“Void for me means endless. It has a very different meaning for me,” said Gaurav Mankoti aka Gaurav Void, the 26-year-old rapper from Uttarakhand, as he sat down for an interview with VibesMojo during his recent trip to Assam to perform at the Assam Don Bosco University.
Born and brought up in the picturesque hills of Uttarakhand, Gaurav was infatuated with dance and hip hop during his college days. He then started his training in the hip hop, urban dance and contemporary dance from Germany and New York and got his official debut in the Indian television series “India’s Got Talent.”
Subsequently, in the year of 2015, he was also one of the top 12 in another dance reality show “Dance Plus.” Later in 2019, he was seen as a contestant on MTV’s rap show “MTV Hustle,” which was his new avatar in the world of music.
Void is known for his raw, fast-paced lyrical rap style. It was those fast-paced raps in the MTV Hustle that drew thunderous claps and a lot of appreciation from the judges. With songs like Sidhe Pahad Se, Emptiness, Bekhayali Rap, etc. which has already crossed the million views benchmark, Gaurav is on his way to becoming the go-to name in the Indian rap scene.
Edited excerpts of the interview
VibesMojo: What inspired you to take up rapping as a profession?
Gaurav Void: I think just generally, listening to music in school and basically just listening to storytelling through music had a big impact on me. And I mean, most people have this expression, Eminem also played a major role in my life because, during the time when I was in school, there was not much English music. So he was one of those guys, his style of storytelling really reached out to me and that’s how I started rapping.
VM: Reason behind the name “Void”
GV: Okay, so basically when I decided I wanted to be a rapper, and I was rapping, there were a few options that I had in my mind and at last I came zeroed down to void. Void because generally, I like the word. I mean, it’s not used much you know, to use in very different situations like in computers and even in the form of null and void in mathematics, but for me, it has a different meaning altogether. Like it has the essence of being endless. So the normal void is like empty or zeroes and all that but for me its space. The meaning of it is more like an endless region of space or like something like that.
VM: Your idol in the Indian rap scene
GV: There are a lot of talented rappers in the Indian hip hop scene. So one of the rappers who is my inspiration in the Indian scene is Brodha V. He raps both in Hindi and English but mostly in English. But I think he’s one of the people who has pushed the scene a lot and I really like his style.
VM: Words of advice to the young minds of Northeast.
GV: I think I vibe with the people from Northeast because I’m from the hills as well. And the culture that we have is different from the culture in any other city like the towns and everything. I just feel we also have a lot of stories to give out to the world. And hip hop is a major way of getting the stories out. So I think you should not hold back or don’t even try to do the same thing as other people. We have our own stories to tell the world and I think all the aspiring rappers, artists, singers from Northeast should do the same. Just tell the world your story what you’re going through and that’s all that matters. You know, that’s what people connect to.