero microphone to my laptop and just started recording songs and fell in love with the process. I had dropped my first track during my sophomore year of high school and never looked back.

TTM: Are you a trained singer/musician?

Abhisting: No, I’m self-taught. I would just listen to a lot of rappers and eventually pick up on their styles until I had found my own sound later on.

TTM: Though times are changing, a career in music is often still difficult for desi parents to accept. Are your parents supportive of your music career?

Abhisting: At the beginning of my journey, my parents were totally against it. But as they saw my music videos and saw that I was incorporating Indian culture into it, they became more accepting of it. They saw music was the only thing I really cared about and realized that I wouldn’t quit so they eventually became more supportive over time.

TTM: On your 18th birthday, you made your first mixtape. What pushed you to make that jump?

Abhisting: I began recording music in my sophomore year of high school and have been developing my rap skills for a while. I wanted to put out a project before I went to college to have a body of work I could show people, so that pushed me to create a mixtape my senior year of high school. It was to show people I was taking music seriously.

TTM: Who inspired you to pursue music? Who are some of your influences?

Abhisting: When I put out my first tracks, some of my high school friends said that they were pretty good and I should make some more. So my friends in high school inspired me and I just fell in love with the process of making music. Some of my musical influences are Drake, Travis Scott, and Kid Cudi.

TTM: “3AM in the Morning” was your first collaboration with Raxstar, do you remember what that was like? How did you feel working with Raxstar? 

Abhisting: This was the best day of my life! Raxstar is my favorite Urban Asian artist and he’s just a great person in general. It was like a dream come true being able to fly to London and shoot a music video with him. He’s a very down to earth person who’s always helping artists on the come up so I got a lot of respect for him. The whole process was amazing and I really felt that I could make music work after that day.

TTM: If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing?

Abhisting: I would be doing something fashion related, whether that be working at corporate for a clothing company I like or starting my own fashion brand and manufacturing clothes. I have a passion for fashion so anything related to that I would say.

TTM: How do you blend your heritage into your music?

Abhisting: I always try to incorporate my heritage in my music, whether it’s having desi inspired instrumentals, wearing desi clothes in music videos, having Hindi words in my songs, or having desi models in my music videos. I think it’s very important to show my heritage and innovate on it to bring about more styles and sounds that have never been seen or heard before.

TTM: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Abhisting: I see myself touring around North America, Europe, and India alongside some other artists that are starting to take music a lot more seriously.

TTM: What are some new projects in the works for you currently?

Abhisting: I got a couple singles in the works that I’m going to be shooting music videos for. I don’t like to give away too much but I’m switching up my sound to have a new vibe!

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