[Photo courtesy: Abhisting]
Indian-American rapper Abhisting is a rising force in the urban desi music scene, but music isn’t his only talent! The Northeastern University business graduate is also a hard-working philanthropist. Abhisting founded the clothing line Clear Classics, a company that donates 88 percent of its profits to the Akshaya Patra Foundation in India.
“When I was in the third grade visiting India, it was one of those days where my family was going around just meeting relatives/friends they hadn’t seen in a while. On that particular day—it was just one of those days where everything was going wrong and I felt really miserable,” the artist told India.com.”
“As I was walking out from the sixth house we visited that day, I looked to my right and saw a poor child being dragged across the sand by her mother who was a beggar. It was that exact moment where I just let out all my grief and realized even though I feel miserable that child must have felt way worse than me. It was that exact moment that I realize that no one should be treated/feel as bad as that child has. That’s why I tied in a philanthropic cause with Clear Classics.”
Abhisting has worked persistently to make his Clear Classics dream a reality. The rapper explained how he was dreaming of a clothing line since his high school days and once he was accepted into Northeastern University, he finally had the resources to bring his passion to life.
“I was working at the Reebok headquarters 5 days a week for 6 months for part of the coop program which Northeastern University requires,” Abhisting said. “I then took all my savings and went to entrepreneur workshops that my University hosted to execute the idea Clear Classics.”
Fashion is just as big a factor in Abhisting’s life as music is—he’s even admitted that if he wasn’t an artist he would have been working in marketing or the fashion industry. Abhisting’s education not only helped him build a foundation for Clear Classics but he also took a few vocal lessons in college to improve the musical skills he discovered in high school.
“I have always loved music since childhood. But it wasn’t until my high school sophomore year that I started rapping and began to pursue music,” Abhisting explained. “It all started with me making diss tracks against my friends for fun and then I just fell in love with rapping.”
In a short time, Abhisting has managed to premiere music on BBC Radio, have his videos air on B4U TV, be featured on numerous well-known publications and more. According to Abhisting, one of his most memorable accomplishments thus far in his musical journey has been getting his music video, “Nights in Babylon” featuring another Indian-American artist, Neel, played on MTV India.
“Growing up I use to watch MTV music and its pretty crazy to see one of my music videos on one of their channels,” Abhisting joyfully said. “The song “Nights in Babylon” is a new genre of music I created during a very dark time in my life when I was let go of my job in NYC. This was initially what inspired the song along with having formally met Neel for the first time, outside of the hookah lounge. But it wasn’t until a year later that we decided to collaborate on this song. Working with him was amazing because we’re good friends and think very similarly. This made the process easy while keeping it fun at the same time.”
In the past, Abhisting has also worked with the renown Indian-British artist Raxstar. After the success of their first collaboration, “3AM in the Morning” the duo teamed up for “Patience (Sabr Kar).”
“It was awesome working with Raxstar, he’s a very genuine guy,” Abhisting said. “I remember giving him a Clear Classics sweatshirt to wear for the “Patience (Sabr Kar)” music video we shot in New York City. After we were done shooting the music video, he asked if I wanted to have the Clear Classics sweatshirt back that I gave him for the music video. I was so surprised by the nice gesture because I know most people wouldn’t care to ask about that—they just assume that it was theirs to keep.”
Being a well-established artist, Abhisting has learned quite a lot from his mentor-student relationship with Raxstar.
“One of the best things I’ve learned from him was persistence is key to anything you want to achieve in life,” Abhisting revealed. “He recommended I read a book called “The War of Art,” which changed my whole perspective on chasing dreams in creative fields and how our best ideas may come at any given moment. Therefore you must always be putting in work on your craft to maximize the number of great ideas—thoughts that come through.”
What does the future hold for Abhisting? Well, the rapper hopes to one day soon collaborate with Mickey Singh.
“I really love the new innovative sounds that Mickey Singh’s putting out into the scene,” Abhisting said.
Speaking of his future plans, Abhisting said he hopes to perform and tour North American, Europe, and Asia and to host an annual Clear Classics Concert in India combining music, fashion, and philanthropy. The artist wants to bring in the underprivileged children and adults that are supported by the Akshaya Patra Foundation to model the Clear Classics gear and promote his clothing line to bring more attention to such a worthy cause.