Srek interviews K-Krew – Rap artists cum graffiti artist gang from Kolkata

Catch K-krew, representing Calcutta…rap artists cum graffiti artist gang…SreK from Zypher crew chats em up (D$C and Bhive) and finds out some of there depest secrets!!

Q. What are your tag names and why did you two choose it?

A. Our tag names are similar to our rap aliases .Bhive and D$C and B-bob. The other crew members don’t put in much work while doing pieces besides just helping us do the fillings. Chose it back in 2007

K-Krew-I.A.-Colony-The-Place-to-be-@-Kolkata-255x255.jpg (255×255)

Q. How and why did you get into street art? When was it?

A. Was inspired from “barrio-19”, a Hip hop show in vh1 which aired in India in 2007-08….it featured a section called can-control which showed snippets of graffiti and urban art in places like Tokyo, Brazil, Germany and the states. That’s where we came to know about graffiti for the first time. Back in standard 8th, we and our friends painted our first mural, inspired from the huge silver/white bubble throwies and hand styles which we saw in the video of a then popular rap song. M.I.M.S realized his hit single “This is why I’m hot” earlier that year, and the video had had a huge impact on our impressionable minds. Having no clue where to get aerosols, we used shoe brushes and acrylic colors (still remember the poster colors were called ‘Rangeela’, which they used to give free with a detergent)

Q. What is the full form of “k” in K Krew? When and how did this crew form?

A. K stands for Kolkata, the city that’s our prime inspiration in whatever we do. We’re a rap group and do graffiti on the sidelines. Formed in 2007.

Q. What’s the most difficult thing in graffiti you think?

A. To convince oneself to be a writer. That’s the MOST DIFFICULT! This 1st step of convincing yourself is only difficult. That is, despite knowing that most around me, won’t approve or support my hobby, I WILL be a writer and I WILL get my name out there. Other than that every step is easy…a piece of cake…. from managing costly paints to getting permission for seemingly-impossible spots, everything can be done once the 1st step is accomplished.

Q. Who inspired you and hoe do you stay creative, what keeps you going?

A. Inspirations come in many forms. But I guess the main reason why we started to invest on cans and go out to paint (or rather waste the cans since we were whack back then, and the designs were pretty sloppy too) was to show kids from the city that even if one is from a city as adamant to anything new as Kolkata, graffiti can be viable. To answer what keeps us going, is going to be difficult. Rather if you ask, what made us quit, say that since the graff scene has taken off quite well in the city, we thought we could take a backseat, since initially it was our aim to spread this element, and now it’s done .A lot of young bloods are showing interest, and they’re also realizing the vital secret, that for an expensive art form like graffiti to survive in a city like ours, it’s important to adapt it in our own way. Like using cheaper alternative paints and distempers rather than importing costly cans. The spirit is the main thing. To get a thing done by any way possible is the main thing!! Other than that the movies like STYLE WARS, WILDSTYLE, BEATSTREET are very inspiring.

Q. How do you pick up your locations?

A. 75% of our pieces are done in our hood (i.e. colony) and around it. The other spots were mutually chosen by collaborating writers.

Q. Would you like to share some tips and tricks?

A. If a piece goes horrible wrong and messed up…it can be made somewhat decent using stencils…at least that’s something we do every time a piece gets fucked real bad.

Q. Any unforgettable story that you would like to share?

A. Unforgettable would be the time when we painted on a canvas in bangla neo-brahmic letters in Thailand alongside mister bows, a writer from Bangkok…we wrote K-krew in Bengali so that was a somewhat proud moment you can say….to repp our city in an international hip hop event.

Q. What are your future plans in graffiti?

A. Future plans: To kick back, relax and enjoy the scene progress in our city!!

Q. How would you describe your style?

A. We still don’t have our own unique style. Trying to develop stencil based style. While other writers have developed unfinished edges style, in-letter patterns style or more-focus-on-3d style….we still have a lot to work on, when it comes to being unique with our pieces.

Q. How did you develop such good technical painting and drawing skills?

A. True story, don’t have it only. Still need to work on perspective when it comes to big pieces since most time our letters are of unequal heights… We initially started out by copying from marvel/Gotham comics. Advice to new writers would be to always maintain and vigorously practice black book….if possible to borrow black books and study styles of fellow writers.

Q. Tell me about one artwork that failed after much preparation that left you disappointed

A. When the Ultadanga flyover broke down, we badly wanted to write the name of KRS-1’s legendary rap track “THE BRIDGE IS OVER” on the sides of it. We studied the fallen bridge’s area blueprint in detail from newspaper cut outs and TV channel vids in a hope to find the safest route to the fallen fly-over bridge. We even went there armed with cans on 3 different evenings. But all the cctvs and police patrol vans spoiled our 3 attempts.

Q. Best hustle you ever pulled. (D$C and Bhive- u can give individual hustles)

A. D$C – raked 2 lousy f1 cans and 4 bike sticker pads after paying for 10 more They store-guy couldn’t tell since we put all the cans in our bag together and he didn’t bother to count if there was 12 or 10. Bhive- hustle permanent markers and sketch pens all the time from baguihati big bazar and crosswords, City Centre 2. Still have 2 whole sketch pen sets which were hustled. a) flair super glow b) faber castle

Q. Have u been2 jail? If so,why? If not, why not?

A. Not exactly, been real close to going to jail though After tagging on gate 3 of park street metro, we and another city writer got caught by the cops. They interrogated us for a nerve-wracking 40 minutes but eventually found no evidence to pin charges on us. Luckily we had dropped the bags at the spot itself and all the paints and cans were in them safe. We had a hard time explaining the paints in our hands though… After they let us go when we deposited photocopies of our ids and gave a written document stating we’ll never paint again, we collected our bags and from the “spot” and left.

Q. Have u collaborated with any artists recently? (you can say about the last artist u collaborated with) who and what work has come out of it?

A. The most recent collab was for the HOOD-HOP backdrop flex painting and other flex canvas painting. Other city artists like shock, elek2, remzi, reapr, jash, epik also did their pieces.

Q. Have u been to any other city where u did graffiti? How was your experience there?

A. Never hit walls in other cities yet. Plan to do soon if chance allows. Did slap tags project though in Thailand. We met up with a thai writer TIEN who took us to 16 spots in Bangkok which had HUGE MASSIVE wall-of-fames where we pasted our “K-krew official 033” and “Hello my name is K-KREW” slaptags besides other artists. We did see a thousand slap tags all around the city’s telephone booths, lamp posts, shutters, metros, meter boxes and any other place imaginable. We even did 4-5 slaptags in Pataya beach which had a skate-bmx park filled with graffiti all over! Fun Experience.

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