The Bengaluru producer and rapper duo will release their album ‘Meet Me Halfway’ in 2022
It’s not lost on Bengaluru hip-hop artist Tintin and producer Clifr that their latest song “Hot Summer” is, in fact, releasing just as winter makes its presence felt across the country. Tintin says over the phone, “But we’re in India! The same shit that’s going down in hot summer is going down every day.”
There’s a grandiose vibe and a sinister, seemingly Pulp Fiction-inspired story for “Hot Summer,” whose music video is created by filmmaker and photographer Lendrick Kumar. “It should feel like some villain just walked into the building,” Tintin says about the intent with the song. In a throwback to Bengaluru of yore, Clifr and Tintin are behind the wheel of a grey Fiat Premier Padmini, driving around empty roads and greenery. As it turns out, they’re packing heat and headed to confront some people who clearly owe them. The music video bears visual clues that point towards a mysterious suitcase, also seen in the music video for their previous single “Restless,” featuring artist Bebhumika.
Watch the video for “Hot Summer” below.
It’s all part of the duo’s upcoming record Meet Me Halfway, releasing via Export Quality Records in 2022. It was originally started as an EP project in May between Tintin and Clifr, who moved in the same college circles in the last two years but only began working together last year following shows in Goa. Tintin says, “Clifr was spinning my set for me. 10 minutes before one show, he just played me a random beat and asked, ‘What do you think?’ A couple months later, when they [Clifr, singer-rapper RANJ and producer Issammood] were working on [pop/rap project] 593, Vol. 1 EP and stuff after that, we just were sitting down almost every day for like, a couple of months.”
Clifr — who is also part of fusion act Kelvikkuri — says he was working with a hip-hop artist for the first time. “He [Tintin] kept showing me music. I kept playing him some of my stuff and then we just came up with ‘Hot Summer,’” the producer says.
Tintin might be putting up a slick, sometimes aggro front with his vocals on the song, but it’s also peppered with hyperlocal Bengaluru references. The rapper says he knew the song had “mad potential” but he didn’t want to make it “international sounding.” He adds, “I didn’t want it to be, ‘Oh I’m in Fifth Street in California,’ or some kind of shit like that.” Clifr developed the original beat to add horn sections as well, to give it a “really majestic and very powerful” vibe. “On every count, there’s a hit with the horns,” he says.
The rest of the album explores a variety of styles, which is true to Tintin and Clifr’s ambitions as artists. The rapper says it’s all about versatility, one that took them beyond the initial idea of making an R&B and hip-hop record. “We have a couple of poppy numbers on this one, melodic type stuff… Clifr is venturing into different zones,” Tintin says. The duo want to make people move, but not while being tied to an easily compartmentalized sound. “If anyone hears it [the upcoming album] and they think of either of us together or individually, they should never know what to expect. That’s all I want, that’s what retains all the mystique around the artists.”
To that end, there are several individual and joint projects in the works between Tintin and Clifr. The producer teams up with singer-rapper RANJ for a set at Bacardi NH7 Weekender in Pune in February as well. Although it’s been a couple of years in the circuit, Clifr and Tintin believe that label pushes, gigs and more finessed music is all happening at the right time. Clifr says, “For us to scale like this… it just all fell into place.” Tintin adds, “We want people to keep their eyes on any briefcases they might see.”
Listen to “Hot Summer” below and on more platforms here.