Imran Mandani, Rhyme Dilation

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“I remember the time I was at a Frat house and I closed my eyes and randomly free-styled to Trance music. When I opened my eyes, there was a crowd all around me.”

Any mainstream Asian-Indian Rappers out there? Not really, so you’ll quickly realize that Chicago based artist, Imran Mandani, is faced with a challenge. Though it might be a good thing for your marketing to have had someone of your own ethnicity pave the way for you to musical stardom, it might actually be better if you carve your own path. These days, Imran is thinking in the latter even though there had always been stereotypes for him back in college in the early 2000s. The love for Hip Hop started in eighth grade when Discman CD players were equivalent to today’s smartphones. It wasn’t long before he started writing rhymes and honing his craft until the breakthrough moment in High School when he could suddenly freestyle. And then it was college; years that flew by in a blur for a nostalgic Imran Mandani recalls rapping for groups of people outside of dorm lobbies, bars, open mics, and fashion shows.

After a hiatus friends encouraged Imran to create an online presence and record a Hip Hop mixtape. While recording one however, Imran decided to record original music in other genres as well. He finished his first two tracks, “You Should Dance” and “Beneath the Ocean Tide”; both lyrically thick EDM songs with a Hip Hop vibe. After catching the attention of DJ Keith Calderon, a promoter known for organizing underground House music gigs in Chicago, Imran performed as the main act for the 2013 Midwest DJ Festival. An introduction to Curtis McClain (vocalist behind Marshall Jefferson’s 1986 hit House song “Move your Body”) at the event led to Curtis doing backup vocals to the remix of Imran’s new song, “Sunshine through Rain”. Unlike his first two singles, “Sunshine through Rain” is a pop-centric song with no rapping. It is the third song on his eclectic debut album, Abstract Brown. Imran is currently working on his fourth original track “In Another Dimension (It’s Déjà vu)” for summer 2015.

Imran won as a semifinalist for two international songwriting competitions in 2014. He has merchandise called Ensemble and a brand named Rhyme Dilation which is a pun on Albert Einstein’s theory of time dilation. While Einstein’s theory of time dilation explains the phenomena of time (the faster you move through space, the slower you move through time) Rhyme Dilation is about how time drifts by differently when an artist is in the flow of music making. Getting into your “flow” is about getting into your element and getting into the zone. At the end, music can have a time travel effect; it can affect people’s emotions forever. In addition, Rhyme Dilation is about “dilating” Hip Hop to incorporate and embrace other styles of music. Imran strives to create a balance between “Underground” and “Commercial” mainstream music in his songs. The cover art for his music is abstract and surreal. His music melodically has a “Top 40″ feel but lyrically has poetic and spiritual subtly. Check out Imran’s website for music updates.

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